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sábado, 16 de julho de 2011

My Trips - 4


When in Australia you are likely to encounter animals you will not find elsewhere: kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, wombats, Tasmanian Devils, fruit bats, sea snakes, red back spiders, among many others. This country is made up of a huge desert that occupies something like 80% of its territory. The remote desert is called "The Outback." You will probably find the most beautiful beaches in a trip to the North Coast (Golden Coast), where the Great Barrier Reef is located. I spent two years in Sydney, between 1998 and 2000.

 The 12 Apostles - Great Ocean Road



Tasmanian Devil

Fruit Bat

Sea Snake

Red Back Spider


Modal Verb - CAN

Modal Verb

Can is an auxiliary verb, a modal auxiliary verb. We use can to:
  • talk about possibility and ability
  • make requests
  • ask for or give permission

Structure of Can

subject + can + main verb
The main verb is always the bare infinitive (infinitive without "to").

subjectauxiliary verbmain verb
Notice that:
  • Can is invariable. There is only one form of can.
  • The main verb is always the bare infinitive.
The main verb is always the bare infinitive (infinitive without "to"). We cannot say:

Use of Can

can: Possibility and Ability

We use can to talk about what is possible, what we are able or free to do:
  • She can drive a car.
  • John can speak Spanish.
  • I cannot hear you. (I can't hear you.)
  • Can you hear me?
Normally, we use can for the present. But it is possible to use can when we make present decisions about future ability.
  1. Can you help me with my homework? (present)
  2. Sorry. I'm busy today. But I can help you tomorrow. (future)

can: Requests and Orders

We often use can in a question to ask somebody to do something. This is not a real question - we do not really want to know if the person is able to do something, we want them to do it! The use of can in this way is informal (mainly between friends and family):
  • Can you make a cup of coffee, please.
  • Can you put the TV on.
  • Can you come here a minute.
  • Can you be quiet!

can: Permission

We sometimes use can to ask or give permission for something:
  1. Can I smoke in this room?
  2. You can't smoke here, but you can smoke in the garden.
(Note that we also use could, may, might for permission. The use of can for permission is informal.)

"Can" is one of the most commonly used modal verbs in English. It can be used to express ability or opportunity, to request or offer permission, and to show possibility or impossibility.
  • I can ride a horse. ability
  • We can stay with my brother when we are in Paris. opportunity
  • She cannot stay out after 10 PM. permission
  • Can you hand me the stapler? request
  • Any child can grow up to be president. possibility

Using "Can" in Present, Past, and Future

Most modal verbs behave quite irregularly in the past and the future. Study the chart below to learn how "can" behaves in different contexts.
Modal Use Positive Forms
1. = Present   2. = Past  
3. = Future
Negative Forms
1. = Present   2. = Past  
3. = Future
You can also use:
general ability
1. I can speak Chinese. 2. SHIFT TO "COULD"
I could speak Chinese when I was a kid.
I will be able to speak Chinese by the time I finish my course.
1. I can't speak Swahili. 2. SHIFT TO "COULD"
I couldn't speak Swahili.
I won't be able to speak Swahili.
be able to
ability during a specific event
1. With a burst of adrenaline, people can pick up cars. 2. SHIFT TO "BE ABLE TO"
With a sudden burst of adrenaline, he was able to lift the car off the child's leg.
With a sudden burst of adrenaline, he will be able to lift the car.
1. Even with a burst of adrenaline, people can't pick up something that heavy. 2. SHIFT TO "BE ABLE TO"
Even the weight lifter, couldn't lift the car off the child's leg.
Even three men working together won't be able to lift the car.
be able to
1. I have some free time. I can help her now. 2. SHIFT TO "BE ABLE TO"
I had some free time yesterday. I was able to help her at that time.
3. I'll have some free time tomorrow. I can help her then.
1. I don't have any time. I can't help her  now. 2. SHIFT TO "BE ABLE TO"
I didn't have time yesterday. I wasn't able to help her at that time.
3. I won't have any time later. I can't help her then.
be able to
1. I can drive Susan's car when she is out of town. 2. SHIFT TO "BE ALLOWED TO "
I was allowed to drive Susan's car while she was out of town last week.
3. I can drive Susan's car while she is out of town next week.
1. I can't drive Susan's car when she is out of town. 2. SHIFT TO "BE ALLOWED TO "
I wasn't allowed to drive Susan's car while she was out of town last week.
3. I can't drive Susan's car while she is out of town next week.
Can I have a glass of water? Can you give me a lift to school?
Requests usually refer to the near future.
Can't I have a glass of water? Can't you give me a lift to school?
Requests usually refer to the near future.
could, may
possibility, impossibility
Anyone can become rich and famous if they know the right people. Learning a language can be a real challenge.
This use is usually a generalization or a supposition.
It can't cost more than a dollar or two. You can't be 45! I thought you were about 18 years old.
This use is usually a generalization or a supposition.

