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Confusing words & expressions
Adjectives and adverbs
'actually', 'in fact' and 'well'
Yukki from Japan writes: Could you please tell me the difference between actually, in fact and well? I think all of them can be used to correct the previous utterance. Is there any difference between them? They are all very similar, but there are also slight differences in use. actually / in fact Both actually and in fact can be used to modify or contradict a previous statement: I hear that you're a doctor. ~ Well, actually, I'm a dentist. Well, it may sound very straightforward to you, but in fact it's all very complicated. Would you agree with me that teachers should refrain from socialising with their students? ~ Well, actually I think it's a good idea for them to socialise - up to a certain point! Actually and in fact can also be used to introduce more detailed information or to make things clearer or more precise: I'm going to take on a bit more responsibility now that Kevin's left ~ John, that's wonderful news. ~ Yes, well, actually / in fact I've been promoted to senior sales manager. I got so bored listening to what he was saying that I actually fell asleep / in fact I fell asleep half way through his presentation. Note that we can also use in actual fact or as a matter of fact to clarify matters or to introduce new information: I got so bored with what he was saying that in actual fact / as a matter of fact I dozed off before he'd finished speaking. Actually is sometimes used to introduce unwelcome news: Richard wants to invite us to spend the weekend at his cottage in the Lake District. Isn't that exciting? ~ Well, actually, I've already said we can't go.
Note that when actually is placed at the end of the clause, it confirms news that others do not expect: I don't suppose you've posted my letters, have you? ~ I have, actually. Did you enjoy that modern opera at Covent Garden? ~ I did, actually. Very much. well Well is more widely used as a discourse marker than in fact or actually. As we can see from the examples above and below it is very widely used to indicate that we are about to say something. It is sometimes used to give the speaker more time to think: So how much do you want for your 1999 Renault? ~ Well, I was thinking of £2,500. So how do you propose to furnish the house? ~ Well, I thought we might invest in some second-hand furniture. Well is also used to introduce a statement which indicates that expectations have not been fulfilled: You know I said I thought I might go skiing with Jamie this year? Well, I'm not going to now. How was the tennis lesson? ~ Well, in actual fact, we forgot to go. Well can also be used to soften corrections or criticism: You live in South Kensington, don't you? Well, Pimlico, actually. You do like my yellow dress, don't you? ~ Well, yes, it's quite nice. But I think the blue one would have suited you more. Why didn't you give Bob a lift back home? ~ Well, how was I supposed to know he was at the match? I couldn't find my way to the music centre. ~ Well, why didn't you ask me? Well can also serve to introduce important information: You know I've been seeing a lot of Eddie lately? ~ Hmm. ~ Well, we're going to get engaged. Oh well! If you say oh well, you are saying that you accept the situation as it is, even though you are not very happy about it: I'm afraid you'll have to pull out of the trip to Greece. ~ Oh well, it doesn't matter. I'm afraid I forget to save that document and now I've lost it. ~ Oh well, it can't be helped. I'll just have to re-type it.
Adjective order I tried to answer latest Quiznet programme on your site of adjective order. I found it a bit tricky and difficult, so could you please give me any help of this matter. And Belen says: May I ask which the correct order in adjectives is? Hi Pasan and hello Belen! When we use two or more adjectives together to describe a noun, the order we put them in is quite important. For example, we don't usually say an old Indian beautiful carpet. It sounds much better say a beautiful old Indian carpet. As a general rule, adjectives are usually placed in this order: opinion > size > quality > age > shape > colour > participle forms > origin > material type > purpose The phrase a beautiful old Indian carpet follows these guidelines: 1 quality beautiful 4 age old 8 origin Indian
You don't have to include an example of every type of adjective, but the ones you do use should follow the order. So if you wanted to add red and green to the phrase a beautiful old Indian carpet, you would put it between old and Indian like this: 1 opinion beautiful 4 age old 6 8 colour origin red and green Indian
It sometimes helps to remember the order of adjective if you consider that adjectives whose meaning is closely, or permanently, connected to the noun are placed nearer to it in the sentence. So in this phrase: a large comfortable wooden chair – wooden has a very close connection with chair . 2 size a large 3 quality comfortable 10 material type wooden
Here are some more examples: 3 7 quality participle noun a new improved recipe 1 3 10 opinion quality type an old-fashioned romantic candle-lit
noun dinner for two
comfortable cushion. especially if their meanings seem contradictory. They do not always follow this pattern. 2 size small 3 quality tasty a but noun meal If we use 2 adjectives that are similar in meaning. you can see that the most common position for adverbials is at the end of the sentence Place adverbials (here in this house) come before time adverbials (for over twenty years). adverbial phrase or adverbial clause which gives us additional information about e. An adverbial is an adverb. if it was important to highlight it at this stage in the discourse: • When the earthquake struck. 5 . From these examples.Sometimes we can use but between adjectives. We were sleeping peacefully in our beds when the earthquake struck. Pasan and Belen! Catherine Adverbials A group a Spanish learners of English have written with the following question: Hello! We are Spanish students and we want to find out all we can about adverbials in English with explanations and examples. Thus. or manner of the action which is described in the rest of the sentence: • • We have been living here in this house for over twenty years.g. we were sleeping peacefully in our beds. we usually put the shorter one first: a soft. adverbials answer questions such as: Where? How often? When? How long? How? How much? Why? Where did you arrange to meet him? ~ I arranged to meet him outside the bank. In the above example we could begin with the adverbial clause. place. the time. Manner adverbials (peacefully) come before place adverbials (in our beds). I hope that's answered your interesting English questions. This applies particularly to adverbial clauses.
I left work early so that I could catch the 4. How long did you wait for him? I waited for half an hour but he didn't arrive. but occasionally I call my younger sister. We moved to Cornwall because we wanted to live in the countryside. usually. since. provided (that). we played cards. After we had eaten. as soon as because. When did you first meet him? We first met when he became the manager of the bank.30 train. I finished work early in order to catch the 4. we decided to move to the south west. He shook my hand warmly as if / as though he had known me for years. in case We served drinks as soon as our friends arrived. As the winters in the north east can be quite harsh. We get together once in a blue moon.Why did you arrange to meet him there? So that he could give me the money. adverbial clauses A wide variety of different conjunctions are used to initiate adverbial clauses which function as the adverbial part of a main clause. as so that. nowadays most retire when they are in their fifties. after. Whereas in the 70s and 80s most men worked until they were 60 or 65. whereas as if. Placing them before the subject is sometimes also possible: • • • I sometimes call on my younger sister when I'm in London I never see my older sister. as well as at end-position. as though if. Yes I see her from time to time. When I arrived home I went to see Joan although it was very late. Note from the above examples that adverbs of frequency are often placed in midposition in the sentence. if his wife was away. in order to although. How often have you been seeing him since then? Once a week. • • • 6 . so long as. Some of the most common are listed below: time: reason: purpose: contrast: comparison: condition: • • when. More frequently.30 train. before.
appropriado. they describe the quality of something .i. wear under this or when we talk about weather conditions. lively. e.g. suitable and adequate. As you suggest. suited to a purpose. in case you get hungry. for example. I understand that in English you have three different words with different usages. they carry the meaning of 'fitted.e. provided / so long as you return it by seven o' clock in the evening. like this: • • How did they sleep? ~ They slept peacefully How well does she dance ~ She dances sublimely But common exceptions include: hard • • • fast straight late He worked hard in order to pass the exam He was driving straight at me and I ran very fast to get out of his way. which is used to talk about manners and something that is fitted to a purpose. Note also that adjectives that end in -ly. cannot form the adverb by adding another -ly as this would be impossible to pronounce. friendly.• You can borrow my car on Saturday. Most of them do. We use this word when we refer to social rules and behaviour and when we talk about what one should. although appropriate is perhaps more commonly used in this way. we have one word. especially with 7 . Instead some other way must be found: • He behaved in such a silly way I was ashamed of him Surprisingly. they were dancing in a very lively manner at the over 60s disco.' They are both placed as modifiers before nouns and they are both used as complements after the verb be. adjectives: appropriate/suitable and adequate/sufficient/enough Rosana Mendes Campos from Brazil writes: In Portuguese. lovely silly. namely appropriate. adverbs of manner Note that not all adverbs of manner which answer the question How…? end in -ly. Take a packed lunch with you. Could you please explain and illustrate the differences in use of these three words in English? appropriate ~ suitable Appropriate and suitable are both qualitative adjectives . There was a power failure earlier today and the trains are all running late now.and are very similar in meaning and usage.
50 an hour . There was easily enough food for every one. nearly? Many thanks in advance.was barely adequate to raise a family on. There was insufficient evidence to convict him of house-breaking. sufficient and enough are slightly different in meaning. Could you please explain the difference in usage of approximately. Does this dress suit me? ~ Oh yes. The rate of pay £5. The supply of seats was quite inadequate. If something is adequate. but it certainly wasn't generous. It was an appropriate thing to do. It is a very violent film and is considered unsuitable/inappropriate for children to watch. these words are known as degree adverbs and one of the 8 . There was a sufficient amount of food. They are both used with the preposition for and are often used with negative prefixes. He is just not suited to/suitable for this type of work. If there is sufficient quantity of something. His answer to the question was adequate but it wasn't developed sufficiently to gain high marks. The action taken to combat the spread of malaria was quite inadequate. I wonder why you asked this question – are you by any chance writing a report?! All of the words you list above are adverbs which describe a quantity or variation in quantity.. Such small flats are not really suitable for couples with young children. Approximately / Roughly / About / Nearly Dear Sirs. Study the following examples: • • • • • • • The pay was adequate. The Prime Minister gave an inadequate reply to the journalist's question. there is enough of it. Well.Samad Hi Samad. roughly. about. Usage of these adjectives often denotes quantity rather than quality. Study the following examples: • • • • • • • • It is inappropriate to make jokes at funerals. I'm glad you praised him for that. It was inappropriate for her to joke with the Queen in such a light-hearted manner. There were not enough seats for all the guests. whereas appropriate and suitable suggest a qualitative response to something. The adjectival form suitable (for) sometimes crops us in the verb format suited (to).the pronoun it. this suggests that there is as much of it as you need. adequate ~ sufficient ~ enough Adequate. The clothes she was wearing were quite unsuitable/inappropriate for the cold weather. it does. And it's very suitable/appropriate for formal occasions. but only just enough. It is unsuitable/inappropriate accommodation.
And I’m going to start with the adverb which is more formal in tone. So. it took about four hours to get to my aunt’s house. nearly or about in everyday situations and the rest of my explanation will look at the use of these three adverbs. Because the traffic was bad. By about five o’clock. And interestingly. Jane told me that she spends nearly one-third of her salary on rent. about. In conversation. Approximately. If it takes me nearly ten minutes to walk to the station. we often use about when talking about time: Shall we meet at about seven o’clock? He says he’ll be here in about five minutes. Just listen to these examples: Approximately half of the residents in the survey stated that they agreed with the government’s plan to reduce traffic in the city centre. which would affect the times you use them. such as Books and newspapers were spread about all over the room. because they’re familiar with its use in prepositional phrases. Police say that the main suspect charged in the case escaped from custody approximately twelve days ago. but if you’re writing a report it’d be usual to enter the actual figures or percentages in brackets. It’s not impossible to use approximately in speech. because nearly means ‘almost’. which is approximately. nearly and roughly are most usually used to modify measurements or quantities. it means that she spends just under one-third. the library was deserted. I guess there’ll be roughly thirty people going to the party tonight. we often talk about distances in terms of time: 9 . Nearly is slightly different to roughly and about. About can be confusing for learners when they first see it as a degree adverb. if Jane spends nearly one-third of her salary on rent. If we said roughly or about. her rent could be slightly more or slightly less than one-third.differences between the words you mention is their degree of formality. you’ll realise that these examples could be part of an academic paper or an official report. or ‘not quite’. so: Roughly half (53%) of the children in the study could not identify the US on a map of the world. It’s possible to interchange roughly and about in each of these four sentences with the same meaning. All of these adverbs could be used in writing too. I think Samad. it means it takes me not quite ten minutes. but you’d be far more likely to use roughly.
can we say I can swim as well as cook well? I think it all depends on whether it is used as part of an adverbial phrase when making comparisons. you are stating that you can do both these things to an equal degree of proficiency. but when it got dark.' 'Richardson was as good an actor as Gieldgud (was). the '-ing' form in the verb which follows is required: • 'As well as playing tennis with Steve three times during the week. It’s about three hours on the train to London. but I did as much as I could to make him comfortable. Well. in which case the '-ing' pattern is required. in which case the infinitive or simple form of the verb is the norm. When we use as well as .' 'The Irish played as well as the Scots but didn't convert as many attempts on goal. Let us compare the two usages: as + adj + as + clause/phrase as + adv + as + clause/phrase For example: • • • • • • 'I saw as many as three thousand people at the concert. Samad.' 'Please come as quickly as you can. My father is very ill. thank you for your question. is that if you say: 'I can swim as well as cook well'.' Note that if an adjective is placed between as and the noun. you are stating that these are two things that you can do.' 'He was badly injured. What is interesting in your example. I think that’s about all I have to say about these adverbs! 'As well as' and 'in addition to' Van Anh from Vietnam asks: My question is: what is followed by as well as? For example. whereas if you say: 'I can swim as well as I can cook'.' 'I waited for as long as I dared. or whether it is used as a conjunction introducing clauses of comparison and similar in meaning to in addition to. a / an must be placed after the adjective. Van Anh. I (also) play badminton with my wife at the weekend.as a subordinating conjunction.similar in meaning and usage to in addition to .' 10 . I went home.I live about half an hour out of town.
' ( = As well as eating out. It was his boss wanting to know why he wasn’t at work. and went to the cinema as well. Please clear up my confusion. I don't mind cooking for twelve people on Easter Sunday. Note that both as well and too must be used at the end of the sentence: • • • 'We enjoyed a rare night out last night. It is also used in the expression beside the point when referring to something that is not relevant to the subject under discussion: • 'Modern art isn’t really art at all!' 'That’s beside the point when so many young people respond to it with such interest. Both are more emphatic forms of if and are used to introduce conditions: • • 'As long as you promise to help me. similar in meaning to 'next to'.) 'We eat well here in Sardinia. for they are different in meaning and usage. beside Beside is a preposition. provided I can have my own room at the hotel. we (also) went to the cinema. 'lying'.' Note here that the adverb as well is similar in meaning to as well as and is often used as an alternative to too.' 'I'll join you on this skiing holiday. You can’t miss it!' 'We were lying beside the pool when the phone rang. 'at the side of' or 'by': • • 'Where is the apple orchard?' 'It’s right beside the main road.D. 'as well as' or 'apart from': 11 .' Note the special use of as long as which is similar in meaning and use to provided that. They regard it as art.' 'beside' / 'besides' and 'toward' / 'towards' Sanjay Khumar Bhola from India asks: I often confuse the difference between beside and besides.' 'My wife is a chemist and both her parents were chemists as well.' It is often used with verbs such as 'standing'. It is quite important not to confuse them. We ate at Luigi's. 'sitting'. dissertation. The wine is excellent too.' besides Besides is a preposition. meaning 'in addition to'.• 'In addition to working on his Ph. he (also) translates articles for The Weekly Review.
utterly Utterly doesn't go with excited because if you are excited about something that is normally a positive emotion and both utter and utterly (meaning 12 . I've got so much to do.' 'There are always more mosquitoes in the air toward evening. The only slight difference in usage is that toward is perhaps more characteristic of American English and towards more usual in British English. Besides. 'furthermore' or 'anyway'. but I don't think you would repeat busy with in your reply. Have you noticed?' Busy 'with' or 'about' Pierre from Malaysia writes: 'What are you busy with?' or 'What are you busy about?' Which sentence is correct? I have not heard 'What are you busy about?' before and find it unnatural.' Besides also functions as an adverb. if you were a university lecturer. Adverb/adjective collocations: utterly excited? Why can't you say utterly excited? Thank you. he’s far too young to think of getting married. Instead. it’s starting to rain. as in: 'I was busy ironing when Jeremy arrived. I can re-assure all of you that these prepositions can be used quite interchangeably and that there is no difference in meaning. We shall never finish before dark. Besides.towards What about towards and toward? One of my own students was worried that there might be similar pitfalls in store for her when using these prepositions. It is often used to introduce an afterthought. 'What are you busy with?' as in 'What are you busy with this morning?' is fine as a question. meaning 'as well'.• • 'What exam subjects are you taking besides English and maths?' 'Were there any boys at the party besides Matt and Dillon?' It can also introduce a participial phrase: • 'Besides bruising his face. Well. Consider these examples: • • 'It’s too late to start a round of golf now. he cut his lip and bloodied his nose. you might say: 'Oh.' No preposition is then required. Toward or towards means 'in the direction of': • • 'Can you see that light over there?' 'I think it’s coming towards us.' toward .' 'He doesn’t have very much money and he doesn’t have very many prospects. utter . I've got essays to mark and reports to write and then I've got to go to the Dean's reception before lunch!' You often use busy directly with the present participle.
They had no means of support and were utterly dependent on their parents. dreadful. complete .completely Complete and completely are much more neutral and can be used in positive. 13 . Note that the adjective terrible (meaning horrible. which adverbs go best with excited? terrible .: What's wrong? You look terrible.terribly One of the most common adverbs used with excited is terribly. is an utter waste of time. Dozens of homes have been completely destroyed in the floods. despite the flexibility of this adjective/adverb. His sudden death came as a terrible shock to the entire family. ~ I'm in terrible pain. Children in Britain get terribly excited on Christmas morning when they come down to open their presents. then you are a complete and utter fool. especially at Christmas.complete/completely) have negative meanings and are used only in negative contexts: To say that we'll be landing on Jupiter in 2010 is utter nonsense. neutral and negative contexts: Jon has sent me ten red roses and that has come as a complete surprise. The children were terribly upset when their pet dalmation puppy died. awful) can only be used in negative contexts but the adverb terribly can describe extreme behaviour in both negative and positive contexts. He has lied to me so there is a complete breakdown of trust between us. I'm a pessimist and she's an optimist so she's the complete opposite of me. However. If you think that. To suggest that there should be a total ban on smoking is utterly ridiculous. So. One of the hallmarks of a proficient language learner is knowing which adverbs collocate with which adjectives. The PM's treatment for an irregular heartbeat has been completely successful. we cannot say completely excited. I'm looking for something completely different. When I go on holiday next year. Prison life is terrible and I have the most terrible nightmares every night. To spend all day window-shopping.
We danced all night and then watched the sun coming up over the sea.awful .awfully Note that awful and awfully follow a similar pattern. Babek. awesome Note that awesome. two-syllable adjectives ending in -y take the suffixes -ier and -iest for their comparitive and superlative forms. He may get on your nerves. don't you think? The most striking person in the room! It's awfully good of you to find the time to help us with this. two-syllable adjectives ending in -y have -ier and -iest as their comparative and superlative. As an adjective. adjectives: comparitive and superlative forms Babak Bagheri studying English in Canada writes: As you know. It was an awesome party. She was late and I was worried that something awful had happened to her. Thus: 14 . awful is used only in negative contexts. No better way to welcome in the New Year. It was an embarrassment to have him there. meaning very impressive and sometimes a little frightening is a favourite adjective used by young people and people in the media currently: Thierry Henry's ability as a footballer is just awesome. But what do you do when you have hyphenated adjectives? Does easy-going become easier-going or more easy-going? And does user-friendly become user-friendlier? You are quite right. He was awfully drunk. She's awfully pretty. but as an adverb awfully has both negative and positive meanings: It's an awful shame that she's unable to come back home for the holidays. but he has always been awfully nice to me.
Next time I was more careful. I bought the wrong type of hair shampoo for Joan. Three or more syllable adjectives take more or most in the comparative and superlative except for two-syllable adjectives ending in -y and prefixed with un-: 15 . I became most anxious when I heard that there had been a fire at the hospital. Note that most sometimes means very: • • • I was most careful to leave the room as tidy as I had found it. She was the prettiest and happiest girl at the party. My wife was certainly more anxious than I was when Penny failed to return. particularly participial adjectives formed with -ing and -ed and those ending in -ious and -ful form their comparatives and superlatives with more and most: boring worried anxious careful • • • more more more more boring worried anxious careful most most most most boring worried anxious careful Watching cricket is even more boring than playing it. He is more pleasant /pleasanter to talk to when he has not been drinking.pretty happy dirty messy • • prettier happier dirtier messier prettiest happiest dirtiest messiest Yours is the messiest room I have ever seen. er/est and more/most are both possible: • • The commonest /most common alcoholic drink in Poland is vodka. Note that other common two-syllable adjectives ending in an unstressed vowel normally take the -er/-est patterns: simple clever • simpler cleverer simplest cleverest The cleverest solution to any problem is usually the simplest one. Others. With some two-syllable adjectives. I was most impressed by Deborah’s performance as Lady Macbeth.
