November 27, 2016 at 11:29 pm | Posted in Complaining, Letter of complaint, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Letters of complaint

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When we buy goods, we expect things to work properly, but sometimes they don’t. When it is not possible to resolve the problem personally, then we should complain in writing. Usually it is a lot more effective.

In that case there are procedures to respect if we want to do things right.

As this is a formal letter, the layout has also  rigid norms to comply with.

The two most common formats are these two below. You can either start all the paragraphs on the left or put the sender’s address and the date on the right.

layoutformat formal-letter-layout-letter_layout












As for the content, your letter you should include the following:

  • describe what you purchased, as well as where and when,
  • explain why you are not happy with the purchase,
  • tell them what you would like them to do about the situation,
  • indicate a deadline for the resolution of the problem.



Look at this model:


Nowwriting2, try to write one yourself.  Imagine you have recently ordered an item through the Internet, but are not happy with the purchase. Write to the company.


When you finish, refer to the following link to compare the original with your letter.

Letter example


To brighten up things, watch the following videos and use them as an example of seriously funny way to make a complaint!



Relative clauses

November 25, 2016 at 5:52 pm | Posted in Relative Clauses, relatives | Leave a comment
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Relatives are a good way of connecting ideas and avoid repetitions. There are pronouns and adverbs and the clauses that carry them can be divided in two major groups: defining and non-defining, depending on their role.



Defining relative clauses

The young teacher, who graduated from the same university I did, gave a wonderful presentation.

Stratford-on-Avon, about which many people have written, is Shakespeare’s birthplace.

Doctors use a new testing kit for screening lung and stomach cancers, which account for 70% of cancers treated in the western world.

She’s studying to become a doctor, which is difficult.

Summing up the differences:



Relative clauses & prepositionsrelative-prep2

If the verb in the relative clause takes a preposition, we may put it at the end of the clause or at the beginning, but that can cause some changes in the sentence:


For example: talk to / work with / apply for / complain about / listen to

  •  The shop assistant (who or whom / that) he talked to on that day had been recently hired.
  • He couldn’t forget the music (that/which) he had listened to.
  • He got the job (that/which) he had applied for.
  • Stratford-on-Avon, which many people have written about, is Shakespeare’s birthplace.


  • The shop assistant to whom he talked on that they had been recently hired. (more formal)
  • Stratford-on-Avon, about which many people have written, is Shakespeare’s birthplace.

Note: In that case that can’t be used.

Shall we try some exercises now?

Exercise 1

Exercise 2

Exercise 3

Exercise 4

Exercise 5


Marketing & Advertising

November 23, 2016 at 10:57 pm | Posted in Advertising, Consumerism, Marketing, Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Advertising is almost as old as humankind. From the ancient Egyptian papyrus messages to the current neon lights advertising has changed a lot. Yet, the goals are basically the same: to make you aware of a certain product, to remind you of its existence and lead you to some sort of action.



Advertising has a lot of influence upon our lives. Owing to that, we all should know a little about its techniques and tricks.

Wherever you find them and whatever the medium used advertising tends to make us move towards a final action  using four basic steps  known as AIDA. This acronym stands for attention or awareness, interest, desire and action which usually means acquiring the product, joining the organisation, etc.




How does this model apply to the ads or adverts we see in print or online?

Look at this this  online page. Words and images lead us to the same goal: the call to action button.



Print ads usually display four main elements: the headline, the illustration, the copy and the signature.

The signature usually consists of a logo,  a slogan or tagline and a contact.




Now try to find  the same elements in the following advert:




Is any of these elements missing?

  • Headline?
  • Illustration?
  • Copy?
  • Logo?
  • Slogan?
  • What about the strategy used here? Find your answer below.


To make you buy, marketeers use all sorts of strategies. Take a look at this list and try to identify some ads they may apply to.


If you want to create your own ad in four quick steps, follow this link and you’ll see an instant commercial:











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