Grammar Tips - Make x Do


We use the verb 'do' when someone performs an action, activity or task.
do a crossword
do the ironing do the laundry do the washing
'Do' is often used when referring to work of any kind.
do your work do homework
do houseworkdo your job
Use the verb 'do'
when speaking about things in general. In other words, to describe an
action without saying exactly what the action is. This form is often
used with the words 'something, nothing, anything, everything, etc.'
I'm not doing anything today.
He does everything for his mother. She's doing nothing.
Common Examples:

  • DO BUSINESS = negociar
  • DO THE DISHES = lavar a louça
  • DO GOOD = fazer o bem
  • DO HARM = prejudicar
  • DO HOMEWORK = fazer o dever de casa
  • DO ONE’S BEST = dar o melhor de si
  • DO RESEARCH = fazer pesquisa
  • DO A FAVOR = fazer um favor
  • DO WELL = ter sucesso
  • DO YOUR BEST = dar o máximo de si

We use the verb make for constructing, building or creating
make a dress
make food make a cup of tea / coffee
Make is often used when referring to preparing food of any kind.
make a meal - breakfast / lunch / dinner

Common Examples:

  • MAKE A DECISION = tomar uma decisão
  • MAKE A MISTAKE = cometer um erro
  • MAKE A NOISE = fazer um ruído
  • MAKE A PHONE CALL = dar um telefonema
  • MAKE A PROFIT = lucrar
  • MAKE A PROMISE = fazer uma promessa
  • MAKE A SUGGESTION = dar uma sugestão
  • MAKE AN ATTEMPT = fazer uma tentativa
  • MAKE AN EFFORT = fazer um esforço
  • MAKE AN EXCEPTION = abrir uma exceção
  • MAKE AN OFFER = fazer uma oferta
  • MAKE ARRANGEMENTS = organizar, planejar
  • MAKE COFFEE = fazer café
  • MAKE FRIENDS = fazer amigos
  • MAKE LOVE = fazer amor
  • MAKE THE MOST OF = aproveitar ao máximo
Make x Do - Qual a Diferença e Como Usar?

"Fazer" ou "Fazer"? - Eis a Questão!

Esta é uma pergunta comum: quando usar o verbo "to do" e o verbo "to make", se os dois significam "fazer"? Qual a diferença? 
Antes de nos acostumarmos com as sutilezas da língua inglesa, e portanto adquirir fluência, a confusão entre "do" e "make" é bem comum.
Eis a resposta:
  • Use "do" quando o "fazer" no contexto significar execução, realização, deselvolvimento de ação.
  • Use "make" quando o "fazer" no contexto significar criação, elaboração, fabricação, transformação num processo.