Sometimes it is not so clear-cut. less/least in comparative/superlative Kim from South Korea writes: In a BBC article on a business news web page. In your examples. Sometimes we have to use more/most if. for example. both are quite possible. normally use more and most for the comparative and superlative forms. The work I do is now more satisfying because the conditions under which I work are more satisfactory. the adjectival part of the compound ends in -ed." Shouldn't it be riskier? Can you explain? Thank you in advance. -er /-est or more/most with two-syllable adjectives? When it comes to two-syllable adjectives. 16 . adjectives with -er/-est. more/most. They always go to the most expensive restaurants where you can see the most glamorous people in the world. just as tanned would have to be more tanned: • You’re more sun-tanned than I am. -er /-est or more/most with one/three-syllable adjectives? It is clear that adjectives of one syllable normally end in -er and -est in their comparative and superlative forms whilst the comparative and superlative of adjectives with three or more syllables are formed with more and most: • • • The water in the pool was colder than I expected it to be on what was the hottest day of the year. With some twosyllable adjectives. This is the general rule. but one of the most successful. the case is less clear cut. sun-tanned would have to be more sun-tanned. Babek. Hyphenated adjectives. So. it seems to me. which are also known as compound adjectives. so we would say that one form is more likely than the other. -er/-est and more/most are both possible: • The water here is shallower / more shallow than it is further up the beach. a journalist wrote: "The emerging markets that investors can easily put money into seem a lot more risky than they did.reasonable beautiful untidy unhealthy • more reasonable more beautiful untidier unhealthier most reasonable most beautiful untidiest unheathiest John is the unhealthiest person I know.
less / least Note that when we are making the not-so-much comparison. but I would say that Giles is the more famous. with risky. stick to -ier / -iest with two-syllable adjectives which end with consoant + y -ful / -less / -ing / -ed / -ous Note that two-syllable adjectives with these endings always form their comparatives and superlatives with more and most: • • • • • Having a tooth extracted was more painful than I expected it to be. She will never recover. I'm busier than I used to be so I have to get up even earlier than before. with particular endings. both patterns appear possible. unless we use the construction not as…as: • • • I'm not as hungry today as I was yesterday. tend to folllow either one or the other pattern: -y > -ier Two-syllable adjectives which end with consonant + -y nearly always form their comparatives and superlatives with -ier and -iest: • • You are one of the messiest people I know. as a general rule. It may be the case that more risky works well here because it is combined with a modifying phrase such as a lot. in your example. It would be unusual. Compare also the following: • Walking along this mountain path is much more risky in winter than it is in summer.• The grey squirrel is one of the most common / commonest rodents that you will see in England. for the comparative or superlative to be formed with more or most in these examples. The most boring part of the weekend was listening to Jane's jokes. But I'm still angry. I think. The situation is even more hopeless than I thought. I'm more worried than you are about Tom and I've only known him for two days. I'm less angry with you. 17 . Even Jane is tidier than you are. nevertheless. However. I am less hungry today than I was yesterday. I was angriest with John about the spoilt weekend. Others. less and least are the only options open to us. Kim. The two brothers are both well-known internationally. However.
a / an must go between them. Kind regards. Electricity will be restored to our homes as soon as possible. It's less warm today...Your cooking is spicier than Mary's. Note also that if we want to make a negative statement. There are a large number of idiomatic expressions or fixed phrases which we use in informal English when we are making comparisons like this. . don't you think? . don't you think? as . the first as functions as an adverb modifying the following adjective or adverb. In this construction. (It can also function as a conjunction when it relates to the following clause. She sat there as quiet as a mouse and wouldn’t say anything. This structure is used to measure and compare things that are of similar proportion. but I don not know what they are themselves. The cafeteria was not so / as crowded as it was earlier.• Why don't you sit here? This is the least uncomfortable of our chairs. The second as functions as a preposition when it relates to the following noun or pronoun.. Here are a few of them in context: • • • • He went as white as a sheet when he saw the ghost.It's cooler today. Note that we tend not to use less and least to form comparatives / superlatives with one syllable adjectives. as and as Hello! I hope you are in the best of health.. as are. Would you kindly tell me what parts of speech as.. as. as as adverb / preposition Look at this example: • He came as quickly as he could. My maths teacher is as deaf as a post and should have retired years ago. I know that we use adjectives or adverbs between them. as short adjectives often have other words as their opposites.. 18 .) Compare the following: • • • • The meal was as good as the conversation: spicy and invigorating! She spoke as slowly as she could Has everybody eaten as much as they want? I hope you will agree that I am as imaginative a cook as my wife (is)! Note from the above example that if there is an adjective and a noun after the first as. we can use so…as instead of as…as: • • He is not so / as intelligent as his sister is. Compare the following: • • Your cooking is less bland than Mary's.
As . the demand for higher salaries became more intense. We often combine it with just: • • She left the house (just) as the sun was rising. as = because (for clauses of reason) We may use as as an alternative to because when the reason is already known or self-evident to the reader of listener. we need to use the structure comparative + than: • • Let me finish the report. she had to look after her younger brothers and sisters. as as preposition Finally. He played the piece of music more slowly than I had ever heard it played before. These stories are as old as the hills and have been passed down from generation to generation. As prices rose. Compare the following: 19 . Because puts more emphasis on the reason or introduces new information. as as subordinating conjunction Note that as by itself is used as a subordinating conjunction in a variety of different ways. as means over the same period of time as: • • I think you become more tolerant of other people as you get older. I’ve decided to end our relationship because my boyfriend has been cheating on me. Remember that when we are measuring or comparing things that are of unequal proportion. note that as can also be used as a preposition when we want to avoid using the verb to be. I can type much faster than you (can). as for clauses of proportion Here.clauses are often placed at the beginning of sentences. Compare the following: • • • As Mary was the eldest child. As it had started to rain we had to abandon the picnic. The telephone rang (just) as I was climbing into my bath.• • All the children were as good as gold when they came to visit me. as = when (for clauses of time) We may use as as an alternative to when when we are comparing two short actions or events that happened or happen at the same period of time.
sometimes I do not know exactly what they mean. writes: Sometimes when I read English newspapers or books I see some words with hyphens between them. she held deeply-rooted beliefs about the sanctity of marriage. I am always interested in people’s life styles. She lived in an old-fashioned house. He established his reputation as a freedom fighter through many heroic acts. normally with hyphens between them.• • • • • • • As his father. The dimly. The police considered him to be a dangerous criminal Tomokje. Some common examples would include: cold-blooded brightly-lit • • • • • kind-hearted deeply-rooted old-fashioned densely-populated open-minded well-behaved Most animals are warm-blooded but all reptiles are cold-blooded. Nevertheless. studying English in The Netherlands. Could you please help me? Words like densely-populated are compound adjectives and they are made up of two or more words. I would like to make them up by myself. Finally. it is your duty to ensure that he goes to school every day. A denselywooded hill would be one that is difficult to get through because the trees are so close together. Note that adverb / past participle combinations when they are used with a copular verb like be or seem. The police described him as a dangerous criminal. I am always interested in people’s life styles. Thus a densely-populated town or city is one with a high population count within the city boundaries. are not hyphenated: 20 ./ brightly-lit streets in our town encourage / discourage burglars. it is your duty to ensure that he goes to school every day. but was kind-hearted and openminded. I do not know what they are called. He was a cold-blooded murderer and showed no emotion of any kind. adj / adv + past participle Adjective or adverb plus past participle is one of the most common patterns for forming compound adjectives. As a social historian. Being a social historian. but I don't know how. and come after the noun they modify. Something that is dense contains a lot of things or people in a small area. As you are his father. for example densely-populated.
The dishes he had prepared with all the labour-saving devices at his disposal were all mouth-watering. There are sometimes many possible combinations. It is partly a matter of knowing which adjectives or adverbs collocate or go with which participles and nouns. as well as open-minded. Other common patterns for compound adjectives include: • • • • • • • • noun + past participle: shop-soiled. We have brightly-lit streets. I was tongue-tied and didn't know what to say. lead-free. If you want trouble-free motoring. adj + noun: deep-sea. broad-minded. Tokmokje. New combinations are always possible. The sun-dried tomatoes that we sell are world-famous. We signed a long-lasting agreement for his services which we hoped would be never-ending. forty-mile. quite unsuitable for deep-sea diving. When they refused to exchange the shop-soiled item. e. and see if it is meaningful. make sure you use only lead-free petrol. tongue-tied. which is also very common: Adj / adv / noun + present participle Here are some common examples: good-looking far-reaching labour-saving • • • hard-wearing long-lasting mouth-watering free-standing never-ending record-breaking The good-looking chef was dressed in hard-wearing clothing and sitting in front of a free-standing cooker. sun-dried. but also brightly-coloured dresses or swimsuits or sweets. try it out with your English-speaking friends. brightly-patterned curtains illustrates the productive nature of this combination. twenty-page. strong-minded. full-length. as would brightly-shining stars.g. and here we come to a new pattern. noun + adjective: trouble-free. 21 . absent-minded. number + noun: two-door. For example. narrowminded. Compound adjectives are regarded as productive features of English which means that use is not so restricted as it is in many categories of grammar. world-famous.• The streets in our town are dimly / brightly lit and encourage / discourage burglars. so if you think something may work. She was wearing a full-length dress. last-minute.
five-page document. Compare the following: • • It concerns me that she'll be in London for a whole week on her own. I knew something awful had happened. There have been a lot of avalanches recently. Note also that concern is not normally used with progressive forms. There was a concerned expression on his face. to suggest that concern and its related forms are used in a variety of different ways. Rather than: That she'll be in London for a whole week on her own concerns me). Are you all right? I was very concerned that my daughter might not have proper clothing for the skiing trip. it cannot be used in the first or second person and it is normally used with the preparatory subject it. You are quite correct. Eunice. concerned (adj) = worried Note the different ways in which the adjectival form is used: • • • • Why do you keep ringing me? ~ Well. concerned. etc. I'm concerned about you. We need to indicate the idea of progression in some other way. it concerns me = it worries me Note that when concern is employed as a verb in this way. four-door saloon. concern. concerning Eunice Cheung from Hong Kong writes: I would like to ask about the differences in meaning and use between concern and its related forms concerned and concerning. 22 . Make a note of compound adjectives that you come across in your reading and note the way they are used with particular nouns. Try out other combinations of these patterns for yourselves. Thanks a lot. Here are some of the most important. well-advised. open-top convertible was illadvised in such inclement weather.• The forty-mile journey in the two-door. e.g. I was concerned for her safety as well.
give Joan a ring. concern (noun) = worry When concern is used as a noun. concern (verb) / concerning (prep) = about When you use concern or concerning in this way. you are indicating what a question or a topic is about. The pensioners concerned will receive substantial compensation / The pensioners who are affected by this will receive compensation. A number of questions had been tabled relating to / concerning the dangers of the new vaccine. For information concerning / relating to opening hours during the summer months. / The youths (who were) involved were held in custody overnight. Concerning and relating to are the formal equivalents of the much more informal about. it expresses worry about a situation: • • There is growing concern that the climbers may have lost their lives. He expressed deep concern about the way in which the elections had been held. Those concerned were held in custody overnight. ~ It concerns the long lunch breaks enjoyed by the senior executives. If you want to know about opening hours in the summer months. The pollution problem in that part of the river is beginning to concern all the local anglers. Many have lost their savings. • 23 .• • Doesn't it concern you? She's only nineteen. contact the club secretary. We had a lot of questions about people's concerns about the new vaccine. Compare the following: Why are you arguing? What's it all about? What does it concern? • • • • • • ~ It's about the long lunch breaks enjoyed by the senior executives. concerned as past participle = involved / affected The participle modifies the noun or pronoun in these examples and can be used instead of a participle clause: • There was a brawl outside the nightclub.
in my view it is appropriate to teach them at primary school level. Concerning foreign languages. ‘impact’ or ‘change’. Please give examples of their use in sentences.as far as I'm concerned = in my opinion When you want to express an opinion.e. She just went on crying and wouldn’t stop.i. When they are used in this way. as the current speaker. even by native speakers of English. you can use this formula as an alternative to in my view or in my opinion: • As far as I'm concerned / In my view / In my opinion. want to return to that topic. signifying ‘influence’. As far as x is concerned is a bit less formal than concerning x: • • As far as foreign languages are concerned. I’d like to know the difference between efficient and effective and the way to use them.' 'I know my neighbours play loud music late at night.' 'The number of tourists travelling to Britain this year has not been affected by the strength of the pound. The most important thing to remember is that affect is used as a verb and effect is normally used as a noun. as far as x is concerned = concerning x You can use these expressions to introduce the topic that you wish to talk about or the issue you want to refer back to . but that doesn’t affect me. Kisy Kesh from Guadaloupe writes: I’m 16 and I’ve been studying English for a few years now. 'effect' 'affect' and 'efficient' 'effective' Warda Jamal from Pakistan asks: I always get confused in the usage of effect and affect.' 'The tablets which he took every four hours had no noticeable effect on his headache. it may have been raised once already and you.' 24 . affect – effect Affect and effect are often confused. the English football supporters should not be held responsible for starting the fight.' 'My words of comfort had little effect.I can sleep through anything. Warda. Compare the following: • • • • • 'The really hot weather affected everybody’s ability to work. I think they should be taught in primary schools. they are similar in meaning.
without wasting time or energy. Consider the following examples: • • 'These tablets really are effective. For example. she or it works in a well-organised way.Note: we talk about someone or something having an effect on something or someone. Prominent has the idea of being well-known and important. Consider the following: • 'Repairs could not be effected because the machines were very old. public recognition. For 25 . Here are some example sentences: The proposal for the research centre has the backing of Sir David Jones. since eminence depends on respect which is earned through skill. If we use effect as a verb. Kisy. My headache’s much better now. if you are a sufferer. one of the world's most eminent statisticians. but it is used only in very formal English. As a prominent local businessman.' 'The only effective way to avoid hay fever at this time of the year.' 'This engine is really efficient. we can describe them as eminent. it works well and produces the results that were intended. I could not understand the difference between eminent and prominent… Javed Ahmed. Hello Javed! Eminent and prominent are both adjectives. Bill Gates is a prominent figure in the world of computers. then he. is to stay indoors. Now. education. If somebody or something is efficient. has had a lot of success in his or her career and is often asked to give advice to other doctors because he or she is known to be so good at the job. Mr Johnson served on many committees and was elected to be the chair of the board of governors. Consider the following examples: • • • 'She was efficient in everything she did and was frequently commended for exemplary service to the organisation. it means to ‘carry out’ or to ‘cause something to happen’.' Eminent / prominent Please.' 'He hasn’t made very efficient use of his time in revising for these exams: he has made no notes and his concentration spans appear to last for no longer than ten minutes.' efficient – effective These two qualitative adjectives are often confused. Eminent contains the idea of respected. it's possible to be a prominent person without being eminent. if a doctor is very well qualified. it can run for 30 km on only 1 litre of fuel. for example.' If something is effective. and they can both be used to talk about people who are very well-known and successful in their profession.
If you gave me some examples that would help me. we shan’t be able to get into the show. definitely. you are emphasizing that what someone has said is 100% correct. and I hope that you become both prominent and eminent one day! emphasizing adverbs Aydyn Türk from Turkey writes: I have been learning English for eight months but some adjectives and adverbs are still a problem for me. So. . noticeable and important.Thanks a lot. Absolutely! / Definitely! / Exactly! Will you come shopping with me on Saturday? Definitely! / Certainly! If we can’t find those tickets. And prominent has a couple of other meanings as well. And a further meaning of prominent is 'sticking out'. If you use exactly. These mean almost the same thing in Turkish and I don’t know when to use them in English or which one to use. successful and respected. for example: The builders did a really bad job. Compare the following: • • • • • Doesn’t Sandra look stunning in that hat? Oh. For example. absolutely/definitely/certainly/exactly There is not very much difference in meaning or in use when these emphasizing adjectives are used to express strong agreement with a statement.example. Geoffrey is a complete and utter fool. especially adverbs such as absolutely. a pop star might be prominent but they probably wouldn't be described as eminent. Prominent means well-known. I hope that answers your question. question or suggestion. etc. Exactly! Are you going to Turkey again this summer? Definitely! Without a doubt! 26 . certainly. Eminent means highly qualified. exactly. It can mean 'easy to see or notice'. absolutely! I couldn’t agree more. we could say: His arm was badly cut in the accident and he has been left with a prominent scar. The floor was very uneven and there was a prominent bump in one of the walls. Absolutely is perhaps the strongest. Javed. let’s summarise. Right.
as you say them to yourselves. 27 . but there’s surely somebody at home. give surely fairly heavy stress: • • • You’re surely not going out again tonight. Compare the following: • • Can you give me a hand washing up? Surely! / Certainly! / No problem! Would you join us for supper tonight? Surely! Where are you eating? However. I’m quite tired. I can’t get any reply. certainly or surely When it is used in response to a request or suggestion. surely can also be used to express the speaker’s surprise that something is happening. Study the following and. Surely that can’t be Felicity standing over there? I thought she was in Australia. Compare the following: • • • • Your advice was invaluable – absolutely invaluable! I was simply amazed when she said that she was going to marry Henry. Are you coming to the pub? No. I think I’ll go to bed.absolutely/simply/utterly/totally/completely/perfectly These emphasizing adverbs are normally used with adjectives that are in themselves already quite absolute. Compare the following: • • Are you quite certain that Jack’s in Paris? Completely sure? I’m absolutely sure. It can also mean fairly or to some extent. They give even greater emphasis to what is said. Certainly CANNOT be used in this way. They can’t all be out. a bit sleepy. surely means certainly and they can be used interchangeably. It was perfectly clear that she was serious and I was totally powerless to stop her. I felt that she was completely wrong to even think about it and I am utterly exhausted by it all. completely or quite Note that quite can mean very much or completely. are you? You went out last night.
adequate Adequate is also close in meaning to enough and sufficient. When it is used in this way. I didn’t revise enough so I didn’t pass the exam. it comes after the adjective. meaning as much as is needed: I don’t have enough time to finish reading this report before the meeting. This little car is perfectly adequate for any driving you need to do in town. enough – sufficient Enough (where the second syllable is pronounced as in puff or stuff) and sufficient are very similar semantically. Modifying adverbs. For the negative of enough we have to use not: The level of funding available for the training of teachers is inadequate. I have insufficient resources to be able to deal effectively with this problem. they will look like this: 28 . We don’t have enough milk if everybody wants cappuccino. so if we want to use the less common sufficiently in these examples instead of enough. His computer skills were adequate for the type of work required of him. But I have sufficient information to know what the outcome should be. an adverb or a verb. I didn’t work hard enough so I was unsuccessful in the exam. sufficient and adequate. enough as an adverb Enough can also be used as an adverb to modify an adjective.• Surely you’re not suggesting she poisoned him on purpose? I can’t believe you could think that! enough/sufficient/adequate I would like to know the differences in meaning and use of enough. adverb or verb: In this climate it’s not warm enough to go out without a jumper in the evening. inadequate – insufficient Note that the negative of sufficient and adequate can be formed with the prefix in-. You’ve missed him. are normally placed before the adjectives or adverbs that they modify. We have sufficient evidence to convict him for the crimes he has committed. I’m afraid. It suggests that something is good enough or large enough for a particular purpose: This country will never maintain an adequate supply of trained teachers if so many leave the profession after four or five years. You didn’t get up early enough. of course.
