The sign of four

The sign of four in YouTube.
What is the story about? A young lady named Mary Morstan comes to consult Holmes upon a case which she assures him is very unusual. Miss Morstan’s father disappeared some years ago under suspicious circumstances. He had obtained twelve months leave from his Indian regiment and sent word to her to meet him at his hotel. The hotel confirmed that he was staying there, but they informed Miss Morstan that he had gone out and not returned. A few years after this disappearance an advertisement appeared in a paper asking for Miss Morstan to reveal her address. Upon the advice of her employer she did so and that same day she received a valuable pearl in the post. Since then she has received one pearl a year for the last six years. Miss Morstan has now received a letter which urges her to meet with the sender that night. The anonymous sender permits her to bring two friends as long as they are not police.


The Rajáh's diamond

Image source
The Rajáh's Diamond is the short story that R.L.Stevenson wrote and you are reading now.
Rajáh is the short form of Maharajah, that is an Indian prince.
here you have the story, you can read it and many others from the Internet archive, this is a digital library that gives you free access to lots of books, audio files and videos.

Enjoy exploring the library.


Merry Christmas!!

Christmas time is here again, listen to musicians from different countries and with different ways to understand music, singing along a Christmas song.  Playing for change tries to change the world through the power of music.
Click for the best Christmas songs that you have ever heard.
And the 50 best Christmas songs by the Guardian.
Fairytale of New York by the Pogues was voted the British favourite Christmas song.
Or maybe you prefer hip hop so watch Daniel Radcliffe version of the Blackalicious' tongue-twisting rap "Alphabet Aerobics."

Enjoy your holidays and have a great Christmas time.


Watch TV and learn English

Click on the image and follow the link.
The Internet is full of websites that can help you to learn English, many of them with videos that can be interesting and great fun at the same time.
Here you have some links:
BBC Learning English a classic website. Also in YouTube .

Ted Talks  Listen to some of the world’s most inspired thinkers and feel free to discuss and debate these ideas with some other people. If you do not understand, don't panic! they are subtitled in diferent languages (Of course, English too) and there is a transcription of all talks.

British Council  another classic website.
Learn English and feel good  is a website where you can watch a video and do some comprehension exercises.

Simple English videos  explore the different levels.
ESL video songs and documentaries with quizzes.

And if you want to review your grammar, try one of the English Grammar Games by Woodward English.


Babe a polite sheepdog

Babe is a nice pig who wants to become the perfect sheepdog, you can see that it is hard for Babe to lead the sheep, and the success comes when Babe moves the sheep with no force but politeness.

A request is asking another people to do something, if you do not want to be a rude person when you talk in English, you must try to be nice and polite when you make a request.

Here you have some nice ways to ask your friend to do something:

Can you
Will you
Could you 
pass me the dictionary, please?
would you mind helping me with my luggage ?

Click to listen to some examples by the BBC.
You usually use a modal verb to make a request: check the video by the British Council.
Watch this talk by Matt Cutts called "try something new for 30 days".
It is one of Ted's talks.

Would you like to try a new activity for the next 30 days?


The English alphabet

Image Source

Where do letters come from? Follow the link to learn about the origin of the English Alphabet.

Learn about its history here or go here.
How do they sound? check here, or  here if you prefer.
And the phonetic symbols for English. Remeber that Phonetics is the study of sounds. Here there is a wonderful website by Cambridge English..
Or transcribe your text into phonetics here.
And some tips about pronunciation by the BBC.
Some of you think that learning English is boring, watch the video by Mister Duncanand get some fun.


Sarah,Cynthia Sylvia Stout

A nice piece of poetry for the weekend by Shel Silverstein.

Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout -
She wouldn't take the garbage out
She'd wash the dishes and scrub the pans
And cook the yams and spice the hams
But though her parents would scream and shout
She wouldn't take the garbage out
So it piled up to the ceiling:
Coffee grounds, potato peelings
Brown bananas, rotten peas
Lumps of sour cottage cheese
Filled the can and covered the floor
And crapped the windows and blocked the door
With bacon rinds and chicken bones
And drippy ends of ice-cream cones
Pizza crusts and withered greens
Soggy beans and tangerines
Peach pips, prune pips, orange peel
Glumpy globs of cold oatmeal
Crusts of black burnt buttered toast
Grisly bits of beefy roast
The garbage rolled on down the hall
It raised the roof and broke the wall
With greasy napkins, cookie crumbs
Globs of gluey bubble gum
Cellophane from old balloni
Rubbery blubbery macaroni
Peanut butter caked and dried
Cuts of green and mouldy pie
Rotten melon skins and mustard
Egg shells mixed with lemon custard
Cold French fries, rancid meat
Yellow lumps of (ugh!) cream of wheat
At last the garbage reached so high
That finally it touched the sky
And none of her friends would come to play
And all the neighbours moved away
Finally Sarah Cynthia Stout said
O.k. - I'll take the garbage out
But then, of course it was too late
The garbage reached across the state
From New York to the Golden Gate
And there in the garbage she did hate
Poor Sarah met an awful fate
That I cannot right now relate
Because the hour is much too late
So, children, remember Sarah Stout -
And always take the garbage out
If you want to know the meaning of any word a dictionary.