Paco travels to South Africa: Paco used to wear a mac in England


In this topic, we will study, on the one hand, another frequently used tense in English, the Past Simple in contrast with the Present Simple. We will also study several important aspects related to English adjectives such as their position not only in the sentence but also in the nominal phrase, since the order of adjectives in attributive position (before a noun) is more fixed in English than in other languages.

On the other hand, we will begin studying vowel sounds in English, as it is very important that you improve your pronunciation, too. Come on, let's begin the topic!

Icono IDevice Listening activity
Paco has had a shower after that terrible dream in which Andrés and he were about to parachute. It is really hot in the room of the hotel. The weather is so different from that in the United Kingdom! There Paco used to wear a mac because it rained quite a lot. Here, on the contrary, it rarely rains. The climate is completely different! It is also different in the United States! After looking through the window, he switches on his laptop to netsurf for a while before leaving the hotel and remembers a story a man told in a documentary about tornadoes on TV in the United States...


By PZmaps. C. Commons
I remember it was a very hot, steamy day. We had a football championship and we had to play in the afternoon. I was 13 years old and a very forgetful boy, so I forgot to bring my soccer shoes along. I remember the coach got very angry and made me play barefoot. I was the goalkeeper. My team was winning the game. From the place I stood, completely bored and sweating, I could perfectly see the the thunderclouds swelling on the horizon.
By ignis. C. Commons
The sky started to get darker and darker. We all knew that thunderstorms could blow in very quickly on summer days in that part of the country, but even so, we were surprised at how soon it started to rain. In a few minutes, it was pouring and lightning strikes were so close to our field that the referee decided to stop the game temporarily.
The sports facilities didn't include changing rooms, so my teammates and I were huddling in a canvas tent near the field waiting for the storm to pass. Suddenly, we saw a kind of funnel coming down from the clouds. We didn't know what that was and asked the coach. He seemed very worried when he said a tornado was forming. The funnel became bigger and longer and it spun tight and fast toward the ground until it touched down on the football field. A few miles away, another tornado started to drop from the clouds, too.
By Prescott. C. Commons
Our parents ran towards us as soon as they realized what was happening. We could see some chairs, blankets and football bags flying. When our parents arrived, they grabbed their kids and ran in completely different directions. The cars were too far away and there was no time to think, so we ran towards a bridge we saw in a park half a mile away.
We reached the bridge and crouched under it. My father breathed a sigh of relief. My mother was almost crying when a flash of lightning struck a bench on the right side of the park. The tornado came closer until it was just across the field. I could see every detail of its twisting body. Now I think tornadoes are interesting as they seemed to be in that film in which a group of people researched into them... What was its title?... ah! Twister.
Well, the bridge seemed safe. The wind blew fiercely. I remember being terrified but also thinking that the two tornadoes were the most surprising things I’d ever seen.
And then, in the same way it came, the tornado shrank and disappeared into the clouds. The rain stopped and the clouds loosened. It was amazing to see how the sun came out and dried our clothes as we walked to the car, tired and excited but happy to be safe and really grateful for the experience we had undergone.

Read the whole passage very carefully paying as much attention as possible to the verb tenses and adjectives used. We will use the passage very frequently throughout the topic!

Pregunta Verdadero-Falso
Say if the following sentences are true or false and copy the sentences that jusfify your answer.

By Giampaolo Squarcina. C. Commons
1. ... the game was cancelled.

Verdadero Falso

2. ... the narrator was very hot because he was running a lot.

Verdadero Falso

3. ... all the people there knew what to do.

Verdadero Falso

4. ... the narrator enjoyed the experience very much.

Verdadero Falso
Icono IDevice Further knowledge

Do you remember Mike? He helped you in the first two topics and he will continue helping you improve your pronunciation. Ask him how to pronounce words, phrases or, even, whole sentences. Come back whenever you need him.


Icono IDevice Curiosity
By Madeira. C. Commons

Thunderstorms occur throughout the world, but did you know that they are very frequent in tropical rainforest areas? In these areas there may be a thunderstorm every day! Two cities in Africa have been considered as the places where thunderstorms are more frequent on Earth. They are Kampala and Tororo. The former is the largest and capital city of Uganda, the latter is in Uganda, too, near Kenya. If you want to know more about thunderstorms, click here.

Climate, as Paco knows, is very different from a place to another. Did you know that the terms climate and weather are completely different. Paco knows it perfectly because one of the subjects he has studied at University is Geography... Have a look here to know in which way they are different and get to know some of the things Paco knows about the subject!

Did you like the beginning of the topic? We really hope so! Now we have introduced it, let's study deeply the tense that the narrator of the story uses, the Past Simple tense! Come on, go on to next section!