You didn’t get up sufficiently early. but I read enough of the report to get the main idea. 29 . but I didn’t get enough of them right to pass the driving test. I’m afraid. etc) and pronouns we use enough of: I’ve had quite enough of this fruit salad. It is certainly the case that in usage these two adverbs are often confused and can sometimes be used with the same meaning. I have quite enough. I haven’t mentioned all of them. I answered all the questions. Will that be enough for this type of holiday? Some more dressing on your salad? ~ Oh no. Celine. Enough of + determiner / pronoun Before determiners (this. but that is enough for today! Enough is enough! as we say when we want to indicate that we wish to bring something to an end. the. You’ve missed him. thanks. has common usage overwhelmed the distinction? The American Heritage Dictionary and Longman's Dictionary don't think so. thanks. enough is commonly used in a wider variety of contexts than sufficient or adequate. enough as a pronoun Enough can also be used alone without a noun when the meaning is clear: I’ve only saved up £250. As you can see. Especially and specially I don't think the distinction has been completely neutralised either.In this climate it’s not sufficiently warm to go out without a jumper at night. I didn’t read it all. I didn’t work sufficiently hard so I was unsuccessful in the exam. It’s a bit too sweet for my liking. I didn’t revise sufficiently so I didn’t pass the exam. Especially & specially / continuously & continually Mark Brown in South Korea writes: Is there really any difference between the following: especially & specially continuously & continually If there is a difference.
meaning particularly.particularly / above all We tend to use especially for emphasis. prisoners are allowed out on day release twice a week. e. special . Continual .g. especially on weekdays when it's not so busy. especial value when we want to emphasise the exceptional nature of this interest or value: • • The police took especial interest in his activities and watched the house continuously. but certainly not every day.specially . but it's not especially cold for this time of year. Before adjectives.continuous Both adjectival forms. now among the British crown jewels. On special occasions we have wine with our meal. I think he'll be the next special adviser to the President. Its use is confined to particular contexts where it collocates with particular nouns. It is a bit nippy. mean without stopping or without a break. The Koh-i-noor diamond. especial interest. meaning particularly or above all: • • These butterflies are particularly noticeable in April and May. He has such ability. You'll enjoy playing tennis at our local club. This computer programme is specially for children with learning difficulties. My father made this model aeroplane specially for me. when it means important or different from normal. The special effects in the Lord of the Rings films are quite mind-blowing.for a particular purpose However. especially is more usual: • • The road between Cairo and Alexandria is especially dangerous at night. this form of the adverb is the norm: • • • This shower gel is specially designed for people with sensitive skins. continual and continuous.never forget that. has especial value as its history dates back to the 14th Century.especial Note that the adjective especial is rarely used nowadays. In special cases. when specially is used to mean for a particular purpose. especially in these meadows. They are often used interchangeably: 30 .less than half price. The grapes at the supermarket are on special offer . In all other cases and contexts. special is preferred: • • • • • • You're a very special person in my life . especially .
constantly. always. They executed the dance in one continuous movement. But when the meaning is clearly very often. continually is preferred: • I've got a very bad stomach upset and I'm continually running to the loo. Vivian from Taiwan asks: Can the word fun be used as an adjective? Uma from Germany writes: Could you please enlighten me by explaining how adjectives work in English? 31 . If we arranged such adverbs along a continuum of frequency. • She sniffed continually / continuously all the way through the film and disturbed everyone around her.continuously The adverbial forms. continually is behaving as an adverb of frequency. Here. are often interchangeable. He refused to give up despite the continual warnings of his family. rather than without a break. it would read: • never > rarely > occasionally > sometimes > often >generally > nearly always > constantly/continually Formation and use of adjectives Three questions this week on the formation and use of adjectives. starting with least often and ending with most often. The continual / continuous croaking of the frogs prevented any sleep that night. cf. In certain contexts only continuous is possible because continual here would imply that breaks are possible. continually . so continuous is preferred: • • • A continuous line of people stretched as far as the eye could see.• • This refectory has been in continual /continuous use since the 15th Century. continually and continuously. there are clearly no breaks. In these examples. continual is preferred: • • His continual drinking was bound to lead to liver failure one day. The progress of pupils was measured though continuous assessment and not through examinations When we want to describe things that happen repeatedly. all the time.
more. it will have one of two quite different meanings. It/she made you feel happy. Study the following: • • • • A tall young man and a petite middle-aged woman were walking along the narrow road. appear. age. The fine sunny weather is set to continue. New ideas are always interesting and exciting. although it tends to be in this order: quality. too. Tasty. they can also come after the verb to be and also after other linking verbs such as stay. They are normally placed before a noun but. She is a very gifted child. Fun here means pleasant and enjoyable. white French bread is always best served with Stilton cheese and red wine. Adjectives describe the qualities of people. She is a fun person to be with. Fun is sometimes used as an adjective in the following contexts: • • • It was a fun thing to do. things and places. the order in which they appear is not always fixed. It was fun to do that. Note that when funny is used as an adjective in this way. Khaliel from Saudia Arabia writes: Please let me know how to use adjectives and their formation. But my mother described him as exceedingly tall. Note that if we have more than one adjective before a noun. Check to see to what extent this is true in the above examples. Her teacher says that she is too intelligent for her class. become. Consider the following: She is a funny person. as we saw above. seem. look. rather. She is a funny person. I would have said he was rather tall. funny is the normal adjective and fun is normally used as a noun. quite. much. However. Note also that we often use adverbs of degree to modify the meanings of the adjectives we use. colour. A. 32 . They are one of the largest word classes in English. etc. instead of: • • • She is fun to be with. Among the most common are very. and most. Consider the following: • • • It was very noisy in the garden but much quieter in the house. It was fun to go there.M. It will stay fine for the next few days. size. It was a fun place to go to. class. fresh. Her behaviour is really strange. She makes me laugh.
secretive. breathless.kind However. healthy. deviant. violent. It might be said that adverbs answer the question How…? whilst adjectives answer the question What sort of…? Study the following: • 'She speaks good Japanese. conversant. platonic. pointless. Consider these pairs which are opposite in meaning: light . famous. dangerous. variant. tired. attractive. anxious. sensitive. worried. fashionable possible. worrying. surprising. noisy. tireless. industrial. mental. sensible. Here are some of the most common: -al: -ant: -ent: -ous: -ic: -y: -ive: -able: -ible: -ful: -less: -ed: -ing: typical.happy cool . regrettable. democratic. bored. obvious. conscious terrific. dirty. sandy. international. grateful. messy.warm rough . sympathetic. physical.dark / heavy sad . scientific.' 33 . domestic. horrific. frequent serious. hungry. expensive. angry active. dusty. native comfortable. tiring.' (An English colleague put it that way. valiant different. confusing.easy / simple cruel . nervous. horrible. convenient.) good = adjective well = adverb Therefore it has to be we eat well as we are describing how we eat and drink. exciting 'good' and 'well' Sven Wagner from Sweden asks: Why do you use good instead of well in the following phrase?: 'We eat good and drink well. careful. significant. patient. confused. passive. special. surprised. stony. excited interesting. probable. terrible. tolerant. skilful. basic filthy.smooth difficult . rocky. susceptible useful. boring. careless. sufficient. enjoyable. toothless interested. general pleasant.adjectival endings Many of the most common adjectives have no special endings. beautiful. faithful useless. many common adjectives can be recognised as such by their endings. excellent.
but the work he's done appears good enough for a pass. (well tells us how he behaves) Look up good and well in your dictionaries to see if you can find further examples of adjectives formed in this way. In English.' 'The food at the reception tasted really good . So. seem. for effect. I'm fine. (well tells us how she dresses) A well-behaved boy. I would not recommend it. Why not sound well in this particular example? It is because when we use verbs such as be. but as soon as I get off. feel. they are followed by adjectives rather than adverbs as we are describing the subject of the sentence rather than the action of the verb.• • 'She speaks Japanese well. smell. actually. taste.' 'I felt really good when she congratulated me on winning the essay prize.' Note that better is the comparative form of both good and well. look. That's (all very) well and good. thanks. / Not very well. appear. (good describes his nature) But we would also say: • • A well-dressed woman. The only time when well can be used as an adjective by itself is when we are talking about someone's health.' 'There's no way he'll get a distinction. however. we might say: • • 'If you can do the job in less time and leave early. whether consciously or unconsciously. well and good. Note that the expression well and good is used to indicate that you find a particular situation satisfactory or acceptable.better than the food we had last year. 34 . Here well means in good health.' 'If you want to stay here on your own over Christmas.' For similar reasons we would talk about: A good-looking woman. but it will sound good over a drink with friends. A good-natured boy. we often play around with basic language. 'we eat good and drink well' may be more effective in terms of impact because it breaks the grammatical rule.' 'She speaks Japanese better than I do. I don't mind. if you are taking an exam. whilst 'we eat well and drink well' would be grammatically correct. So we have: • • • • 'She looks really good in those clothes. Very well. sound. Compare the following: • • 'How are you today?' 'Fine.' 'I often feel unwell when I'm on a boat. Thus.
Compare the following: • • • I can hardly / scarcely believe you're twenty years old now. particularly in the 18 . you will also need a negative adverb and use neither or nor in response. to use well instead of very in expressions like: • • • 'I am well happy with that.. So if you wish to agree with what is being said....' 'I was well tired last night. should I answer: Neither do I OR So do I? Are both answers possible here? hardly. 35 . It means almost not at all. but I hardly / scarcely knew him.' Again it breaks the rule and is effective in the impact it makes. I wonder if this creative use of the English language has reached you yet in your part of the world? hardly/scarcely.so/too Olga Ivanova from Uzbekistan writes: If my friend says to me: I hardly know this author and if I hardly know her. Well used in this way often refers to exceptional circumstances or is used as a summary statement..Incidentally. Olga. This is because hardly has a negative meaning. ~ Neither / Nor did I. Note that neither/nor always come at the beginning of the response clause and that inversion of subject and verb are needed with the tense form agreeing with that of the first clause.25 age range. Note that scarcely has the same negative meaning as hardly and that either of them can be used here. ~ Neither / Nor are we! He's dead now..neither/nor.. there is now a trend among young people.. 'She was well pleased with her birthday present.neither/nor Only Neither do I or Nor do I is possible here. ~ Nor / Neither can I! They're hardly / scarcely ever at home.
I go to the cinema quite often . I sometimes have to work at weekends to get everything done ~ So do we. I could hardly / scarcely understand a word he was saying ~ Nor could your parents. 36 . the verb which follows can be either singular or plural. so / too When the frequency of occurrence increases from never or hardly ever to occasionally or sometimes.twice a week usually. / So do I.not either As an alternative to neither/nor you can also use not either which has the same meaning. She always uses olive oil in her cooking ~ So do my Spanish friends / My Spanish friends do too. Neither the chairman nor the treasurer was / were able to attend the meeting. / Tom does too. ~ Neither would I. neither…nor Neither…nor are used together when we want to link two negative ideas: • • • When I spoke to him. I've got hardly /scarcely any money left. ~ I'm not either. ~ Me too. Neither Henry nor Harry is / are coming to Edward's party. he neither smiled nor looked at me. this is our opportunity to use so or too. I could hardly /scarcely recognise her. these adverbs give a positive rather than a negative meaning to what is being said. What about you? ~ I haven't either. / We do too. ~ I couldn't either. ~ So does Tom. but normal word order: • • She had changed so much. If we wish to agree with statements in a positive way. Compare the following: • • • • • • • I would never work as a shop assistant in a large department store. Note that when singular subjects are connected with neither…nor. Don't bother preparing dessert because neither Jane nor Julie eat / eats anything sweet. They occasionally eat lunch at 'The Blue Parrot'.
Thus along a spectrum of frequency. both of which are used in very informal speech. rarely and seldom equate with occasionally or very occasionally in terms of frequency. I often / frequently have two chocolate biscuits or a pastry with my morning coffee. starting with most frequent and ending with least frequent. I always have two meat rolls for breakfast. After a particularly good lunch. you are putting a negative gloss on what you are saying. ~ Me neither. then this is synonymous with rarely and also with seldom. hardly any Pual from Thailand writes: I've learned that the words hardly and rarely have the same meaning and that moreover we can use these words interchangeably in any sentence. I never drink coffee after 7 p.m. hardly ever. Not every weekend. She's far too busy to find time for me. it's already two o' clock and I haven't done any work today. If we add ever to hardly to arrive at hardly ever. But most days. hardly ever These adverbs describe how frequently or regularly something happens. I hardly ever / rarely / seldom eat a full English breakfast.Note that the expressions Me too and Me neither. Is this right or wrong? They are not quite interchangeable as they stand. But most weekends. So what do you think is causing the high blood pressure? Note that hardly ever. but need some modification first of all. Always tea. I'm so tired I could sleep for twelve hours. Not every day. hardly. around lunchtime. we might find the following: • • • • • • Well doctor…. but that when you use hardly ever. I usually have poached eggs on toast at the weekend. Compare the following: • • I occasionally see my daughter when I'm up in London. I have to confess. Occasionally sounds much more positive. ~ Me too. can only be used with first person singular agreement: • • Look. Without fail. Once every two months perhaps. 37 . etc. If she's free. Every day. I hardly ever see my daughter. And I sometimes have a brandy with my coffee after lunch.
loads of. are quite interchangeable and to these two you could add a third: unimaginable.hardly Hardly. incredible and unbelievable. hardly + any (+ -one/-thing) Hardly any means very little or very few and is the opposite of plenty of. and equates with barely and scarcely. I barely / hardly / scarcely knew Jack. means only just. It's worth hardly anything . 'Incredible' and 'unbelievable' Irene Cordoba from Brazil asks: I recently found the Learning English section of the BBC webpage (which was such a delight for me because I really love the language) and I was wondering if you could tell me the difference between incredible and unbelievable and the right uses of each of them. as an adverb by itself. I knew hardly anybody at the party. or colloquially. perhaps.practically nothing! Just a few pounds. He's said hardly anything to anybody since the accident. They all describe things or events which are so amazing that they cannot be imagined or believed. Aunt Isobel left me an incredible amount of money – so much I didn’t know what to do with it!' 'I intend to work incredibly hard over the summer so that I pass my exams in September. unbelievably and unimaginably. He's hardly said anything to anybody since the accident. but hardly any money. although I know he was a great friend of John's. We had barely / hardly / scarcely finished dinner when they arrived. You can substitute any of these adjectives or adverbs under discussion as you wish: • • 'When she died. nearly everybody in fact.' 38 . • • • Jonathan could hardly walk but already knew how to swim. These two adjectives. Adverbial forms are incredibly. but Katie knew loads of people. Note again the negative tone in which it is used: • • • • • I've got plenty of friends.
Quite often in English. 'hardly'. 'rarely'. There was no chance of us getting to the top..' 'The new computer game was unimaginably difficult. which is great! I like your Quiznet... The same rule operates for 'seldom'.' Inversion is also found in expressions containing the word 'no'.' Inversion is also used after the not only . but I need an explanation for the fifth item of Quiz Three: 5.' 'The weather on the mountain yesterday was unbelievable..' 'Only after I had returned home did I realize that I had left my watch in Emma's bathroom.. And whenever you make such a statement. the safety of their cave bats leave bats will leave leave bats do bats leave Why is it not possible to use 'bats leave'? I would like to acquire this grammatical rule. 'never before' and 'no sooner': 39 . The reason for doing so is to emphasize the point that you want to make. Choose the correct answer: Only at night .• • • • 'My performance at the Christmas concert was unbelievably bad.. original or surprising in some way.' 'The operation was performed under almost unimaginable conditions. certain expressions with a restrictive or negative meaning are placed at the beginning of a sentence. it has to be: • • 'Only at night do bats leave their cave. So. 'scarcely'. when placed at the beginning of the sentence: • • 'Under no circumstances are you (allowed) to walk home from school alone.' 'In no way will I agree to sharing an office with Ben. inversion is necessary..' Jana from The Czech Republic asks: I have tried to learn English via the BBC. 'never'. (but) we also spent three days exploring the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador. It is striking..' Inversion after negative expressions and 'only. Havana. but also construction: • 'Not only did we visit Cuba's capital. It is unbelievable that he survived. Neither Mike nor I could work out how to progress from level 1 to level 2.
Neither / nor would I. just look out of the window. etc These expressions are quite informal. you would say: • 'We had scarcely finished lunch when the bell rang for afternoon classes. So is here followed by inverted word order: auxiliary verb + subject: • • • • Judy can run 100 m in 11 seconds. ~ So can Henry! I've got a blister on my big toe. and are readily used in short answers in spoken English to express agreement with what has been said in the first statement. Do you use them or are they formal? So do I.' Inversion after negative expressions.' Remember. Martine.' 'Seldom do we walk on such green grass. It's snowing! ~ So it is! You've given me tea and I asked for coffee! ~ So I have! I'm sorry. you are registering surprise.' (This is a reference to a recent BBC series. studying English in Canada. when you do this.writes: I'm getting ready for the TOEFL exam and this part of the website has been really useful for me.' 'Rarely do we see such brightly-coloured birds. So is occasionally followed by normal word order in short answers to express surprised agreement: • • If you don't believe me. ~ So have I.Walking with Dinosaurs. If it is inappropriate to be so emphatic. So can I.• • • • • 'Never before had I seen such realistic dinosaurs as there were in the BBC television series. So must I. and in conditionals? Atefe. or something similar.' 'Scarcely had we finished lunch when the bell rang for afternoon classes. Martine Talbourdet from France writes: I would like to know if you really use expressions like So do I. etc 40 . If you want to know more have a look at the web site . I like to eat really hot food on cold days and so do all my friends. so. I need an explanation for all kinds of inversion and I want to know if it is an obligation to use inversion patterns.) 'No sooner had I arrived at the station than the train came in. I'm going to get it seen to by the club doctor. ~ So am I.
If you decide to withdraw from the agreement. although it makes them sound rather formal. Does it mean. Should you decide to cancel the contract. Rarely / Seldom have I seen such an exciting game of football. I wouldn't dream of going into the water if the temperature is below 20° C and nor would any southerner. Compare the following: • • • • • At no time would he allow his team mates to argue with the referee. were or should. I wouldn't wear a mini-skirt under any circumstances. I had to show him my press pass and only then did he let me in. In this example. Only when the players had changed into smart clothes after the match were they allowed to talk to the TV reporters. inversion after negative expressions We can use inversion in statements for the purpose of emphasis if we decide to start the statement with a negative expression. to express agreement with negative statements: • • I can't swim very well and neither can my sister. please let me know by Friday. she would go mad. If I say “no sooner had I arrived at the station than the train came in”. And my question is. Hardly had I taken my seat before two goals were scored. Were she to find out that he was seeing some one else. we would have been obliged to give him the sack. My question is about ‘no sooner’ and ‘than’ requiring the semi-inversion.These expressions are used in a similar way to So would I. or I came in and right after me the train? Well. she'd go berserk. that’s a good and interesting question. the train came in and then me. Compare the following: • • Under no circumstances would I wear a mini-skirt. we need to be clear what happened first. Sentences with inversion sometimes sound more formal than those with the more conventional if-construction. yeah. my experience 41 . etc. Inversion in conditional sentences We can use inversion in certain types of conditional sentences when the if-clause begins with had. We can use this approach with a wide variety of adverbial negative expressions. If he had not resigned. And let’s make it clear first of all what order things happen in. in order to understand better the way it functions? Prof Michael Swan answers: OK. the first statement is more emphatic than the second one. If she were to find out that he was cheating on her. we would have been forced to sack him. Most of those sentences sound like 'no sooner came John to the station than the train arrived'. how can I make two sentences of this one sentence. please phone me by Friday. Compare the following: • • • • • • Had he not resigned.
It’s actually a rather literary construction. So thanks for your question. Trains are actually a bit unreliable in Britain today as I’ve suggested. Same meaning: I got there just before the train. it means. to answer your question. It’s a slightly different structure to the one with ‘no sooner’. and the driver made an announcement over the loudspeaker saying “we apologise for the slow running of the train. I came in. but I probably wouldn’t say it. etc. no sooner had he made the announcement than we started going faster again – so I had my birthday at home after all. and then the train doesn’t come in for hours. Hardly and scarcely There’s two similar structures. I got there first… just! I’ll give you another couple of examples: “No sooner had I put the phone down than it rang again”. with ‘hardly’ and ‘scarcely’. But. also rather literary. You could say “hardly had I arrived at the station when the train came in”. and we are likely to stay there for the foreseeable future!”. I was pretty upset. “No sooner had I finished the meal than I started feeling hungry again”. It is also the case that dear as an adjective has two 42 . Can you please explain them to me? Expensive / dear / costly These adjectives are all synonyms though they are used in slightly different ways and in different collocations. because it was my birthday and I really didn’t want to spend it on a train between Oxford and London! However. dearly. Michael! Irregular adjectives and adverbs Syed Aqil Shah from Pakistan writes I'm confused about adjectives and adverbs like expensive. I’d expect to read it. and right after me the train. costly. if I say “no sooner had I arrived at the station than the train came in”. dear. sooner – with ‘hardly’ and ‘scarcely’ we say “when”: “hardly had I arrived when the train came in”. maybe write it. that have got the same meaning. Instead I think I’d say something like this: “The train came in just after I got to the station”. I was on one recently on the way to London. or “scarcely had I arrived at the station when the train came in”. we were moving extremely slowly. because with no sooner we use ‘than’ – after a comparative. or “ had only just got to the station when the train came in”…or something like that. but we have been moved onto a branch line because of engineering works.is actually that I arrive at the station.
Haven't you got anything cheaper? Agatha is a dear friend of mine. most adverbs are formed by adding -ly to the adjective: • He is a slow and careful driver. unlikely: • • It was a lively party and there were lots of very friendly people there. ugly. She is so kind and gentle in everything she does. but if you want to work for this firm. it means both expensive and well-liked. 43 . The problem with costly may be that it looks like an adverb as it ends in -ly. you have to dress well. Compare the following uses and collocations in these examples: • • • • • It was an expensive suit. silly. Common adjectives ending in -ly There are not very many. He drives slowly and carefully. but other common adjectives apart from costly ending in ly include: friendly. It was a costly mistake and it meant I wouldn't have another chance until the autumn. I love him dearly. ~ They're a bit too dear / expensive. He was really quite ugly and unlikely to succeed in the blind date competition.meanings. This is confusing as most adverbs end in -ly. I would dearly like / love to be in your shoes and to have the whole summer free to travel around Europe. lively. Dearly Dearly can only be used as an adverb and normally collocates with the verbs love / like and in this sense means a lot or very much: • • He's such a nice man. lovely. but costly is an exception and is an adjective. Adverbs formed by adding -ly As you no doubt know. as well as featuring in expressions such as Oh dear! or in letters as in Dear Sir. Oh dear! I've forgotten to bring my ID and I shan't be allowed to take the IELTS test. These are very nice. I'm afraid.
g. You always seem to come home late from work. fast. We have to find some other way of modifying the verb. Compare the following: • • • • • • • • I haven't seen very much of you lately (lately = recently). but if you work hard and really concentrate. But note that we cannot form adverbs in this way when the adjective ends in -ly. The most common include: hard. you'll finish it by bedtime. Adjective and adverb with the same form A number of adverbs have the same form as adjectives. It was highly amusing. The Aurelian Way is a very straight Roman road which goes straight from Rome to Pisa. (freely = without feeling restricted) Can you please be waiting for me outside at nine o' clock sharp? (sharp = punctually) I thought she spoke to him rather sharply. (free = without paying) You can speak freely. Nobody can hear us. I'm going to thoroughly clean the house. I caught the early bus to be sure of arriving early. straight.(high = vertical distance) Yesterday she jumped right off it.(late = arriving after the expected time) Mary can jump really high on the trampoline. Sometimes there is a difference in meaning. but he doesn't need to drive so fast. We cannot say: friendlily or uglily or sillily. It's hard work. early: • • • • I know he has a fast car.: • They greeted us in a very friendly / silly manner. Sometimes there is not very much difference.• I'm going to give a house a thorough clean. e. (highly = very) Alfonso can eat free in the restaurant where he works. Adverbs with two forms Some adverbs have two forms. (sharply = in a harsh tone) 44 .