Estude os exemplos e compare com a teoria acima:

  • I'll do my best to not be late. 
Farei o melhor para não me atrasar. Este "farei"  não tem sentido de "criação" - e sim de execução. Eu vou agir (desenvolver ação) da melhor forma para não me atrasar. Podemos considerar que seja um "fazer" abstrato, pois não implica em transformação de matéria.
Compare com:
  • You make the best chocolate cake in the world!
Você faz o melhor bolo de chocolate do mundo!  Este "faz" tem sentido de "criação/fabricação", e não de execução abstrata. Você 'cria' uma matéria diferente quando mistura os ingredientes do bolo. Existe uma transformação. É como fabricar algo: você usa a matéria prima e transforma em outra coisa. Quando existe esse processo de transformação, use 'make'.

A dica para lembrar a diferença entre "do" e "make" é:
lembre-se da frase que o mundo inteiro conhece:
"Made in China"
Se o "fazer" da sua frase tiver o mesmo sentido do "fazer" de "Feito na China" (FABRICADO/CRIADO) ou implicar em transformação de uma coisa em outra (matéria, sentimento, emoção), então o verbo é "make" (made in the past tense).

Mais exemplos:
This dress was made by a renowned tailor in France. (o vestido foi fabricado/criado).
I make coffee every morning.  (eu crio o café através do processo de mistura de água e pó de café - existe uma transformação).
I do thirty push-ups per day. (eu deselvolvo, executo trinta flexões por dia, eu não "crio" ou fabrico as flexões). 
I'll make this call, and then you please tell me what to do next.
To make a call (fazer uma ligação telefônica) é criação, pois você transforma a situação - você tecla um número e algo acontece do outro lado. Há um processo de transformação entre um estado A (não comunicação) para um estado B (telefone tocando, comunicação).
Já quando eu falo a você o que fazer (tell you what to doé no sentido de o que você vai executar, que tipo de ação vai tomar. I'll tell you how to act, what to perform. Não fabricamos atos de comportamento, e sim os executamos, desenvolvemos.
I'll tell you what to do (como agir) and how to make the best of your studies! (como criar a melhor produtividade para seus estudos)
You make me happy. Existe uma transformação em fazer feliz. Se você me faz feliz, eu passo de um estado emocional (e até físico) X para um estado Y. Você não "executa" me fazer feliz, você "cria uma transformação" quando me faz feliz.
Would you do me a favor? (fazer um favor é execução de algum ato, não a fabricação)
I'm sorry I am making you cry! (transformação de estado)

Did I make things clear or do you need more help? 

Obs.: O "do" nesta frase acima, bem como o "did", são apenas verbos auxiliares aqui, necessários na pergunta. Não têm função de verbo fazer.


Song of the Week - Australian Music

Down Under
by Men at Work

The Dead Heart
by Midnight Oil

For the lyrics in Portuguese/English of this song, go to:

Recipe of the Week - Ratatouille

Summer Ratatouille


  • 2 onion, sliced into thin rings
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium eggplant, cubed
  • 2 zucchini, cubed
  • 2 medium yellow squash, cubed
  • 2 green bell peppers, seeded and cubed
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 chopped red bell pepper
  • 4 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
  • 120 ml olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 g chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoon of the oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 1 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and saute the zucchini in batches until slightly browned on all sides. Remove the zucchini and place in the pot with the onions and garlic.
  3. Saute all the remaining vegetables one batch at a time, adding 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet each time you add a new set of vegetables. Once each batch has been sauteed add them to the large pot as was done in step 2.
  4. Season with salt and pepper. Add the bay leaf and thyme and cover the pot. Cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes and parsley to the large pot, cook another 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  6. Remove the bay leaf and adjust seasoning.

Book of the Week - Sherlock Holmes

The Hound of the Bakersvilles
by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Hound of the Baskervilles is the third of four crime novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle featuring the detective Sherlock Holmes. Originally serialised in The Strand Magazine from August 1901 to April 1902, it is set largely on Dartmoor in Devon in England's West Country and tells the story of an attempted murder inspired by the legend of a fearsome, diabolical hound.

To read this book, click on the following link for a PDF version:

To listen to this audiobook, click on this link:

To watch the other parts of this movie, go to: