Biography (biografia): Oscar Wilde

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En más de una ocasión se pide a los alumnos que redacten un texto, una biografía, o cuenten una historia. Vamos a introducir un fragmento de la biografía de uno de los escritores más importantes de la lengua inglesa a modo de ejemplo para quienes tienen que desarrollar esta tarea.

One of the most famous ever writers in the English language was Oscar Wilde. He was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1854 and he wrote plays, short stories and novels. He studied at Trinity College Dublin and later Oxford University in England. During the second half of the nineteenth century he was one of the first ever celebrities and he lived a glamorous lifestyle in Victorian London.

Most people agree that Oscar Wilde´s most famous work was “The Importance of Being Earnest”  first performed in theatres in London in 1895. People say that it is one of the best examples of Victorian literature and it is still popular today.

However he lived a very excessive lifestyle and by the end of the 1800s he was in jail and had no money. One of the most famous men of his generation died with few friends in a small room in Paris.

Always famous for his humour one of Oscar Wilde´s last sentences was; “Either this wallpaper goes or I do”


The past simple tense is very useful in English for events that have finished in the past. For example a biography of a person (in this case Oscar Wilde) will use the past simple tense frequently.

Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin.
He studied at Oxford University.
He lived a very excessive lifestyle.

Other examples could be:

Bill Clinton was the President of the United States.
I ate breakfast this morning.

Very often this past simple tense is formed by putting ed at the end of a verb.

Work becomes worked.
Help becomes helped.
Play becomes played.

However many verbs have irregular past simple forms (write, see, go, be).

Recuerden que, el simple past, es fantástico para contar historias. Uno de los mejores narradores de historias en tiempos modernos es Bob Dylan, quien no sólo es famoso por su música sino por su habilidad para contar historias a través de ella.  Les recomendamos buscar la letra de la canción “Tangled Up in Blue” para reconocer esta habilidad en sus letras.

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