With the modifiers most. If something is likely. be likely to + infinitive 45 .• • Don't talk so loud. (loud = informal usage) Jonathan spoke loudly and convincingly about the advantages of leasing rather than buying cars. It should be over by five o' clock. I am almost certain to bump into him. meaning most probably: • They'll quite likely invite you out to eat in a restaurant when you're staying with them. Everybody in the room can hear you. in fact. It's more than likely that I shall see Chris in Cambridge. it's likely that + clause Likely is quite often used with it as a preparatory subject: • • It's unlikely that this afternoon's session will last very long. quite or very. (loudly = more formal usage) Likely / likely that / likely to Reinhard Hoffman from Germany writes: I would like to ask you about the meaning and grammatical construction of the phrase likely to be hard pressed to in the following sentence: …this region is one of the least developed in China and the authorities are likely to be hard pressed to respond to the disaster. likely is also sometimes used as an adverb. meaning probable. (opposites unlikely / improbable). it is probably going to happen: • • The most likely cause of the fire in the stadium was an unextinguished cigarette The most likely outcome to the investigation is that the stadium will have to be rebuilt. likely Likely is most often used as an adjective.
suggesting difficulty: • • • Are you pressed for time? If not. This one's worn out. Use of the adverb hard here suggests a lot of force being used against you.As an alternative. Being pressed suggests being under pressure: • • It seems to me that the Labour government will be hard pressed to win the next election. I suggest we have some lunch. it will open. Why don't you buy a new one? ~ I'm a bit pressed for cash at the moment. Reinhard: • The authorities are likely to be hard pressed to respond to the disaster. participles as adjectives 46 . We were hard pushed to complete all the preparations before the guests arrived. Note that hard also sometimes suggests physical force: This door is inclined to stick. we can use the be unlikely to + infinitive construction with a normal subject. I shall probably be back quite early from the meeting. it would need to re-phrase them as follows: • • • • This afternoon's session will probably finish quite early. but if you push it hard. you experience great difficulty in doing it. Will you probably stay in when you get back? The authorities will probably be hard pressed to respond to the disaster. pressed for time / money / etc Pressed also collocates with time and money and other ideas in a similar way to hard pressed. but probable cannot be used in this way: • • • This afternoon's session is unlikely to last very long. It's not really her subject. hard pressed / pushed If you are hard pressed or hard pushed to do something. but she says she could teach beginners Spanish if we're really pressed. I'm unlikely to be back late from the meeting. Are you likely to be staying in when you get back? It is this realisation of likely that is used in your example. Note that if we wanted to use probably as an alternative in these examples.
combed. The dogs that had been barked kept me awake all night.I am confused as to when I can use participles as adjectives. Why not? Thanks. Tutul. Consider the following: The barking dogs kept me awake all night. though the unfortunate ones are sometimes abandoned by their parents. Abandoning doesn't work because children cannot abandon themselves. but note the differences in meaning. There are a few participial adjectives that can be used in both -ing and -ed forms. The child which was abandoning was so upset she cried for three days. fed and walked. abandoned works as an adjective. The child that had been abandoned cried for three days. 47 . brushed. barking dogs [ yes ] barked dogs [ no ] There are not very many adjectives formed from verb participles. depending on active or passive use in these examples below. that can be used in both -ed and -ing forms. The dogs that were barking kept me awake all night. If it doesn't make sense as a participle in a clause. The barked dogs kept me awake all night. Compare the following: The abandoned child cried for three days without stopping. dried. Barking works in the first pair of examples because -ing forms when used as adjectives have similar meanings to active verbs. it is unlikely to make sense as a participle adjective. For this reason. Let me give you an example. but abandoning does not. abandoning child [ no ] abandoned child [ yes ] Abandon (meaning to leave someone when you should stay with them) is commonly used in passive structures. That is something they do themselves. I can say: I saw a barking dog. using the past participle as an adjective. The abandoning child was so unhappy she cried for three days. Barked doesn't work in the second pair of examples because most past participles have passive meanings when they are used as adjectives. But I can't say: I saw a barked dog. Here the present participle barking is used as an adjective. You can often get a sense of what works and what doesn't by transforming the participial adjective into a participial clause. but they can't be barked. Dogs can be washed.
which was advancing rapidly. The advancing army surrounded the city and cut off all its supply lines. it is true to say that: a) developing countries need as much help as they can get. It is suitable for students who have advanced beyond level five. Huge waves breaking on the beach pushed the surtboard out to sea. had cut off the city by nightfall. Reports are coming in that refugees are being racially abused. Alarming reports are coming in that refugees are being racially abused.broken hearts [ yes ] breaking waves [ yes ] She is suffering from a broken heart Her heart has been broken by his cruel behaviour. alarmed houses [ yes ] alarming reports [ yes ] Alarmed houses afford some protection against burglary. The breaking waves pushed the surfboard further out to sea. Note with these examples there may not be so much change in meaning between the -ing and -ed forms: falling/fallen [ yes ] advanced/advancing [ yes ] developing/developed [ yes ] The falling leaves covered the path and made it quite slippery. This alarms me. The trees that had fallen blocked the road and made it quite impassable. b) it is the developed nations which should provide it. Houses which are alarmed afford some protection against burglary. The fallen trees blocked the road and only pedestrians could get through. A small number of verbs have past participles that can be used as adjectives before nouns with active meanings. This class is appropriate only for advanced students. The leaves that were falling covered the path and made it slippery. The army. When we think of countries that are still developing and countries that have developed. 48 .
It sounds as if they say I'm finished or Are you finished? to state or to ask if you have concluded your work. Sheila wasn't finished with Paul yet. Sharing the cost suited them both. She seemed surprised . Thank you for your answer. (This would be more normal in standard English). -ed as an adjective When we use it as an adjective. look and become. They were quite satisfied with the arrangement. we can talk about things being finished as well as people being finished with something: • • • Their marriage is finished. a wide range of adjectives ending in -ed which follow the verb to be and other linking verbs such as seem. Check those 49 . so it's good it's over. There are many more.even amazed . they are using it as the past participle of the verb to finish. He was also worried that they might be late back. they are using it as an adjective. If they say 'We've finished work for today'. Here are a few of the most common: • • • • • I became interested in the tennis as soon as I heard that ticket prices would be reduced. I was bored with the performance and decided to leave as soon as the interval arrived. So if your colleagues say 'We're finished for today'. of course.Ed and -ing as adjectives: Patrizia Rapali from Italy writes: I'm Italian but I'm working in Ireland now. mental states or emotional reactions to something. Note that all of these adjectives ending in -ed describe people's feelings. It was a disaster from the beginning. Why do they use to be instead of to have? Shouldn't they say: I've finished and Have you finished?? I don't understand. appear. She thought I was in the States.to see me. The confusion arises because finished operates both as an adjective and as the past tense and past participle of the verb to finish. Ned was frightened of Lucie. She's not ready to leave. They still had a lot to talk about. She won't be finished for at least another hour and a half. There are.
Tom. Have you finished your homework? Are you finished with your homework? 50 . delighted. shocked. charming. humiliating. appalled. refreshing. excited. convincing. It's boring. Here are some more which can be used in the same way. His answers were misleading. tired. puzzled. concerned. encouraging. tempting. intriguing. everyone thought he was lying. prepared. disgusting.g. inspiring.is tempting and I am tempted to accept it. His offer . terrifying. thrilling Remember: • • The storm was terrifying.three weeks in the Caribbean with nothing to pay! . disappointed. In fact. rewarding. confused. although they also describe the effect that something has on your ideas and feelings: • • • • • The meeting was very satisfying for all concerned as everybody got what they wanted. pleased. e. These results. amusing. -ed adjectives Leung Waiteng from Hong Kong writes: I am confused by the way adjectives are formed from verbs with just an -ed added. I was terrified by it. embarrassing. entertaining. I don't want to go to the seaside again this year. are disappointing and must be very worrying for your parents. Note that these adjectives usually describe things rather than people directly. thrilled -ing as an adjective There are also a large number of adjectives ending in -ing which relate to verb forms and are used in the same way as -ed adjectives.you don't know in a dictionary to see how they are used and which prepositions they can be used with: amused. determined. annoying. The play was quite interesting and commented on many aspects of contemporary life. astonishing. confusing. convinced. All of these -ing adjectives listed here have their -ed counterparts: alarming. depressing.
Is there any difference in meaning between the two sentences? Which one is more appropriate in spoken English? There is no real difference in meaning or use between finish (verb) and finished (adj) or between complete (verb) and completed (adj). I am disappointed with your behaviour this evening. it's not completed yet. sorry. meaning finished: • • • No house is complete without carpets on the floors and pictures on the walls. sorry. I haven't completed it yet. Thus. however. Here are some more common adjectives which have a similar meaning to the related verb: amused astonished confused delighted depressed 51 . a child who is spoilt is a child who has been spoilt by something. Many of them have the same form as the past participle of the verb: • • Your behaviour this evening has disappointed me. that shows a complete lack of understanding on your part. If you think I can handle all this work on my own. With only one hand on the steering wheel he was not in complete control of the car he was driving . Adjectives ending in -ed A large number of adjectives in English end in -ed. Note. They indicate that something has happened or is happening to the person referred to. that complete as an adjective with the slightly different meaning of whole or entire is more frequently used than completed as an adjective. Can I read the manuscript of your latest novel? ~ No. Both sound very natural in spoken English: • • • • Is your work finished for the day or do you still have some to do? Have you finished your work for the day or do you still have some to do? Can I read the manuscript of your latest novel? ~ No.The same thing happens with complete (verb) and completed (adjective).
You will embarrass your father if you dare to wear clothes like that. How do I say: It's very interesting to me. It's very interesting for me. Roger. it sounds slightly awkward. OR: 52 . Of the three. Occasionally. I'd like to ask a very simple question. I would be interested to know if you are planning to visit Greece this summer. But even here. She came down the stairs wearing jeans with holes in them and I have never been so embarrassed. -ed / -ing adjective or verb? Alex from Israel writes: Hi. Compare the following: • • • I spotted her through the crowded room.distressed satisfied • • • • • embarrassed shocked excited surprised frightened tired interested worried It worries me that Jack stays out so late every night. She was wearing a spotted dress. The cancer was quite advanced and he had only a few weeks to live. It's very interesting me. OR: It's very interesting. That interests me because I shall be there throughout August and September. the adjectival form has a meaning which is different from that of its related verb. only the middle one is a possibility. I am a very worried mum. Which one is best? Thank you in advance. I think most people would say simply: • • That's very interesting. We advanced through the jungle as quickly as we could as we needed to reach the clearing by nightfall.
you would need to say: • • That interests me a lot. The news was shocking. A disappointing day. rather than interesting as an adjective. I think it will be quite exciting. isn't he? He amazes me. He can always see the funny side of things. I was disappointed not to get the promotion I deserved. That doesn't interest me very much. B: I'm quite amazed by all the things Paul gets up to. It was really amazing! It was a tiring day. I must say! interested / disappointed / surprised / pleased + infinitive clause 53 . B: He may be boring. If you want to use interest as a verb. -ing adjective or -ed adjective? Remember: people might be interested in something and it is the thing itself that people find interesting. if they awaken this emotion in others: A: Frank is such a boring person. I was dead tired after all that shopping. Most students were confused by it. A: Paul's an amazing guy. but at least he's not as annoying as Ben who sniffs all the time. We were shocked when we heard that everyone had drowned.• I find that very interesting. Other adjectives describing emotions follow a similar pattern: confusing / confused shocking / shocked amazing / amazed Compare the following: • • • • • • His explanation was confusing. Everybody was surprised when Jenny came top of the class. yesterday. disappointing / disappointed surprising / surprised annoying / annoyed exciting / excited tiring / tired boring / bored Note that people can also be adjective -ing. I'm starting a new job and I'm quite excited about it. isn't he? I find his conversation really boring.
it will normally be either with or by. Interested in / surprised by / pleased with / etc Note that if you are using a prepositional structure with these adjectives. We were surprised by his rudeness at the family gathering. It amused me so much that I kept bursting out with laughter. (NOT: … was disappointing him…) It surprises me to see you making so many basic errors in this game. He's normally such an exciting director. Interested. Compare the following: • • • • We were pleased / delighted with all the wedding presents we received. is usually followed by in.Note that some of these adjectives are often followed by an infinitive clause: • • • • I shall be interested to hear about how you get on in Cairo. I shall be pleased / delighted to accompany you to the exhibition on Thursday. not an action. but disappointed him when he discovered that she had spent so much money. and are thus rarely used with continuous tenses: • • • • She wanted to please him. Quite disgusting! I was quite disappointed with / by the film. (NOT: It is surprising me…) The novel interested me because it seemed to reflect real life so accurately. We were most surprised to see Kevin and Henry holding hands at the bus stop. I would be interested in working in Britain if I could get a work permit. I must say we were disappointed to learn that he had abandoned his job. Interest / surprise / please / etc as verbs Note that the verb forms of these adjectives describe an emotional state. sometimes both are possible. however. Pitiful 54 .
woeful. Sandro! Hwang Minsu from Korea writes: What is the difference in meaning between impossible mission and mission impossible? In English.How can I use the word pitiful in a sentence? – Sandro Hello Sandro. Thus. But in many cases I don’t know what the difference is between an adjective placed before the noun and after the noun. 55 . And these feelings of pity will often lead you to help the person or animal that’s suffering. cold. or sorrow or compassion… when you see a person or an animal that’s suffering in some way. So. including past participles. The children had made pitiful attempts to look after their mother but it was clear that the family could not manage. it’s suffering in a way which makes you feel sorry for it and you recognise that it needs help. maybe hungry. his finances were in a pitiful state. that’s an interesting question. if something is described as pitiful. Well. And here are some synonyms for this second meaning of pitiful. but they were not accepted. we would normally say: • Getting all the way round Brazil in five working days proved an impossible mission. You can use words like sorry and pathetic as synonyms for pitiful. and they had sore and infected patches all over their skin. Here’s an example: After years of mismanagement. They hadn’t been fed for weeks. Now these words pitiful. can come before or after nouns. adjectives before nouns Adjectives are normally placed before nouns and this is known as the modifier or attributive position. And here’s some examples: The horses were in a pitiful condition. They can be used to mean a feeling of pity but mixed with contempt or disgust for the lack of skill or care or attention that’s caused the situation. not looked after. Now pity is a feeling that people have of kind of kindhearted sympathy. And another one: He made a couple of pitiful excuses about why he hadn’t finished his work. Now. many adjectives. sorry and pathetic can also have quite a negative meaning. pitiful is an adjective and it comes from the word pity. Thanks for your question. They are: deplorable. disgraceful and contemptible.
I was sitting next to the open window which I couldn’t close. The soup looked. BUT: I live quite near you. keep. describe the state of something or someone or a change of state. become. stay. They include: be. which join adjectives to their subjects. go. seem. There is. e. it is perhaps more normal to use a relative clause: • We are recruiting students who are capable of achieving first-class degrees. In the next street. taste.g.• • He asked me a number of difficult questions. grow. exceptions to the general rule: adjectives after nouns Attributive adjectives can be placed after the verb to be (and other copular verbs). remain. get. Mission impossible. look. In all of these last four examples. Then we would have: • • • The mission was impossible. Copular verbs. participles are placed after the nouns which they define: • • The people questioned about the incident gave very vivid accounts of what had happened. 56 . I used to live in a house next to the Royal Opera House. The window remained open. • In a similar way. feel. NOT: I used to live in a next to the Royal Opera House house. capable of achieving first-class degrees. The suspects remained calm although I could see that they were anxious. appear. usually require the whole expression to come after the noun rather than before it: • We are recruiting students capable of achieving first-class degrees. turn: • • • The policemen became angry. however. BUT: She was a capable student. was originally the name of an American television series which was later made into a film which you have probably seen. in fact. no reason for putting the adjective after the noun here other than for effect. The issues discussed at the meeting all had some bearing on world peace. smelt and tasted good. All the questions he asked were difficult. smell. sound. if I remember correctly. NOT: We are recruiting capable of achieving first class degree students. in fact. Also attributive adjectives with their own complement. It sounds original and therefore your attention is drawn to it.
Jang-Joon Lee from Korea writes: I studied English for more than twenty years in school.words: • • • • • The fence around the estate was three metres high. There are three normal positions for adverbs in a sentence: 1) initial position (before the subject) 2) mid position (between the subject and the verb or immediately after be as a main verb) or 3) end position (at the end of the clause). everybody went on strike. Different types of adverbs favour different positions and I describe these trends below. Is there any rule regarding the position of adverbs? Thanks a lot. Shall I let him in? Nobody present at the meeting was able to offer me any useful advice.• • • I used to live in a house which was next to the Royal Opera House. We invited all the family. officially.g. The issues that were discussed at the meeting all had some bearing on world peace. as a result. but let’s try and find somewhere nice for dinner. There are sometimes exceptions to the general rule. and.and no. not everyone could come. Compare the following: • • Two of the workers were sacked. However. always come here. The people who were questioned about the incident gave vivid accounts of what had happened. This place doesn’t look very promising. Finally. which join a clause to what was said before. There’s somebody outside who wants to speak to you. Comment and viewpoint adverbs (e. adjectives come after most measurement nouns and after some-. thirty-five kilometres long and one hundred and twenty years old. luckily. so please regard this as a basic guide. But I still don't know the exact position of an adverb. 57 . Initial position Linking adverbs. Time adverbs can come here when we want to show a contrast with a previous reference to time. presumably) can also come here when we want to highlight what we are about to say. I couldn’t find anything interesting on the television so I had an early night. any.
completely. always. I'll give her a ring. An exception to this rule is enough which is placed after the adjective or adverb that it modifies: • I got up quite early but not early enough to eat a good breakfast. expressing possibility: perhaps/maybe. Trevor was the manager. She's obviously a very bossy woman. his condition remained stable. I bought an incredibly expensive dress last week which fits me perfectly. But John says I shouldn't wear it.g. Initially. even). quite. I haven't made any plans yet.g. will. ~ I completely agree! adverb-adjective When adverbs modify adjectives. almost) all favour this position. He's absolutely delighted. My boss often travels to Malaysia and Singapore but I've never been there.g probably. but presumably you'll want to show her around London mid position Focusing adverbs (e. obviously. Note that when auxiliary verbs (e.g. they normally go between the auxiliary verb and the main verb: • • • • • She's been everywhere . but tomorrow it will rain.she's even been to Tibet and Nepal. adverbs of indefinite frequency (e. Have you finished yet? I haven't quite finished. He says it's too tight. never) and adverbs of certainty and degree (e. John's been offered a job in Australia. just. Tom won't be back yet.• • • • The weather will stay fine today. officially. I've almost finished. has. often. they are placed immediately before them: • • We had some really interesting news last night. but I'll just see if Brenda's home. is. was) are used. although. may/might 58 . clearly. Margaret ran the office. but over the last few weeks it has deteriorated.
perhaps / maybe I will. buy maybe perhaps was used only in former times. we can use the modal auxiliaries may or might to say that there is a chance that something is true or may happen. Ann? ~ Oh. maybe. but you are not certain. I'm not sure.Katinka Raupenstein from Germany writes: Hi! I'd like to know when you should use maybe and when you should use perhaps. I might stay at home. present or future events. I may go to Scotland. All the VIPs use only maybe. In any case. If you go to bed early tonight. Twentyfive. I've never heard perhaps on the radio. St Paul's Cathedral is perhaps one of London's most prominent landmarks. Maybe you are right! Perhaps it would be best if you didn't invite Johnnie Note that perhaps is pronounced 'praps'. Compare the following: • • • • • • • I can't find it anywhere. They can normally be used interchangeably. but there again. You use them to say that something is possible or may be true. certainly. Compare the following: • • • • • I may go into town tomorrow for the Christmas sales. you may / might feel better tomorrow. Perhaps I should explain to you how they came to be there. ~ Perhaps / Maybe you threw it away. And James might come with me! What are you doing over the New Year. maybe / perhaps In British English both of these adverbs are still very commonly used and have the same meaning. Why don't you join us for the New Year celebrations? ~ Yeah. One of my New Year resolutions is to go to the gym twice a week! ~ And pigs might fly! 59 . There were perhaps as many as fifty badly wounded soldiers in the hospital. May and might are used to talk about present or future events. How old is Jane? ~ I don't really know. If you went to bed early tonight. you might feel better tomorrow. In her twenties. They can be used interchangeably but of the two. maybe is very appropriate for more informal contexts and perhaps is used in more formal situations. although might may suggest a smaller chance of something happening. Note also from the above illustrations that perhaps and maybe can be used to refer to past. may / might Similarly.
Have you finished that book on Che Guevara yet? ~ Not quite. In the first conditional example. 60 . I see no hope . It's quite impossible to learn twenty new items of vocabulary each day. So. In the second conditional example. • If you go to bed early tonight. you may / might feel better tomorrow.we were just spellbound for three hours! Are you quite sure? I think you're quite wrong about this. may cannot be substituted. Study the following: • • • Shall we go? ~ I'm not quite ready. but it also means fairly or rather. Steven Tan from Singapore writes: Hi Roger! My friends often argue about the meaning of the adverb quite. His performance on stage was quite amazing . It means that something will never happen. It does mean completely or entirely. quite = completely When it is used for emphasis with adjectives that cannot be graded.it's quite black. quite means completely. for example cannot be graded. you might feel better tomorrow. will perhaps could be substituted. it always means not exactly or not completely. The colour adjective black. Am I right to say that it is the same in British English? In British English. not quite = not completely When not is used with quite.Note that 'Pigs might fly' is a fixed expression and always uses might. where might is an alternative for would perhaps. if we put this into context and look at some more examples of quite with ungradable adjectives. They are just black. we may find: • • • • • There's no trace of red in her hair . • If you went to bed early tonight. Webster's Dictionary defines it as extreme or very. Do you like this one? ~ It's not quite the colour I wanted. Things can't be more black or less black.the future looks quite black to me. quite has two different meanings.
Study these examples: • • • How did you find the maths test? ~ Oh. is gradable. How did you get on at Barry's party? ~ Oh. for example. it was quite an interesting production. but I will have by Saturday. meaning exactly or I completely agree: • • I always knew their marriage would never last. I'm quite tired but I'll try and finish this book review before I go to bed. it was in quite a mess. How was the house contents auction? ~ Oh. / It was quite difficult. the meaning depends on whether the verb is regarded as gradable or not. Thus. when used with easy. I quite enjoyed myself. those animals won't harm you. it normally has the meaning of rather. quite with verbs When quite is used to modify verbs. Compare the following: • • • • I know they left in a hurry. quite with a / an + (adjective) noun When quite is used to modify nouns or adjectives with nouns. ~ Quite! / Exactly! / So did I! If you stay quite still. ~ Quite! / That's absolutely right. quite. it was quite nice. Young children must never be left at home on their own. really. How did they leave the house? ~ Oh.quite = exactly / I agree Quite can be used in an emphatic way as a one-word response. Things can be easier or harder. it was quite easy. I think it's going to be quite a nice day. it means fairly or rather. Did you get to see Hamlet at the Barbican? ~ Yes. The adjective easy. it was quite entertaining. Compare the following: • • • • I wouldn't want to be on holiday with him. quite = fairly / rather If we are using quite with an adjective that is gradable. means fairly or rather. but I quite like him. it was quite a success. What did you think of the cabaret? ~ Oh. 61 . Nearly everything went. I quite agree with you. Let's take a picnic with us. I haven't quite finished decorating Jim's bedroom yet.
say 'were'. so although we can say: "The Malaysian grand prix is very noisy" it doesn't really make sense to say: "The Malaysian grand prix is so noisy" ." "The Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur are very tall. The other question is a bit more complicated.those are words which describe people." "The Petronas Towers are so tall that they were once the world's tallest buildings. and so normally talks about a time in the past: "We were laughing at the story about Paul when he walked in the room" or "I saw what happened.. places or things to make them more extreme." The first part of the sentence doesn't really make any sense without the second part. and that normally means that it is happening right now. for example. The 'so' part of the sentence explains why the 'that' part of the sentence happens: "Tokyo is so big that it is difficult for tourists to find their way around.. If it was happening at some time in the past.it was something John said earlier!" In expressions with 'when'.that's part of a sentence . laugh: "When we're laughing." When we use 'so'." "Einstein was a very intelligent man. So: "London is a big city." But "We were laughing" is the past continuous tense.So / Very Halimatus from Malaysia asks What's the difference between 'so' and 'very'? And what is the difference between 'were laughing' and 'are laughing'? I think both have the same meaning.. but why were you laughing?" So the difference is the present and the past: If it's happening now. we are not laughing at you .after it. thanks for your question." "Einstein was so intelligent that some other scientists had problems understanding his theories. I forget about our problems.. say 'are'. We use 'very' with adjectives . there's normally another clause . Let's start with the easy bit. but Tokyo is a very big city. We might say that "We are laughing at the comedy on television" or "Don't worry. "We are laughing" is the present continuous tense. Can you explain it to me? Mark Shea answers: Hi Halimatus. it might mean every time we do something.unless you're replying to something another 62 .
it would normally come immediately after the main clause: • • 'Miles looked older than his brother. If so here means 'in this way' or 'thus'.person has just said.me neither. For example: "I don't like motor sports!" "No .' Here so should stand for 'in this way'.so difficult that I think I need a rest now! Use of 'so' and 'such' Savino Carrella from Naples asks: Could you kindly tell me whether the use of so in the following sentence is correct: 'Miles looked older than his brother. I hope this answers your question Halimatus. thus revealing a strange maturity.' ('so' = less formal) 'Miles looked older than his brother.' 63 .' Remember: such + noun so + adjective such + adjective + noun so + adverb + adjective The noun with such is normally preceded by the indefinite article: • 'We had such a good time at Henry's party. revealing such a strange maturity. but is placed before adjectives standing alone or before adverb plus adjective. It was very difficult . and use 'so' when you want to add extra information afterwards. So use 'very' when you don't mean that something is good or bad. so revealing a strange maturity." What we mean here is that it was so noisy that she didn't enjoy it. just extreme. But take care using these two forms. It has to be such before a noun or before an adjective plus noun. I went to the Malaysian grand prix and it was so noisy. thus: • 'She was so indescribably beautiful that we couldn't take our eyes off her. their position immediately before the adjective is correct. if you are using so or such for emphasis to mean 'to a very great degree or extent'. So it will be: • 'Miles looked older than his brother.' ('thus' = more formal) However.' So is obviously used in a similar way. revealing so a strange maturity.
' 'She prepared such good meals (that) no one ever thought of going out to eat. of course.' 'There was so much to do on that holiday (that) nobody ever got bored. the indefinite article is dropped: • • • • 'Such lovely countryside (around here)!' 'Such awful weather (these days)!' 'We had such fun at Henry's party!' 'I don't know how you have such patience (when dealing with such awkward customers). the article is.' 'Don't go so fast! Slow down!' 'What's so funny about that?' 'I'm so tired! It's as if I haven't slept for a week.' Occasionally.' 'They were such good swimmers (that) they had no difficulty swimming across the fast-flowing river. in certain expressions.• • 'I've been working far too hard today and I've got such a headache now.' Frequently heard examples of so in this sense might include: • • • • • • 'I'm so glad you are here!' 'He was so pleased to see her. • • • • • • 'I'm so glad (that) you could come!' 'It had been so hot on the journey (that) we had to drink a litre of water when we arrived home.' 'I've got such a high temperature (that) I'm hoping (that) my husband will drive me straight to the surgery when he gets home from work.' 'I had so little rest over the weekend that I couldn't go to work on Monday morning. Note that when plural nouns are used after such. She is such a fool. when the noun has a gradeable meaning.' 'I'm sure there will be so much noise in the restaurant that I shan't be able to hear what anybody is saying.' 'I love you so much!' You will already have noticed from at least one of the above examples that so and such are often followed by 'that'-clauses suggesting result or consequence.' 'She really embarrassed me.' 64 . We therefore have the new pattern: so + determiner + noun • • • 'So many sun-worshippers had crowded on to the beach that there was no space left for my towel.' There is one exception to the general rule as set out above and that is that only so can be used with indefinite determiners much and many and it is more usual with little and few when these are followed by a noun. omitted.
We could try to phone her before we go. Finally compare: • • 'Such little people!' ('Little' here is used as an adjective meaning 'small'. though we might miss the train if we do. 65 . omitted. Note that when plural nouns are used after 'such'. she had no intention of marrying him. I like the garden though.' 'They were such good swimmers (that) they had no difficulty swimming across the fast-flowing river. 'I'm so glad (that) you could come!' 'It had been so hot on the journey (that) we had to drink a litre of water when we arrived home.' 'I've got such a high temperature (that) I'm hoping (that) my husband will drive me straight to the surgery when he gets home from work. and as the less formal and less forceful equivalent of although and even though.• 'There were so few leaves on the tree that it was pointless to try to shelter from the rain beneath it.' 'There was so much to do on that holiday (that) nobody ever got bored.' 'She prepared such good meals (that) no one ever thought of going out to eat. or 'such much noise' and it would be unusual to say: 'such few leaves' or 'such little rest'.) 'So few people!' ('Few' here is used as a determiner meaning 'not very many'. the article is. she was wearing a thick woollen sweater. of course.' though / as though / like Tamas from Hungary writes: I'm a bit confused about using the word though. For example: • The house isn't very nice.' You cannot say: 'such many sun-worshippers'. Compare the following: • • • Even though it was suffocatingly hot.) You will already have noticed from at least one of the above examples that 'so' and 'such' are often followed by that-clauses suggesting result or consequence. Can you help me out and explain the usage of this word? 'though' as conjunction We normally think of though as a conjunction introducing a contrastive statement. Although she was very fond of him. It's often used at the end of a sentence.
make sure you use like in this way: • • • Like all good curries. is a preposition which can only be followed by a pronoun. Ago cannot be used with the present perfect 66 . I always think it is your mother. As in your own example. as though and as if are subordinating conjunctions. On the phone you sound just like your mother. though is used as an adverb as the less formal equivalent of however. Tamas. It looks as if / as though it’s going to rain. meaning similar to. However. she refuses to work after six o’ clock in the evening. The economic outlook is not very good. particularly American English. isn’t there? • • as though / as if / like Like though. we sometimes substitute like for as if and as though: • • She looked at me like I was stupid. We use though and however when we want to add a comment that seems to contradict or contrasts with what has already been said. it was served with fresh coriander and nan bread. What a lovely sunny day! ~ There’s a chilly wind. if you want to be grammatically correct. Strictly speaking. though often indicates an afterthought.'though' as adverb But in your example. Tamas. In fact. It looks like it’s gonna rain. noun or noun phrase. It’s not as if / as though he’s good-looking or anything. However. 'before' or 'ago' I am studying how to use tenses correctly in English. We use as if or as though when we want to give an explanation for something which may not be correct: • • • She looked at me as if / as though I were mad. I can’t stay for lunch. Take an umbrella. I’ll have a coffee. In spoken informal English. I am having difficulty with the difference between ago and before. Compare the following: • • I performed so well at interview I thought I would get the job. like. though. I can assure you that nobody will lose his job. it was not to be. I can’t understand why she’s so keen on him. though. I’m sorry. Like me. So.
the simple past is used: Your mother phoned five minutes ago. Note that if we are counting back from a past time. Were you here before? ~ No. but it is less likely: I know that chap. Therefore we would say: I know that chap. Because we are referring to a specific time in the past.tense. Have you been here before? ~ No. It does not say when. This is my first time. Can you phone her back? I saw her for the first time at film festival in Cannes some twenty years ago. but not with ago? 'before' . Simple past is also possible because we are talking about unknown occasions in the past. I've never been here before. 'before' .any time before now Before means: at some unknown time before now. Compare the following: 67 . before or earlier or previously are used. I was never here before. We have to say: I have met him before. This is my first time. I've met him somewhere before. I met him somewhere before. We cannot say: I have met him five years ago. (= left home 11 years ago) Last year I returned to my hometown that I had left ten years ago and discovered that the house I grew up in had been demolished (= left home 10 years ago) 'before' . 'ago' . We normally use the present perfect tense because the effect of meeting or seeing someone or being somewhere is still felt in the present.conjunction and preposition as well as adverb Note that before can be used as a conjunction or preposition as well as an adverb. But note that it can also be used with a present tense in the subordinate clause to indicate future activity.at a certain time before then Ago always counts back from the present time.at a certain time before now Ago tells us how long before the present time something happened. If before is used as a conjunction. it often connects two clauses together which discuss past events. ( = 6 years ago) Last year I went back to my hometown that I had left ten years before and discovered that the house I grew up in was no longer standing. Why is present perfect possible with before. not ago: I met him at the AIDS conference in Durban in December 2002 when he told me that he had contracted AIDS four years before. It tells us when and gives us a time or a date.
If the answer is no. past or past perfect verb form or with future reference. like 68 . I prefer to watch films on video or DVD. no.' 'My driving instructor asked me if I’d ever driven before.' 'I said. Ever means at any time. I’ve no time now. to indicate how many times we have done whatever is being referred to. once in 1983 and again in 1995. Compare the following: • • • • • • 'Have you ever been to Ireland?' 'Yes. Compare the following: To stay young and beautiful. we might add once or twice.' 'Are you ever going to finish this book?' 'I’ll try and finish it over the summer. 'Ever' and 'whenever' Tiffany Teng from Singapore asks: We know it is correct to say: ‘I have never been to London’. I never did. How rude of them! He knelt down to say his prayers before he got into bed. so it is inappropriate in the above sentence. It can also link clauses denoting habitual current activity with the simple present: I always shave before I take a shower. I try to go for a jog and a swim in the sea every morning before breakfast. I’ve been there twice. You must take off your shoes before you enter the mosque. Ever is used mainly in questions. I never had.' 'Do you ever go to the cinema?' 'No. it usually refers to time. I shall read all the reports before I decide what action to take.They left the dining table before I had finished my meal. not to place when in front of is preferred. etc. But for someone who has been to London before. To stay in shape. If the answer is yes.' 'Did you ever meet Tom Robinson when you were at uni?' 'No. It can also be used in affirmative sentences with if and with adverbs which express a negative idea.' As you can see from this last example. try to get to bed before midnight each night. There were so many tall people in front of me that I could see nothing of the procession as it passed by. Jason I don’t think I ever will. we often use never in the reply. it can also be used with a present. meaning ‘not at any time’. is it correct to say: ‘I have ever been to London’? No. ever can be used in an affirmative sentence with not as an alternative to the more usual 'never'. If before is used as a preposition.' 'Will you ever marry me?' 'No. Although it is usually associated with the present perfect.
' Finally. ‘no matter when’.hardly. ‘no matter what’. but I guess there's a slight difference. It’s too expensive. ‘who’ and ‘how’ to make the conjunctions wherever. meaning ‘as/than at any time in the past’. ‘when’. whenever. ever is used in the comparative expression as ever and than ever. Study the following two examples: • • 'You’ll have to work harder than ever today. adjectives and adverbs Min from South Korea writes: I'd like to know the difference between lately and recently. ‘which’. Compare the following: • • • • 'If you ever change your mind. Remember the meaning of ever is always ‘at any time’. Compare the following: • • • • • • 'We were playing ‘Hide and Seek’ and we couldn’t find him wherever we looked. S. it’s so long since I heard you sing. 69 . whichever. whatever.' Remember also that ever can be tagged on to ‘where’. be sure to come and see us. whoever and however.' 'If you are ever in London.' 'I don’t think we shall ever see Jenny again now that she’s emigrated to Australia.' 'However hard I try. ‘no matter who’ and ‘no matter how’.' 'If you have a problem.' 'I shall sell my computer to whoever wants it. We’d love to have you on the team. Rajandran from India writes: I would like to know the difference between instantaneous and simultaneous.' 'Jayne. I can never seem to learn vocabulary. isn't there? Aston Ndosi from Tanzania writes: Please assist by explaining to me the difference in use between prompt and punctual. ‘no matter which’. we were unable to find our way out of the maze. you can phone me up whenever you like – at any time of the day.' 'We hardly ever go to the theatre. let me know.' 'Whichever path we took. but you sing as beautifully as ever!' Time expressions. she would be sure not to take it. My dictionaries say they are almost the same. meaning 'no matter where’.' 'Whatever advice I gave her. ‘what’. if you want to finish this job before it gets dark.
which means without delay. I arrived late for the performance and couldn't get in. It's a good idea to arrive early so that you have time for a drink before the show starts. (= over the last few weeks or months) My health hasn't been too good recently / lately .in time If you arrive punctually. Punctually is normally used with the verb arrive. In time has a slightly different meaning 70 . you arrive at the right time. Compare the following: • • • • • The supermarket has recently opened a new superstore outside town (= a short time ago) I haven't been to the theatre recently / lately. I arrived late for the performance and couldn't get in. (= over the last few weeks or months) My health hasn't been too good recently / lately .punctually . neither late nor early . is used with other verbs (see below and note the position of promptly in these sentences. It's a good idea to arrive early so that you have time for a drink before the show starts.I've hardly been out at all.I've hardly been out at all.you arrive on time.on time . Recently / lately .Recently / lately .late There is a slight difference in use between recently and lately (see below) but note that the adverb late is quite different in meaning from lately: its opposite is early. but promptly. Compare the following: • • • • • The supermarket has recently opened a new superstore outside town (= a short time ago) I haven't been to the theatre recently / lately. Promptly .late There is a slight difference in use between recently and lately (see below) but note that the adverb late is quite different in meaning from lately: its opposite is early.
instantaneous(ly) If something happens instantly it happens immediately.from on time. My guest arrived punctually at seven o' clock. Simultaneously . When I saw Barbara crying I knew instantly what was wrong. They had already left. He sat down to watch the television programme and fell asleep straightaway. you do it with time to spare . I received his letter a week ago and I replied promptly to it. We can have a coffee. If something happens instantaneously it also happens immediately but at the same time very quickly. The airbags for the driver and front seat passenger inflate instantaneously on impact in a head-on collision.everybody seems to know them. Note that simultaneous is used in more formal contexts than at the same time (see below): 71 . He was saved from falling overboard by the prompt action of the skipper. Instantaneous and instantaneously are used only in a restricted range of contexts (see below): • • • • The Beatles songs are instantly recognisable . If you do something in time. The train left exactly on time. The show started exactly on time. He's always very punctual.at the same time If things happen simultaneously. as I expected. Compare the following: • • • • • • • • • He sat down to watch the television programme and promptly fell asleep. they happen at the same time. Instant(ly) . Death was instantaneous for all the people in the car when the bomb exploded. I received his letter a week ago and I replied to it immediately. There's no need to go in now. I didn't get to the house in time.before the last moment. We're in plenty of time.
(NOT: Simultaneously I was slightly afraid of her. I was slightly afraid of her. At the same time. Thus. meaning at no time.) Cities are becoming more and more crowded. Have you ever been to the Everglades in Florida? ~ Yes. at the same time can also be used to connect ideas between sentences. Ever is mainly used in questions. It introduces a statement that slightly changes or contradicts the previous statement. At the same time. I was there once. (NOT: Simultaneously people…) always or ever? Could you please explain when I have to use ever and when I have to use always? ever = at any time Ever usually means at any time and can be used to refer to past. Will you ever speak to her again? ~ No. Compare the following: Were you ever in the Boy Scouts? ~ No. present and future situations. is never. just give me a ring. I don't think I ever will. 72 . but it was years ago. ever : for emphasis We sometimes use ever to give emotive emphasis to what we are saying as an indication that we feel very strongly about it. people are using their cars less and less in city centres. Simultaneously cannot be used in this way. ever receives strong word stress: If I ever catch you fiddling your expenses claims again. Sometimes it is used in negative sentences (not ever) as an alternative to never. you'll be sacked. Compare the following: I admired her for her courage in the face of such adversity. in speech. If you ever need any help. We arrived at the same time.• • • The two-minute silence in memory of the famous footballer was observed simultaneously on all the football grounds in England. In informal and semi-formal registers. The shots were fired simultaneously and three of them hit their target. I arrived at the same time as Judy. I never was. The converse.
In the second sentence. My mother and I don't ever agree about the best way to rear children. It's so much healthier. they never agree: My mother and I don't always agree about the best way to rear children. if ever.Don't ever do that again! How ever did you manage to drive home through so much snow? When ever will I find time to get to the bottom of my in-tray? Why ever did he marry such a domineering woman? We sometimes use ever in compound expressions with hardly or if: hardly ever = very rarely / seldom It seldom / hardly ever / very rarely rains in Puglia in the summer. we seldom.e. if ever = almost never Now that we have young children. they often agree. for ever and ever since: as ever 73 . ever = always? We do not often use ever to mean always. i. These include as ever. And in these contexts too. ever is used to mean always.g. ever is used to mean always. on every occasion or all the time. ~ Ever the gentleman! I always year loose-fitting clothes like this ~ Ever the hippie! In a number of compound expressions. ever is used to mean always: Let me open the door for you. but not on every occasion. (Not: I ever bike to work now. It's so much healthier. Here Ever yours means Always yours. We sometimes end letters with Yours ever or Ever yours as an alternative to Yours sincerely. go out in the evening. We have to say.) Compare the difference in meaning between these two example sentences.: I always bike to work now. e. seldom. In the first sentence. ever = always But occasionally. in which we are indicating that a person has particular qualities.
Why don't you try to budget more carefully? (Always = very often) yet / still / already : position and use 74 . it is used to mean always: The water was rising ever higher and we were in danger of being cut off. they couldn't agree. You know you can depend on me. As ever. always = very often As well as all the time or on every occasion. I thought she might be upset by this. he was dressed in the style of Eminem. always can also mean very often when it is used with the progressive form: She always going on about the cost of living and how expensive everything is. They've never ever agreed on anything. I put them down and can never remember where I've put them. I first met him when I was in the army and we've remained friends ever since. I shall always love you. I intend to remain married to you forever. (Always = on every occasion) I'm always lending you money when you have none. Note the difference in meaning between these two examples of use: I'll always lend you money when you have none. In the above examples. for ever or forever We plan to live in this village now for ever. Note that with the ever since construction the 'always' period commences when something happens. The volume of work is going to increase and I shall become ever more busy. Finally when ever is combined with a comparative adjective.As ever. but she was as unperturbed as ever. this is husband's death or army service meeting. ever since She's had a drink problem ever since her husband died. We shall never move out. I'm always losing my keys.
such as Cambridge Dictionaries and the British Library have used. Not yet then indicates that it hasn't happened yet: • Is dinner ready yet? I'm starving. Could you please explain them again with examples.position in sentence I would say that your grammar book. we might say: • • We still don't know whether there are survivors from the plane crash. In a less formal style. not yet. Cambridge Dictionaries and the British Library are all correct. It'll be another half an hour. particularly in informal English and in questions. I have yet to speak to the personnel manager to discuss my future. yet and already.(British Library) Yet . I haven't even ventured out of London yet. but can go immediately after not in negative sentences in a more formal style. 75 . In a more formal style it is possible to use yet in affirmative sentences: • • We have yet to discover whether there are any survivors from the plane crash.Maria Rita Barros from Brazil writes: I always get confused when I use still. so don't know what my future will be. Although she has been in Britain for more than a year. ~ Have you been to Wales or Scotland yet? ~ No. Maria has not yet visited either Wales or Scotland.meaning and use We use yet in questions to ask whether something has happened up to the present time. ~ No. (Cambridge Dictionaries on line) Later issues are not yet published. Compare also the following: • How long have you been in Britain? ~ For over a year now. I haven't spoken to the manager yet. Yet is normally placed at the end of the clause. Yet . Maria-Leena Luotonen from Finland writes: I've been wondering why my grammar book says that yet goes at the end of the clause in interrogative and negative sentences when I have seen the examples: I got the book a month ago and I haven't yet had a chance to read it. it's not ready yet. Maria-Leena.
meaning and use Whereas still and yet normally refer to present and future circumstances. We can say 'well and truly stuck' but not 'well and truly beautiful'. I've tried to reach him several times on the phone.position in sentence Note from the above examples that in contrast to yet.• I still haven't spoken to the manager. Can you help me move those boxed upstairs? ~ I've already moved them. I'm sorry. I'm already late. I have to leave right now. it's still raining. already . still . there is considerable overlap in meaning and use between yet and still. as we can see from these examples. Are there any rules for 76 . Have you finished that typing already? Yes. By the age of three. so don't know what my future will be. affirmative and negative sentences to indicate that something is not finished and that we are perhaps surprised or concerned about this. A question from Katie Burton in China: Some of my Chinese colleagues asked me about the phrase 'well and truly'. I still don't know whether Brendan will be coming to the engagement party. No chance of playing tennis today. Mozart had already learnt to play the piano. Thus. it often carries considerable word stress: • • Is it still raining? ~ Yes. Because it is emphatic. Still is the more emphatic of the two. still and already usually occupy mid position in the clause. still / already .meaning and use We use still in questions. already normally refers to something that is in the present or recent past. I finished it about five minutes ago. I'm afraid. ~ No. in negative sentences. • • • • • When do you expect Polly to arrive? ~ She's already here! Haven't you seen her? Can you give me a hand with the layout for this article. It is mainly used in questions and affirmative sentences and usually expresses surprise that something has happened sooner than expected. but can't seem to get hold of him.
If you see a phrase which goes together maybe two or three times then you can think 'mmm I think those go together.' So hopefully Katie that answers your question. I think those collocate. They're phrases which just go together.'heavy smoker'. If you were to say the words 'well and truly' to someone in Britain they would imagine that the next word would be stuck. for example.' You can use it in one or two other circumstances. It's not just adverbs and adjectives which go together in this way. they collocate – co locate – they go together. you can't move it. So 'well and truly' here means absolutely stuck. or 'heavy drinker' someone who drinks a lot. However 'well and truly' is a very difficult phrase to use because it doesn’t go with lots and lots of different adjectives. So for example if your car breaks down and you try to push it and it won't move it may be well and truly stuck. So for example 'fish and …. 'well and truly is an adverbial phrase and most often you use it with the adjective 'stuck'. To sum up. but usually you will hear it with he adjective 'stuck'. 'Well and truly' is an adverbial phrase to describe the adjective stuck. Worth and worthwhile Roberto Miguel from Argentina writes: 77 . But someone who eats a lot? No it's not a 'heavy eater' it's a 'big eater'. Or adjectives and nouns. someone who smokes a lot. If something is 'well and truly stuck' you really can not move it.' And similarly if you're listening to the radio. Although now I'm well and truly finished and I'm going to go and have a cup of tea. So. There are no clear rules to for why certain adverbs go with certain adjectives. this is a phrase which goes together. or is it an adjective and is it only for negative things? Karen Adams answers: Thank you for your question Katie. These are what we call fixed phrases. When you're reading a newspaper or a book try to work out phrases that you see coming up more than once. So for example if I come home and I want to have a biscuit and I look in the biscuit tin and there are none there I can say 'well they are well and truly finished'. chips'. And first let me explain what 'well and truly stuck' means. So how do you learn these phrases which go together? Well the two best things you can do are to read and to listen. We often find nouns and nouns go together. when you're listening to the BBC World Service if you hear the phrase two or three times. there are no real rules to learn. And really when we say something is well and truly stuck it shows that we are actually a little bit frustrated or we really aren't very happy about the fact that we can't move it. And they just go together. they just do. Basically these phrases which go together form patterns.using this phrase or is it just a case of learning it? Is 'well and truly' an adverb and what should follow it. for example we can say . 'well and truly stuck. if you say to someone in Britain the adverb – 'stunningly' – the adjective they're most likely to think of is 'beautiful'. make a note of it. You just have to be able to work out what the patterns are. because then you know 'mmm this is a collocation.
it's not worth repairing. you know. The difference is one of form only and both forms are frequently used Is it worth repairing this car? Worth usually follows the verb to be and is often used with a preparatory it. and also the use and meaning of: It's worthwhile… It's worth somebody's while… There is no difference in meaning between the first two sentences. In both of them we are talking about the value of an activity. Be worth a lot of money Worth is also often followed by a noun phrase when we are discussing the monetary value of something or somebody and saying how much it or they are worth. Freedom and independence are always worth fighting for. It is always worth fighting for your freedom and independence. I shall never have any independence. This car is not worth repairing With this structure the object of the -ing clause is made the subject of the sentence and the preparatory it becomes superfluous: • • • This documentary was definitely worth watching. He bought me earrings worth two thousand pounds.Would you please explain the difference between these two sentences: This book is worth reading It's worth reading this book. Note that with this construction. It's a stradivarius. It can then be followed by an -ing clause: • • It was definitely worth making the effort to watch this documentary. With this construction the question forms how much and what are often used: • • What / How much do you think this violin is worth? ~ It must be worth a fortune. This documentary was definitely worth making the effort to watch. how much is he worth? ~ He's a dollar millionaire! be worth a lot / a great deal /etc 78 . it can be used to refer to an action mentioned in the previous sentence: • • Shall we have this car repaired? ~ No. ~ It's worth fighting for. ~ Gosh.
it means that you will get some (financial) advantage or benefit from it. Compare the following: • • • It may be worth comparing this year's profit margins with last year's It may be worthwhile to compare this year's profit margins with last year's It may be worth your while to compare this year's profit margins with last year's worthless Note that if something is worthless. The policies are not worth the paper they're printed on. The government's promises and policies are not worth very much. Note from the above example that worth can also be modified by well to make the expression well worth. Her companionship is worth a great deal to me. Note that to be worth your weight in gold and not worth the paper they are printed on are both idioms. 79 . worthwhile If something is worthwhile it is well worth the time. She's worth her weight in gold. useful or reliable something or someone is: • • She's always there for me.With these expressions we are saying how good. Sometimes. It's not really worth my while to spend the whole day on my feet behind the counter for as little as fifty pounds.he got to see everyone on his list. money or effort that you spend on it: • • It was a worthwhile journey . Word order cannot be changed. The meeting was so worthwhile and all the arguments about profit margins have now been sorted out. worthwhile simply means of value and can be used in a similar way to worth with preliminary it. With hyperinflation the local currency has become virtually worthless. even though it may take some time or trouble: • • It would be well worth your while to invest in shares now while the stock market is low. be worth somebody's while If you say it will be worth your while to do something. it has no value or use: • • The guarantee will be worthless if the company goes out of business.
The yachtsman had lost all sense of direction. we managed to enjoy ourselves. This is confusing. mind you.'yet' as conjunction and adverb Viji Palaniappan from India writes: Yet is similar in meaning to but. he insisted on going into work the following day. he kept going and crossed the finishing line ahead of his team mates. He tried to book a holiday on Bali. yet as conjunction You are right. It rained every day. 80 . We use yet as the preferred alternative to but when we want to emphasise that contrast to achieve a stronger effect: • • She can play the piano very well. But is a co-ordinating conjunction used to contrast two statements: • • They can speak Arabic but they can’t read or write it. Viji. However. However and nevertheless are sometimes used as more formal alternatives to yet: • • He had no chance of winning the race or even of coming in the first six. ~Did you receive the book? ~Not yet. and yet she can’t read music at all. The problem is that yet can be used as an adverb as well as a co-ordinating conjunction. Yet is similar in meaning to but. yet she can’t read music at all. In colloquial spoken English. Still. He had not slept for three nights. But people also say: not yet. Nevertheless. but still or still are sometimes used as less formal alternatives to yet: • The weather was lousy. The yachtsman had lost all sense of direction. but he didn’t have enough money to pay for it. Even so. yet he refused to give up in his attempt to cross the Atlantic. We sometimes put and in front of yet when it is used in this way or use even so as an alternative to yet or and yet: • • She can play the piano very well. Let’s look at its function as a conjunction first of all. he refused to give up in his attempt to cross the Atlantic.
I still haven’t been to Wales or Scotland. We are saying that we are very surprised that it hasn’t happened.• • I don’t like the work very much. Still can sometimes be used as an alternative to yet. yet as adverb When yet is used as an adverb. When we use still in this way. I forgot. it is used to talk about something over a period of time. sorry. 81 . They’re not ripe yet. As we can see from the above examples. Mark Shea answers: Hi Richard . there was no intention involved. though I’ve visited England many times. the people I work with are very nice. but it is sometimes used in affirmative sentences in a more formal style: • • I have yet to meet the man I wish to marry. and we can?t really use 'incident' like this. Confusing words & expressions 'accident' and 'incident' I would like to know the difference between 'accident' and 'incident'. though in American English you will sometimes hear it used with the past tense. yet is normally used with negative sentences and in questions. even though I’ve visited England many times. it is emphatic. You can be very annoying at times. It is normally used with present and perfect tenses. Mind you.I can see the confusion here . I haven’t been to Wales or Scotland yet. Did you phone him yet? No. up till now: • • Is lunch ready yet? Are the Hunts back from their holiday yet? It is often used with the negative when you are saying that up to the present time something has not happened. but we still love you. / They’re still not ripe. We have yet to learn whether there will be any survivors from the earthquake.the words even sound nearly the same! I think that the most important difference is that 'an accident' is something which happens purely by chance. Compare the following: • • • • Don’t eat the plums.
or sometimes if we want to make an event sound less important. Acting / Acting as A question from M. Post-it notes. who was trying to make a very strong glue created a very weak one instead." It means that they are investigating to see if someone has committed a crime. The police use 'incident' to talk about possible crimes. Li was looking for an argument and brought up the subject of the recent elections.... perhaps it's something you do or did without thinking. We often say 'incident' when we don't want to mention what actually happened. we might talk about "the incident last summer" for example. And they were discovered by accident when a scientist. We often use 'accident' to describe something unpleasant or unfortunate ? "She had an accident while she was skiing and broke her leg. you don't mean to do it. are little sticky pieces of paper that we use to write notes on. It might be something completely intentional . Mbewe in Zambia: What is the difference between 'Acting as Chief Executive Officer' and 'Acting Chief Executive Officer'? This is in relation to office duties. He didn't mean to discover Postit notes . "The car accident caused a big problem on the motorway.we can use it to talk about almost anything that happens. any single event." It's especially common to use it when we are talking about traffic and vehicle collisions ." We couldn't call the argument 'an accident' because Li started it deliberately. but incidents might be! I hope this answers your question Richard.If you do something by accident. "We don't talk about politics at home since the incident last summer." 'An incident' is much more general . If we were describing a particular time when something went badly wrong. if they're not yet sure if a crime has been committed. for example. 82 .. So the biggest difference is that accidents are never intentional.he made them by accident.someone deliberately starting an argument . It's quite common to hear: "Police are looking into the incident.
And while she was away. or perhaps not find one at all. she's not officially the Acting CEO. You have to be careful with this verb though. the question here isn't 'What is a chief executive officer?' it's about Acting Chief Executive Officers. On the other hand.. for instance: Maurizio is acting up while Glenda's away.perhaps they've left and a permanent replacement hasn't been found. So. who's the CEO of a charity. in her company. but your role is recognized. it's normally a level above your usual job. and that's because it's such a mouthful that speakers of English often just use the initials . let me explain that the Chief Executive Officer is the person at the head of a company. is acting as the CEO but she's not getting the job title or the extra money. Acting Head.'CEO'.. poor old Maria. the pay or the official job title .. the money and the recognition. Now acting here has nothing to do with Hollywood . If you fill an acting position.she went on maternity leave. is to step down to focus on private philanthropy. Acting CEO . But anyway. you're acting up. So in my friend's case. a company might not find a replacement immediately. And he's also doing the work . recently took a few months off to have a baby .Susan Fearn answers: So first of all. So. the recognition. Here's one from October 2006: "Streiff resigns as CEO of Airbus" The chief executive of troubled plane maker Airbus has resigned. You can be an acting anything. And here's another: "CEO swaps hedge fund for charity" (Sep 2006) The chief executive of the world's biggest hedge fund. the Acting CEO got the job title. But you might not have actually heard this said very much. She was lucky! Sometimes. And here's an example: A friend of mine. the money. someone else took her job for a few months. That person might be acting as the CEO . And some poor person still has to do all the extra work.he's acting as the CEO..it just means being temporarily but officially in a job. we can say. Like many English phrasal verbs it's got 83 . And the person that normally does that job is away . two examples: Maurizio is the Acting CEO That means he gets the official title. That person had an official job title. and that's true of both speech and writing. Now a quick word about a related phrasal verb 'act up'. Acting Editor.Acting Chief Executive Officer.they may or may not be. pretty much: an Acting Manager. I've got a couple of examples from BBC news stories.they're doing the work but not necessarily getting the recognition.
He’s been a heavy smoker and drinker all his adult life. The First World War yielded much heavier casualties than had ever been known before. The strong wind whipped the waves up into three-metre-high breakers. Interestingly. light weeks." And if you say: "My boss is acting up" . we wouldn’t quite so often say a light smoker or a light drinker. As you progress further with your English studies. They hit me so hard that I found it difficult to stay on my feet. I think you would rarely hear 84 . He’s only nine years old. I’ve had a really heavy week – I’ve got a really heavy timetable this term. hard. light meals. It was a very heavy meal – far too much meat and not enough vegetables or salads. thinking about antonyms of heavy. should it be : heavy traffic or severe traffic or heavy / strong / severe wind or heavy / strong / severe / hard rain or They hit me so hard/strong…? I would be much obliged if you could give me an answer. Always try to learn use of vocabulary from the context in which it appears and with the help of an EnglishEnglish dictionary which gives plenty of examples of use as well as definitions. you will become more sensitive to which adjectives best collocate with which nouns and which adverbs best collocate with which verbs. we would talk about: • • • The heavy rain and heavy traffic made me late for my appointment. although we would talk about light suitcases.more than one meaning. strong. In your examples. 'Act up' can also mean 'misbehave'. For example.it could have either meaning! adjective-noun collocations Amin studying English in New Zealand writes: I usually get confused using adjectives like heavy. light timetables and light casualties. as in: "My children have been really acting up today. You can learn this by listening to as much spoken English as possible and reading as much written English as possible. Amin. Other examples or contexts of usage with heavy / strong / severe / hard might be: heavy • • • • • • He won’t be able to lift such a heavy suitcase. severe. She had a very heavy cold and her breathing was heavy too.
and a slight accent. although you might say that someone’s breathing was very light.(The converse of a statement or fact is the opposit of it. hard • • • It was a hard exam and the final question was really hard – it was a hard nut to crack! It’s been a long hard day and I’ve been working very hard. We had no hard evidence that they had used hard drugs. we would probably say: I don’t have very strong views on this and I had some support.someone say a light cold. Thinking of antonyms of strong in these contexts. I am strong in the social sciences and psychology is perhaps my strongest subject. I had the strong support of everybody in the room. although we would talk about a weak influence. Instead it would be a slight cold. 85 . We are under severe pressure to reduce the wage bill and make 500 workers redundant. a weak case. She speaks English quite well but with a strong French accent. a severe shortage of food. lenient penalties or leniently punished. For the converse of strong views and strong support. Although I have strong views on this. slight damage and slight shortages. The heavy rain caused severe damage to crops and. being weak in social sciences and my weakest subject. some pressure.) strong • • • • Martina Hingis has always exerted a strong influence on the way I play tennis. He has a strong case and there is a strong chance that his appeal will be successful.) severe • • • • The severe weather/severe winter meant that hundreds of schools had to be closed. we would have to say a slight chance. They had a hard life and worked through hard times. Conversely. The magistrate imposed severe penalties – they were severely punished. we would talk about mild weather and mild winters. later on.(The antonyms of a word is another word which means the opposite.
an easy life.. 'He's easily frightened. we can say either: 'I'm afraid that there are at least seven ways' OR.I need the money! Or when someone calls and the person they want to speak to isn't there: A: Could I speak to Sun Chen please? B: I'm afraid not. ?He's afraid to ask for help. we might say an easy exam. disappoint. 'I'm afraid there are at least seven ways' . Faroush from Iran asks: What is the meaning of 'afraid' in different sentences and situations? Rachel Wicaksono answers: This is an interesting question. 'Afraid' + not. so we can't talk about 'an easily afraid person'. is used to mean 'yes'.. annoy or even worry them. try these: 'He's an easily frightened person' or even simpler. which means that it was difficult to do this... Instead. But remember that 'afraid' can't be used before a noun.. I have to work . circumstantial evidence and I haven’t worked very hard. Here's an example of how we can use 'afraid' to mean 'no': A: Are you doing anything nice this weekend. I have to be home by 9 o'clock. 86 .' 'He's afraid of something' . has no converse form.for example. Farhoush and I'm afraid that there are at least seven ways to use the adjective 'afraid'! The most common meaning of 'afraid' is the one I have just used to introduce the topic -when we want to politely tell someone something that may upset. easy times. soft drugs. 'afraid' meaning 'yes': A: Are you leaving now. The expression a hard nut to crack. ?He's afraid of spiders? 'He's afraid to do something .for example. easy questions. he's not available at the moment. That's not right. In terms of the grammar. Femi? F: I'm afraid not. The next most common meaning of 'afraid' is 'to be frightened'.? So lots of examples there! Less common uses of the adjective 'afraid' are used as a way of saying either 'yes' and 'no'.? 'He's afraid of doing something . ?He's afraid of flying.for example. an easy day. We usually hear this meaning of 'afraid' in spoken English. Yvonne? Y: I'm afraid so. Would you like to leave a message? Next.without using 'that'.. is used to mean 'no' And 'Afraid' + so.Conversely.
other than in either religious or ancient texts. by about the 18th century these forms were not so widely used and I can clarify that nowadays we would definitely not see or hear these in typical situations. 'give' as 'giveth' and 'should' as 'shouldst'. meaning they're not in active use anymore. 'thou' would always be replaced with 'you'. I'm afraid that there are several uses of the word! And I hope this has helped. spoken or written. 'giveth' 'hast' etc . This is a really interesting one. afraid / scared . Frightened suggests more sudden fear: 87 .most notably in certain religious texts such as The Bible or possibly English translations of The Qur'an.' Sian Harris answers: Hi there. or as they appear in literature and other forms of writing from previous centuries. I cannot understand this method of writing. But all these adjectives express roughly the same degree of worry or fear and can therefore be used interchangeably to some extent. for example. And third.'thou'. In other words. to return to the most common meaning of 'afraid'.. A specialist in the development and history of English would perhaps be able to tell you more about the origins and the use of the specific words in your example. Second.frightening / terrifying Hasan asks: when do you use afraid and when do you use scared? Natali asks: Could you please explain to me the difference in meaning between scary. thanks for your question. but most of them would have been in use from around the 15th century onwards in a form now known by academics as 'Early Modern English'. 'seest' with 'see' and so on.. Although this was by no means used consistently if one examines different texts from the time. Sometimes you write 'had' as 'hath'. In some very old forms of English you will see these type of words .So let's sum up. So. to mean 'yes' when we say 'I'm afraid so' and 'no' when we say 'I'm afraid not'. We can use the word 'afraid' in the following ways: First. In today's English. I'll give you an example to explain clearly my question: 'Thou seest their eyes overflow with tears. to politely tell someone something that may disappoint them. to simply mean: 'frightened'. frightening and terrifying? afraid / scared / frightened There are differences in use and I shall try to illustrate these. A question from Mechekef in Algeria: I would like to ask a question and I would be very thankful if you answered it. these forms are what we call 'archaic'.
All three can be followed by the to + infinitive pattern: She seemed too scared to swim where there were such big waves. We cannot use afraid in this way: She was scared by the hooting of the owl. 88 . afraid / scared / frightened . I’m afraid I / we / he / etc I’m afraid… is also used in another way. I’m afraid we shan’t be able to come on the skiing trip with you. without doubt. Don’t be scared / afraid / frightened. meaning: I regret that I have to tell you that…. Everyone seems to be afraid of / scared of him. but instead is used after a verb. I was too frightened to jump in at the deep end of the pool.position in clause Note that afraid is one of those adjectives that cannot normally be used before a noun. All three can be followed by of + -ing clause. He appeared frightened. a frightened man. Note that terrified expresses a stronger degree of fear. Scared and frightened can be used in both positions: He seemed afraid. She’s terrified of / by large dogs and won’t go near them. He’s a strict teacher. He was. They were frightened / terrified by the gunfire and the breaking of glass.All small children are afraid of / scared of / frightened of school bullies. John’s got to work. I’m not going to hurt you. Your son’s been knocked over on his bike. After such an experience she’s afraid to go anywhere near the sea. Frightened cannot always be followed by of + pronoun or noun: He’s afraid of / scared of / frightened of flying in small planes. We can be scared by or frightened by something. It is used to introduce bad news in a gentle or polite way: I’m afraid there’s been an accident at the crossroads.
Terrifying describes the things that make you feel terrified. We can use these forms as short answers to confirm bad news: Will I really have to repeat the course next year? ~ I’m afraid so. It’s frightening to think that they are capable of producing nuclear weapons. frightened / frightening As a general rule.He’s done very little work. scared / scary Scary is the adjective relating to things or situations. Frightening describes the things that make you feel frightened: She looked very frightened when I told her she would lose her job. Can’t you really come on the skiing trip with us? ~ I’m afraid not. / I’m afraid not. It was one of the most frightening films I had ever seen. I doubt he will ever recover from it. It was a terrifying experience. remember. scared the adjective relating to how people feel. He’ll have to repeat the course. So. frightened describes how you feel. I’m afraid so. terrified / terrifying Similarly. adjectives ending in -ed are used to describe how people feel. I felt scared when night fell and I was nowhere near human habitation. I was terrified I would lose my job when the restructuring was announced. Terrified and terrifying express a higher degree of anxiety or worry than frightened and frightening: I was so much in debt. Adjectives ending in -ing describe the things or situations that give rise to these feelings. Using 'approve' 89 . I’m afraid. Scary and frightening express similar levels of fear or worry: Being alone in a cave with five thousand bats was scary. terrified describes you feel.
. Sometimes 'Archenemy'.. In general usage. Some examples. is to be Spider-Man's next archenemy. Approve'by itself means 'sanction' or 'endorse' as in these two examples. a university admissions tutor. is used to mean 'the devil'.' f you approve of something.. has been chosen for 90 . what does this statement mean? ".' archenemy Thank you for your efforts to teach us English.as in 'arch hyphen enemy' . according to reports.the Daleks are Dr Who's most dangerous enemies and have threatened the Doctor's life on many occasions. of how 'archenemy' is used include: ". 'archenemy' means 'the main enemy'.' 'I cannot approve your application to study law because you do not have the relevant qualifications. the Daleks.. "Oscar-nominated actor. 'Arch' in the word 'archenemy' is from the Greek 'arkhos' meaning 'most important'..' 'Why don't you approve of my friends? They are all good upright people. Thomas Haden Church.'arch-enemy'. though I notice that the BBC choose to use a hyphen to join the two parts of the word .Frank Hasenmueller from Germany asks: I would like to know if there is a difference in using approve with or without the preposition of in your sentence structure.is our arch enemy " Rachel Wicaksono answers: Hi Awad! Thank you for this vocabulary question. my beloved language.. an accountant is speaking and in the second. usually beginning with a capital 'A'. • • 'I cannot approve the reimbursement because you haven't given me the receipts for your expenditure. Or is it just the same? The meaning of approve changes when you add the preposition of to make approve of." . then you consider it to be good or you agree with it. first of all.they're bringing back Doctor Who's archenemies. Well. all from films and TV shows.." "The actor playing Harry Potter's archenemy. I want to know. In the first.. Lord Voldemort. Consider: • • 'I don't approve of smoking in restaurants because it is so upsetting usually for non-smokers. 'archenemy' is a countable noun that is usually spelled as one word.
'Ally'. we might say: Exercise. and just don't realise it yet. is important for good health. Here we go: Some consumer goods. like has a couple of different meanings you may not be aware of. Well.. In conversation. Let's hope we have some allies and at least one best friend as well! As / Like Well thank you! What poetic examples you’ve given me to work with! If I could fly like a bird and I love you just as before. but I’ll try! Here we go: The view was just as I remembered it. But on a more personal level. as is still used in conversation. Exercise is just as important as diet for good health. And. Silvio). But I think we’d use the as .. group or nation that is linked to another or others because they have something in common that they'd like to achieve. like household electrical products. But maybe that's another topic! So. I don’t think I can think of examples as romantic as yours Silvio. exercise and diet. and like is the informal equivalent. where it means such as. as well as our enemies. Like is common in conversation in comparative metaphors. In conversation. two states or things are being compared: the view before and now. For example: "Britain and the United States were allies in World War II. or maybe I do. just like diet.The Goblet of Fire. when used as a noun. as structure to say something like She’s as lovely as her sister. means a person.. so choose carefully.. I think the main difference between like and as is in formality. but it’s more frequent in written English. we might say: "Rachel is my best friend. two sisters. In all of these examples. we could use the words 'main ally' as an opposite to 'archenemy'. The view was just like I remembered it. 91 ." So 'ally' is a formal noun. I've known her for years!" But perhaps a word of warning here: some people think it's only possible to have one best friend. We can use like to give examples. we might say. are cheaper to purchase than repair. to continue with like: as well as being a verb that we’re all familiar with (as in I do like you." If we'd like to talk about our friends. have you got an archenemy? I don't think I have. We can see that as is being used as a preposition to show comparison.
So.Many successful Broadway shows.' 92 . you remain in a place after others have gone. If you are behind a thing or a person you are facing the back of that thing or person. Silvio! 'beyond' and 'behind'.' As a time expression. And I’m going to end my explanation here – thank you for your question and I hope this has helped. This kind of usage is very common in the speech of young people. really good on the electric guitar. we can move on. If an experience is behind you. like my son. like Chicago.the man behind the modernisation of the organisation. it is finished. thanks for your question. behind appears when someone or something is behind. like. reasons or events behind a situation are the causes of it or are responsible for it as in the sentence: '. One of the principal meanings of 'behind' is as a preposition of place. Annie and Fame. they are delayed or are making less progress than other people think they should: 'The bus was behind schedule. Sian Harris answers: Hi. And finally Silvio. for example. which is as a kind of filler or a speech marker. have been turned into films. I’ve just got to get. English language learner Oksana wants to know how to correctly use the words 'beyond' and 'behind'.' In these terms it means the opposite of 'in front of. which are taken from conversation: My brother is like really. For example: 'There were two boys sitting behind me. We were looking for a good present for a five-year-old. I’d like to tell you about another use of like. there are quite a few different definitions we need to look at here but the meanings of 'behind' and 'beyond' are actually quite different. like a bicycle or a remote controlled toy. one hundred more points to move onto the next level.. 'Now that the divorce is behind us. Listen to these examples. you do not take it with you when you go: 'They'd been forced to leave behind their businesses and possessions.' But 'behind' also has adverb uses: if you stay behind.' There are also some more abstract uses of behind that you should be aware of. For example: 'John stayed behind after school to take the test.' Equally..' Also the people. if you leave something behind.
In Europe we have centimetres and metres for the height of a person.' If we turn now to think about 'beyond' . it is on the other side of it. although six feet is also possible.48 cm (thirty point four eight cm) 3 ft (3') = 1 yard = 0. ~ That's pretty tall! And the world's tallest woman? ~ It's Sandy Allen from the US who is 7' 2. continue or progress beyond a particular thing or means to extend or continue further than that thing or point. as in the case of '.5''. As a rough guide. you mean that you cannot understand it. quite a few different meanings there to contend with.. etc.Finally. inches.' But there's a more abstract meaning to 'beyond' as well . If something is 'beyond' a place. If someone or something is beyond belief. 'The situation has changed beyond recognition. 'The country was behind the president. ~ That's amazing! 93 .9 in. it has become impossible to believe.' So. you support them.it can mean to extend. but I hope this helps you to identify which word you might use.' If you say that something is beyond you. Could you possibly tell me how this height would correspond in metres? Feet and inches / metres and centimetres Six foot (or six feet) three (inches) would describe a fairly tall man. understand or control it..9144 m (zero point nine one four four metres) Here are some more tall men and women for you to practise feet and inches with: Who is the tallest man in the world and how tall is he? ~ It's Radhouane Charbib from Tunisia and he's 7 ft 8. so six feet would be nearly two metres. British measures: feet.a house beyond the village. To be precise: 1 inch = 2.' 'Beyond' also has some quite interesting idiomatic usages.'beyond' can also function as a preposition of place. Note that we would normally say six foot despite the plural reference. By the age of ten she was already 6' 3''. three feet is almost one metre. For example: 'Few children remain in school beyond the age of 16.54 cm (two point five four centimetres) 12 in (12'') = 1 foot (1') = 30. understanding or control. 'How he managed to find us is beyond me. if you are behind someone. I was reading a biography of an actor whose height was given as 6'3''.
The post office is about a hundred yards down this road on the left.35 kg How much do you weigh? I'm eleven stones eleven pounds . Thirty miles per hour . we had about six inches.that's about 75 kilos.We also use inches. We had over a foot of snow this morning. you will know that recipes for solid substances are still given in pounds (lbs) and ounces (ozs) and for liquid substances in pints (1 pint = 0.is that approximately 50 kph? ~ I guess it is. but watch out for lower speed restrictions which may be sign-posted. Somebody my height and build (I'm 5' 8'') should weigh between 10 st 7 and 11 st 7.4536 kg (o point four five three six kilos) 14 lbs = 1stone = 6. ~ Is that two blocks away in American English? ~ Two or three. Here is another conversion table and note the abbreviations that are used: 1 ounce = 28. pounds and stones / grams and kilograms English people just like to be different. don't they? The bad news is that we still use pounds and stones to measure people's weight instead of kilograms. Ounces.6093 km (one point six o nine three km) If you are planning to drive in Britain next year you will need to know the following: The speed limit in towns and built-up areas is normally 30 mph (thirty miles per hour) although in some areas it may be 20 mph.is that roughly 110 kph? ~ Round about 110. Note the following examples: Our dining room is long and narrow . The speed limit on motorways is 70 mph. At least the older generation do. I'd say. 94 .57 litres). How much did you have? ~ Oh. A rough guide here is that 4 ozs is very roughly 100 gr. And if you are cooking something in an English house. feet and yards to measure length and width as well as height.35 g (twenty eight point three four grams) 16 oz = 1 pound = 0. To complete the table: 1760 yd = 1 mile = 1. I'm a little bit overweight for my height. And seventy miles per hour . yes. The speed limit on roads outside towns and villages is normally 60 mph except where it is sign-posted as 50 mph.it's about 30' by 10'.
you will need to note English clothing sizes. programme content. 1 egg. The word broadcaster can refer to an organisation such as the BBC (UK) or NBC (USA) which produces television and radio programmes. and announcer. broadcaster. and welcome to[name of show] with me [name of presenter]. ½ tsp salt. and announcer. an announcer may have a smaller role in a programme than a presenter does: on TV programmes. Thanks. directing. and his or her 95 . [presenter talks about the content of the programme]. An announcer's job is similar to that of a presenter. an announcer may only feature as a voice whereas a presenter will be seen on the screen.. ¼ pint milk. Trevor MacDonald (a British TV news presenter). It can also be used to describe someone who is well-experienced in the TV and radio industry. and the difference between reporter and journalist. He or she usually has multiple talents – scriptwriting. broadcaster and announcer are all related to TV and radio: media which is delivered partly – or wholly – through sound and speech (this type of media is increasingly available on internet too). Some well-known presenters include Johnny Carson (an American TV chat show host). All these words are used to describe people who work in the media. advertising etc. links between programmes. introduces or links sections of the programme together and says goodbye at the end. weather. whereas a presenter may have some flexibility regarding the things they say. you will need 4 ounces of plain four. A presenter is a person who introduces or hosts television or radio programmes. The first three: presenter. However. presenter. an egg. ¼ pint water To make Yorkshire Pudding to accompany your roast beef. a quarter of a pint of milk and a quarter of a pint of water. and Karim Kouchouk (the presenter of BBCe for BBC Learning English Arabic Service). Dresses / shirts / shoes Finally. broadcaster.Yorkshire Pudding 4 oz plain flour. A presenter's opening words on a programme are usually something like Good evening. He or she provides spoken information about news. although European equivalents are usually also given on the labels. The presenter is the person who introduces the programme. The topic of the programme is not all about the presenter. if you are going shopping in England on your next visit. And a pinch of salt. Hi Suharno. On tonight's show we will be. presenting etc. I'm confused about the difference between presenter. Another main difference between an announcer and a presenter is that the announcer usually reads word-forword from a script.. Your answer must be very helpful for me.
She or he chooses a topic that is in the news and writes not only about the events that have become newsworthy but also often offers some analysis and/or personal opinion. A journalist's work is most often seen in print – especially newspapers – but they can work for TV and radio too. Suharno: you wanted to find out about the difference between a reporter and a journalist. This job is usually reserved for senior journalists at a particular newspaper or magazine. one of the meanings of the verb to call is to make a phone call. Famous British broadcasters include Sir David Attenborough. and may also edit and present news articles. and Larry King in the USA. A journalist gathers. meaning to make a phone call: • • I decided to call / ring / phone him at home as he's always in meetings at the office. writes and reports news stories. Can you ring her back? 96 . for example: crime. I'd like to mention one more media profession. Sir Robert Winston and Sir David Frost. as an alternative to ring or phone. Reporters often specialise in a particular area. call is very frequently used in British English. politics. and in some respects the terms are interchangeable. the reporter will create a report for publication or broadcast in the media.programmes may be considered to be very important and well-respected. And the verb to kid means to joke. photographs etc. A columnist is a writer (usually a journalist) who writes regularly (often weekly) for a newspaper or magazine. Your wife called while you were in the meeting. Well Suharno. In fact. I do hope this has been a useful answer to your question! Calling and kidding Tanya from Russia writes: In American English. health or education. A reporter is a type of journalist who gathers information about newsworthy issues. police and public records. Do these verbs have the same meaning in British English and are they widely used? call Yes. these jobs are very similar. When the information is gathered. Turning to the second part of your question. This may involve researching through several sources – interviews. Finally. Suharno.
Do you also know the informal expression used in British English to give sb a bell. Jenny called while you were at the hairdresser's. This area is sometimes called the garden suburb because there's so much greenery around.phone or visit? When it is used without an object. ~ Sorry. This train calls ( = stops) at all stations to London Victoria. I didn't hear you because the hair dryer was on. this may lead to confusion: • By the way. Note that if the context does not make the meaning clear. call can also mean visit as well as phone. call . She was pleased to see me. He called me into his office because he wanted a private chat. call = name / shout / etc Note that call is also frequently used with these meanings: • • • • • If it's a boy. we normally say to call on sb: • • I called on my sister on my way home from work. they're going to call him Cedric Alexander Roderick or Car for short.• If you need more information. kid (verb) Kid is widely used as a verb in British English meaning to joke if you want to suggest that what has been said may not be appropriate or true: 97 . meaning to visit. If I call your name. ~ Do you mean she rang or she popped in? Note that if we want to use call with an object. Did you call me? ~ I called you three times. you can call this number. meaning to phone? • I'll give you a bell next week and we'll make the final arrangements then. please come to the front of the queue. I called my sister on my way home from work from my mobile phone.
Some of the meanings of words too. He doesn't understand the difference between right and wrong.• • • I'm going to call her and tell her she should marry Ben. Andrzej Macalik from Poland writes: 98 . sons and daughters: • • • • We're going to take the kids to see Lion King at the theatre in London. 'come' or 'go'? 'bring' or 'take'? Joo from Korea writes: Hi. For example: • Do you want to come with me to Tom's party? In Korean it would be: Do you want to go with me to Tom's party? Please explain to me how to use go and come in the correct way. I've been having a hard time because English syntax is so different from Korean. ~ You're kidding me! Where are you going to get the money from? He says he's going to make a million before he's forty! ~ Who is he kidding? He is kidding himself if he thinks that. I've been learning English in Australia for 5 months. They don't have any kids so there's always plenty of money for holidays. A group of kids were stealing the apples from the orchard and selling them on the street corner. Especially go and come. He's just a kid. ~ Are you kidding? Ben's the last person she should marry! I'm going to buy her a ring with diamonds and emeralds. kid (noun) Note that kid and kids are also widely used as nouns to refer informally to children.
He went back / returned to Mexico when he had finished post-graduate training. come We use come to describe movement to the place where the speaker or hearer is: • • • Could you come here for a minute. I didn't hear you come in. Andrzej.I've got a problem with go back. but you can use return for both come back and go back: • • You must have come back / returned very late last night. return The same rule applies with go back and come back. Can you and Henry come too? go back. come back and return. please. We've come to ask you if we can borrow your car for a week. that come with and not go with is normally used when we are talking about joining a movement of the speaker or hearer. go We use go to describe movement away from the place or position where the speaker or hearer is: • • • Are you going to the pub tonight? Let's go and see Auntie Mary before the holiday is over. They've gone to live in Australia and I don't think they'll ever come back. come back. however. even though the movement is away from their current place or position: • • I'm going to the hospital this afternoon to get the test results.they are the same! Whether we use go or come all has to do with perspective and position. because in my opinion (only?) . Could you come with me? We're going to Egypt for a week at Christmas . I've got some people coming for a meal tonight. Diane? ~ I'm coming. Note. Would you like to come with us? 99 .
Jan? I’m going to take the train. I‘m going to have to take them back. was or will be: • • • Can you take the car in for its service tomorrow. 'come' or 'go'? 'bring' or 'take'? Joo from Korea writes: Hi.bring or take? Note that the difference in use between bring and take is similar to that between come and go. because in my opinion (only?) . Some of the meanings of words too. I've been having a hard time because English syntax is so different from Korean. He must have taken them to the club. These shirts that I bought don’t really fit me. Especially go and come. Is it all right if I bring my boyfriend? Always remember to bring your calculators when you come to these maths lessons! I’ve brought you some beans and tomatoes from my garden. come back and return. We use take to describe movement away from the position of the speaker/hearer and bring to describe movement to the place where the speaker/hearer is. For example: • Do you want to come with me to Tom's party? In Korean it would be: Do you want to go with me to Tom's party? Please explain to me how to use go and come in the correct way. I hope you can use them. • • • It’s kind of you to invite me to supper.they are the same! Whether we use go or come all has to do with perspective and position. They’re not here. go We use go to describe movement away from the place or position where the speaker or hearer is: 100 . Andrzej Macalik from Poland writes: I've got a problem with go back. He’s taken my umbrella too. I've been learning English in Australia for 5 months.
He’s taken my umbrella too. even though the movement is away from their current place or position: • • I'm going to the hospital this afternoon to get the test results. I‘m going to have to take them back. that come with and not go with is normally used when we are talking about joining a movement of the speaker or hearer. I've got some people coming for a meal tonight. They've gone to live in Australia and I don't think they'll ever come back. He went back / returned to Mexico when he had finished post-graduate training. Andrzej. 101 . Can you and Henry come too? go back. Diane? ~ I'm coming. return The same rule applies with go back and come back. come back. Would you like to come with us? bring or take? Note that the difference in use between bring and take is similar to that between come and go. Note. but you can use return for both come back and go back: • • You must have come back / returned very late last night. We use take to describe movement away from the position of the speaker/hearer and bring to describe movement to the place where the speaker/hearer is. Jan? I’m going to take the train. He must have taken them to the club. please. come We use come to describe movement to the place where the speaker or hearer is: • • • Could you come here for a minute. They’re not here.• • • Are you going to the pub tonight? Let's go and see Auntie Mary before the holiday is over. I didn't hear you come in. however. These shirts that I bought don’t really fit me. We've come to ask you if we can borrow your car for a week. was or will be: • • • Can you take the car in for its service tomorrow. Could you come with me? We're going to Egypt for a week at Christmas .
not a heart attack. blackboard etc. Let's look at some words that are compounded and written as one word: blackbird. because these rules are not fixed! 102 . compounds where one of the words has more than one syllable are normally written with a hyphen or as two separate words.like petrol station or heart attack. touches on an important process in forming words in English.• • • It’s kind of you to invite me to supper.so eye-witness with a hyphen can be spelled eyewitness without a hyphen. But there is really no substitute for a good dictionary in this case.not all.as in the two words that you mentioned: classroom and blackboard. the same is true of drop-out. skateboard. and each of the independent words that make them up is one syllable. and this may help you. What happens is that two independent words combine and make one compound word. whiteboard. The second important rule concerns the stress. Amos Paran answers: Your question. for example. Other compounds are always written as two different words . Many compounds are spelled as one word . made of two words of one syllable. but that are spelled with a hyphen. I hope you can use them. And in many cases some people will spell them one way. A question from Charles Otoghile: What rules do I need to help me combine words .usually putting two words together to form one word. and is not a compound. Or about a greenhouse . the first syllable is stressed. which is any bird that is black. You can see it written in both ways (drop-out or dropout). So. There are two rules that can help . This is also true for most longer compounds . But there are many compound words that are not spelled as one word.they have two syllables. such as classroom.so. which is a house that is green . not a petrol station. which is a compound that refers to a specific kind of bird. Blackboard is one word.and is not a compound. a process that we call compounding. Is it all right if I bring my boyfriend? Always remember to bring your calculators when you come to these maths lessons! I’ve brought you some beans and tomatoes from my garden. and a black bird. and this is always true. bathroom. but drawing board is written as two words. but living room is written as two words. we talk about a petrol station. but most of them . So bathroom is one word. Charles. or a heart attack.a glass building where you grow plants. You will notice that in these short compounds. which is a compound and a green house.or maybe I should call these generalisations rather than rules. and others will spell them another way . On the other hand. I have made two generalisations about compounds. greenhouse. Teachers always like to talk about the difference between a blackbird. to sum up. Observe how many syllables they have .
I teach English in Germany and have lived here for 26 years. I notice.. But which is which. The other is an area of land where nothing grows and there is very little water.. I notice a word which is being used in Britain these days for which I would have used another. The hot desert sand cut into our faces and we had to close our eyes..Confusing pairs: definite~definitive etc.? • • He was a really good cook and his spaghetti made me think I was in Italy. cook and cooker One is the person who cooks and the other is the stove that food is cooked on. precise. satisfactory and satisfying 103 . dessert and desert One is the sweet food that is served at the end of a meal.. you might try this sort of activity as a class exercise with a more advanced group of students. unlikely to be changed definitive = something that provides a firm conclusion that cannot be challenged • • In 1993 he wrote a definitive work on the behaviour of stem cells. The cooker was really dirty and I could see that it hadn't been cleaned for weeks.? • • For dessert I had chocolate cake with whipped cream and then a bowl of cherries. clear. if any?. What is the difference. The new word definitive appears to be used with the same meaning as definite something that is sure. I think the difference is still maintained by most users: definite = certain. by the way. Barry and Susan have now got a definite date for their wedding. that teenagers in Britain these days always appear to prefer definitely to certainly in the following sort of exchange: • Are you coming to the concert on Saturday? ~ Definitely! If any of the following pairs of words are easily confused. But which is which.
There is no alternative to a prison sentence for such a serious crime.? • • The doctor said he was making satisfactory progress but it seemed very slow to me. But which is which. The other describes something that it good enough to be acceptable.? • • He was a man of very few principles who later came to regret the path his life had taken. There's nothing more satisfying than concluding an agreement after five days of talks. Unfortunately not every weekend.. The other describes an activity that is off then on.. depending on the level of the class: • • • • • • • • • • electrical ~ electronic economical ~ economic historical ~ historic complement ~ compliment personal ~ personnel stationery ~ stationary emigrate ~ immigrate housework ~ homework tasty ~ tasteful complexity ~ complication confusing road signs John Chan from Singapore writes: I need your help in answering the following: 104 . The other means first in order of importance or the person in charge of a school.? • • We could see our father only on alternate weekends. principle and principal One of them describes a general rule or set of beliefs that you try to adhere to. There are many other pairs that can be used. But which is which. His principal interest in life was to look after the welfare of others... alternate and alternative One describes something that you can choose to have or do instead of something else..One of them describes something that gives you a feeling of fulfilment. But which is which. then off then on again..
Does this mean that you push your bicycle through the underpass across the expressway? Why not write it simply this way instead: • Push your bicycles through the underpass You are quite right. I understand that the rationale for this instruction is that it would be too dangerous to pedestrians if cyclists rode their bikes through the underpass. your bicycles through the underpass.CATTLE CROSSING AHEAD Does this mean: • • (a) drive carefully because when you go round the next bend. Road signs can sometimes be confusing. a short tunnel under an expressway). shops. do not ride. banks.e. Can you work out the intended meaning in the following: CAUTION . often because they are too concise. if the underpass crosses a road beneath the expressway or motorway. Logically it should be: Push. you will see cattle crossing the road in front of you? (b) drive carefully because when you go round the next bend. you will come to the place where cattle sometimes cross the road? DIVERSION AHEAD Does this mean? • • (a) that there are some amusements ahead which will enable you to take a break from driving and take a rest? (b) that the road ahead is blocked and you will have to take an alternative route? Public Conveniences 100 yds Does this mean that: • • (a) you will find all the facilities you need. John.• Push your bicycles across the underpass (i. restaurant etc approximately one hundred metres to you left? (b) there are public toilets approximately one hundred metres to your left? 105 .
'Devoted' has remained far closer to its original meaning . which has changed very little.we see that they have quite similar meanings originally..we still use it to talk about someone's commitment to a particular activity or object. It's particularly used 106 . comes from the word meaning 'to proclaim'. Please enlighten me when it is appropriate to use 'dedicated' rather than 'devoted' and vice versa. My question is that in some situations we prefer to use the word 'dedicated' rather than 'devoted' while in other circumstances we prefer to use 'devoted'. and 'dedicate'.that's how they came into English . Ikram . Mark Shea answers: This is a tricky question. 'consecrate' or 'devote'. Both come from Latin: 'devote' comes from the word meaning 'a vow'. 'dedicated' and 'devoted' are the two words which are commonly used in speaking and writing. We might identify some differences in the use of each word today. I am well aware of the meanings of the two words. Both words have a religious background. affection or enthusiasm for something. I have a query about two words in English language. however.the words 'dedicated' and 'devoted' seem very similar. and both mean to have great love.STOP CHILDREN CROSSING Does this mean: • • (a) you must do all you can to prevent children crossing the road ahead? (b) you must stop because there are children crossing the road in front of you? ROAD WORKS Does this mean that: • • (a) the road ahead is open and in a good state of repair? (b) repairs are being carried out on the road ahead? 'Dedicated / Devoted' A question from Ikram in Pakistan: I really appreciate your efforts to help us to learn and improve English language.. If we look at the etymology of the words .
you can call some radio stations and they'll play songs which you request for your friends or family. This is a very common question as 'deny'. If you are dedicated to something..to talk about someone's love for their family "He's a devoted father" OR "She was devoted to her grandchildren. 'A dedication' is a statement which says who a book has been written for or who a song has been sung for.. perhaps less frequently. We're less likely to use it to talk about love for one's family or in a religious context it's a more general word. and 'dedicated' to talk about work or other interests.. 'Dedicated' can be used in another way though: A song on the radio might be dedicated to a particular person . for example. for example." for example. So thanks for being such a dedicated learner of English. but we're more likely to use 'devoted' to talk about family or loved ones.. 'decline'.. 'reject' Thuy Nhien from Vietnam asks: Could you please show me the difference between 'deny'. to talk about other areas of life: "Years of devoted research finally produced results." We can use it.. so learners often have problems distinguishing between them. It's especially useful to talk about someone's attitude to their job "A dedicated worker" is very committed. 'refuse'. 107 . 'refuse'. But 'dedicated' could also be used to describe someone who believes very strongly in the importance of an ideal. "The teachers were devoted to their students. 'reject' and 'decline' often translate to the same word in other languages. And it's worth noting that the noun 'devotions' might also mean religious activities like praying. 'reject'... both words have similar origins and meanings. 'A dedicated vegetarian' believes very strongly that people should not eat animals. Mark Shea answers: Hi Thuy Nhien... Ikram! 'deny'. 'refuse'." The central meaning is that effort and concentration are involved in the object of the devotion. or. you believe that it's right and worthwhile and you give a lot of time and effort to it. 'Dedicated' has become more flexible over time. To sum up then. One useful way of seeing the difference between words is to look at the opposite of each one.
'Reject' is quite similar to 'refuse' . "Judge Dread rejected the lawyer's request for more time to study the case" If you reject a belief or a theory. To 'refuse' is the opposite of to 'accept' . with the stress on the second syllable. you 'refuse' to give it to them .if you deny somebody something.if you refuse to do something you choose not to do it. reject.'Accept' could be the opposite of 'refuse'. they behave with cruelty or indifference towards them and perhaps do not want to see them any more. which is quite similar to 'refuse' . the pronunciation is reject. which is common for verbs with two syllables.if an employer rejects a job applicant... the suspect might deny that he committed a crime. If someone rejects a lover. you decide that you do not believe in it and you do not wish to follow it. For example: "I offered him a cold drink but he refused it" Notice that the pronunciation has the stress on the second syllable .but this use is rather old-fashioned. you decide not to agree with it. 108 . 'reject' and 'decline'. so this is different to the others an 'odd one out'. which is a formal word for rubbish. If the police are questioning somebody. "The rebels rejected the authority of the central government. however. or a machine rejects a credit card it is because something is considered unsuitable. 'Deny' also has a less common use.the opposite of both would be 'accept'. for example. so we can see that these words have very similar meanings. you say that they aren't connected to you at all . Notice that in all cases.for example: "The guards denied their prisoners food and water" Finally. their family or friends. The opposite of 'deny' would be 'admit'. The main meaning of 'deny' is to say that something is not true. If you reject a proposal or a request. invalid or wrong in some way. if you 'deny' someone. You could also refuse something. for instance. which means that you don't accept it.refuse as opposed to refuse. or say firmly that you will not do it.." 'Reject' often carries the added meaning that you don't think something is good enough ..
For example: "This shirt was very cheap because it was a reject" Finally. expressions with do/did/done Navid. I would like to know why done doesn't appear to make very much sense in this sentence in American English.. has the stress on the first syllable and means somebody or something which has not been accepted..but this time it is pronounced the same as the verb. the economic power of the United States may be declining" So.and decline a formal invitation. we come to 'decline'. writes: I have difficulty understanding the meaning of done in this sentence: • It's not done to call your teachers by their first names. Listen to how the verb 'decline' is used in this sentence: "As China and India become more powerful. a reject. we might deny an allegation refuse an offer reject a suggestion .. It can also be a noun . it loses quality. If something declines..The noun. 'Decline' can be a rather formal synonym for 'refuse' . in conclusion then. Thanks for your question Thuy Nhien. Then there's the intransitive verb . importance or strength. "The princess is believed to have declined various proposals of marriage" for example.if you decline something or decline to do something.that's a verb without an object. decline. studying English in the United States. you politely refuse to accept it or do it. 109 .
It is clearly politically incorrect (non-PC) to refer to childcare workers as nursemaids. expressions which may appear similar at first glance have quite different shades of meaning. Navid. they are different. He was so tired he couldn't concentrate on the details in his contract. to use another similar expression to describe actions which might appear insulting to particular groups of people (also sometimes referred to as PC and non-PC). The meaning is that it is (not) socially acceptable to do this. At long last their divorce has come through. though they might not use them actively in speech or writing. It did his nut in. it is quite the done thing to eat with your hands. Sometimes. both of these expressions are commonly used. To do your nut means to lose your temper. But are these two very informal expressions the same or different? What do you think? • • I didn't have time to clear up after the party and my mum's done her nut. but whereas done and dusted means successfully completed and refers to something that you are upbeat about. Compare the following: • • • • In this society. over and done with suggests something mildly unpleasant which you are pleased is now finished: • • I finally completed that project last month. Clearly. as they would an almost identical expression it's (not) the done thing to. It may not be politically correct. It's not the done thing to poke fun at disabled people. 110 . Yes. What about he's done his nut and it's done his nut in? In both of these nut means head.In British English there are a large number of expressions with do/did/done in regular use. Now the whole thing's over and done with. Use of the past participle done in expressions normally suggests completed action. to fly into a rage. In your example. In British English. it's all done and dusted. Americans that I have consulted would all recognise this expression. It's not done to remain seated when your National Anthem is played. it's simply a matter of usage. It did his nut in means that it confused or bemused him. as in nutcase to describe someone who is crazy or insane.
They've done away with the death penalty in many countries recently. Slightly similar. The goose was done to a turn: lovely soft breast meat with the juices oozing out of it! Quite different: done to a turn means cooked perfectly and do a good turn means do someone a favour. If we substituted done away with for have done with in the first example. I've done with him.And what about have done with and do away with? Are these two informal expressions the same. I don't want to see any blood. though have done with means end relations with someone and do away with means abolish or put an end to.informality: • • Hi Bob! How're ya doin'? I'm fine. it would mean murdered! How about do a good turn to and done to a turn? Same. sir? Well done. Asha? Yeah. please. similar or different? • • Aren't you still going out with Robert? No. remember that How do you do? and Hi! How're you doing? are complete opposites in terms of formality . You've done really well to win first prize! Well done! Have you finished that job. similar or different? • • He did me a good turn and took care of Felix while I was on holiday. all done. How do you do? How do you do? (Must be accompanied by a handshake and no kisses!) 111 . In very common use are: Well done! All done! and Done! But how exactly are they used? • • • • • How would you like your steak. would you accept it? Done! Well done = cooked thoroughly or slightly overcooked Well done! = words of congratulation for someone who has done something successfully All done = completely finished Done! = one-word acceptance of an offer or a bet someone has made As an introduction or greeting. thanks. What about you Jim? All done? All done! If I offered you £200 for your old car.
put on. dress. it becomes thinner or weaker because it is used frequently over a long period of time. 112 . And when you have finished wearing them. If something wears. You can't go out in such an old shirt. Put on When you put clothes on you place them on your body in order to wear them. Compare the following usages: • • • • • This carpet is beginning to wear. If something wears you out. You can also wear your hair in a particular way: • David Beckham used to wear his hair short. Put the potatoes on now and put the rice on in five minutes. We also put on weight. We shall soon have to replace it. but now he is wearing it long. put on. the opposite of which is to lose weight.Wear. Compare the following (additional) usages of put on: • • • Take that shirt off and put on a new one. There is another meaning to wear. He is such an annoying person. My patience is wearing thin. Wear When you wear your clothes. If you didn't play football every day. it makes you feel extremely tired. shoes or jewellery you have them on your body: • She was wearing a beautiful diamond necklace with matching earrings. The amateur dramatic company put on a new show. We also have the expression to wear thin and the phrasal verb to wear out. your shoes wouldn't wear out so quickly. you take them off. People can also feel worn out. I would like to know the difference between wear. be dressed in Tugba from Turkey writes: Hello. dress. The casserole is in the oven. Don't rush around so much. You'll wear yourself out. but had to take it off after three days as nobody came. and dressed in. I've spent all day shopping and I feel quite worn out.
Why don't you put that new CD on so that I have some music while I'm ironing? Dress When you dress. If you dress up.• • I thought I was going to put some weight on on holiday. Henry will be here in ten minutes. you put clothes on. Either. either and too. Wojciech Szczupa from Poland writes: 113 . There is no need to wear a suit. Have you dressed the salad yet? I think it's better not to dress that wound. I just love dressing up and Edward's having an Edwardian party on Saturday. You can also dress children. It is customary now to dress down in certain offices in the city on Fridays. Be dressed in If you dress or are dressed in a particular way. you wear clothes. So I bathed her and dressed her in new clothes. Her chaperone was wearing a white dinner jacket. dress a wound by cleaning it and covering it and dress a salad by putting oil and vinegar on it. but I lost half a kilo as I swam every day. you put on clothes that are less smart than usual. usually for a particular purpose: • She was dressed in a multi-layered organdie gown with a duchess satin opera coat for the open-air production of Don Giovanni. Compare the following usages: • • • • • • You'd better get dressed now. neither and too Qemal from Albania writes: I am a military man from Albania and I would be very grateful if you could give me some explanation of how to use neither. if you dress down. I find it very difficult. We often speak of getting dressed as a colloquial alternative to dress. I must dress now for the party. We'll just leave it so that the air can get to it. She came in covered in mud. you put on different clothes to make yourself look smarter.
but I haven't met either Francis or Damien yet. ~ No. You can have either the £15 cotton top or the £17 cotton-and-polyester blouse. • • When they function as adverbs. I don't approve of sex before marriage. I want neither alcohol nor cigars for my birthday. I can't either. ~ Yeah. Study the following examples of use: • • • • Which of these apples would you prefer? ~ I don't want either of them. When they function as pronouns.) I don't approve of sex before marriage.) Neither of my two brothers survived the war. Neither Francis. either. Compare the following: • I like peaches and nectarines best. Too can function as an adding adverb which is placed in agreement at the end of an affirmative sentence. ~ No.Try as I might. neither can I (OR: No. ~ No.) I can't make the meeting on Tuesday. thanks. Now that I'm fifty I must live a healthier life. neither do I. too. ~ No. Both either and neither can function as pronouns. Neither combines two negative ideas. (OR: No. nor can I. with either this does not happen: • • • • • I can't make the meeting on Tuesday. determiners or adverbs. (OR: I don't go mountain climbing and neither do I go mountain walking. 114 . they behave as linking words which can be tagged on in agreement at the end of a negative sentence. I like peaches and nectarines. I don't go mountain climbing and I don't go mountain walking. (OR: I've known you for two years. How should we say: neither of them is or neither of them are? Which form would you use? Is one more proper than the other? Either indicates a choice between two alternatives. they are often followed by of + noun phrase: • I've known you for two years. You can't have both. I don't either. but I haven't met either of your two brothers yet. nor do I. nor Damien. Neither Richard nor Judy could come to the party. subject and verb are inverted. I couldn't find a clear answer to this question. Which of these fur coats is yours? ~ Neither (of them). That one's mine. But with neither.
They both have to work next weekend. Thus. That's mine. That one's mine. it should be singular. I tend to say and /Ifekt/ . So many people say affect and effect . meaning not one and not the other. Although this of-pronoun is normally considered singular. A question from Qais Mohammed: What is the difference between effect and affect? Catherine Walter answers: Hi Qais. 115 ..for the word that begins with 'a' they say and for the word that begins with 'e' they say . Which of these umbrellas is yours? ~ Neither of them are.. ~ No.. Neither Emma nor Susan get on with Chloe.) Neither of them is or neither of them are? I don't think there is a clear answer. although spelt differently.on both sides. They both have to work next weekend... Which of these umbrellas is yours? ~ Neither is. Neither of them is coming. Neither player could raise his game.nor are employed as conjunctions. even at weekends. Strictly speaking. Neither Franciose nor Helmut like to eat English breakfasts. are pronounced the same by many people in many contexts. they are placed before the noun. but you will hear both formulations with no clear preference for one or the other: • • • • Neither of them are coming... either. I don't like peaches or nectarines. • • • On neither side of the road was there anybody to be seen. It was a very boring game of tennis to watch. / Ifekt/ but not everybody does.. it is normally followed by plural nouns or pronouns. Wojciech. when neither.. When either and neither function as determiners. You have asked a question that many native speakers of English ask when they are writing and part of the problem is that these two words.on each side. OR: . (OR: .• I don't like peaches or nectarines. There is similar confusion.. I think. The sisters in the photograph were standing on either side of their dad.so I tend to pronounce the one that begins with 'e'.. the boundary between singular and plural is blurred and effectively it can go with either a singular or plural verb form.. even at weekends Neither Emma nor Susan gets on with Chloe. Consider the following: • • • • Neither Francoise nor Helmut likes to eat English breakfasts.
So: 'What effect will the new law have on road use?' Part of the problem. they're false friends. However.as a verb. You may sometimes run across the word with an 'a' but it's pronounced differently. There is a rarer and more formal use of 'effect' as a verb . So you could say: 'Your emotional state affects how you remember things'. and it has also adopted words from other languages such as Hindi and Urdu. that's quite rare and I hope that differentiating 'affect' . In French there are similar sounding words. you see.' Since we're being complete here. or read more likely: 'The influence of positive effect on social behaviour'. I'll give you one last little meaning. 116 .that's the one with the 'e' . You might hear.'effective' / 'efficient''? Gareth Rees: Well Hervé.meaning 'to make something happen'. and so has French. it means that it produces effect.with an 'a' . And that's usually pronounced /æfekt/.with an 'a' . But. Your question in fact relates to the topic of false friends. So you could say: 'It is pointless to try and effect a chance in policy now'. Hope that's helpful. in fact they have a different meaning in the foreign language.with an 'e' as a noun. 'effective' / 'efficient''? A question from Hervé in France: Could you explain the difference between something 'effective' and something 'efficient'? Both could be translated in French by "efficace". so they're not really friends. So that's effect . although the word "efficient" also exists in French and there is a difference between both. There are also a number of fixed phrases so something that you might hear quite often is 'take effect'. often pronounced the same. developed from Latin. meaning a good or bad feeling towards something. And this is the problem that Hervé has with 'effective' and 'efficient'. one's a verb. there are many similar looking or sounding words.used as a noun. will at least set you on the right track.is as a verb meaning to have an influence. it means that it works well.What's the difference? The main use of 'affect' . Here's an example: 'New privacy regulations will take effect on July 1st. So it's a psychology term. Because English has. in part. When it is 'efficient' in French. Does that difference exist in English too . but the meanings are not exactly the same. is not only that these two words are spelt very similarly. These are words in a foreign language which seem similar to words in your own language.with an 'e' . and 'effect' .effect . When it is 'efficace'. or an attitude towards something. but their meanings are also very similar one's a noun. The word with an 'e' . thank you very much for your question.is usually used as a noun and it means the result of an influence. English is a language that has developed from Germanic and Latin languages.
It moves the car. a car with an effective engine will move. so I?ll leave him to decide. because the engine does what it is supposed to do.ensure .In English. Assure. I will start with the verbs from which these nouns are derived as they are in more common use and then deal with the more specialist noun forms second. you tell them that it is definitely true or will happen. A car with an efficient engine is a car that travels a long way without using a lot of petrol. insurance Betty Choy from Hong Kong writes: I would be most grateful if you could tell me the difference between assurance and insurance. often in order to make them less worried. I hope my explanation has been effective. assure .assurance. without wasting time. 'effective' means that something produces results or an effect. I am not a French expert. ensure. A couple of other examples of these false friends include 'sympathetic' and 'sensible'. However. It does what it is supposed to do. and that I have made it in an efficient way. For example. However. 'Efficient' means that something is done in a good way. It seems from what Hervé says. I was told that we talk about life assurance but property insurance.insure If you assure someone that something is true or will happen. money or energy. insure . it doesn't waste energy. 117 . It produces results. We often use such phrases as I can assure you or let me assure you in order to emphasise the truth of what we are saying: • • She hastened to assure me that the report contained no critical comment on my department's performance. that the French word efficient' is more similar to 'effective' than the similar sounding 'efficient'. It is efficient. Let me assure you / I can assure you that the children will be totally safe on this adventure holiday. 'Sympathetic' is a false friend for the French and 'sensible' is a false friend for the Spanish. Please help. I have also heard that American insurance companies talk about life insurance. No risks of any kind will be taken.
In American English.Ensure is subtly different from assure and people often confuse the two. as you suggest.~ Make sure you remember to insure the digital camera and the mobile phones. Assurance First and foremost. ensure is sometimes spelt insure: • I shall try to insure that you have a nice time while you are here. but not everybody carried out my instruction. If you ensure that something happens. you make certain that it happens. the company will pay you a sum of money: • • We can insure your car against fire. A less formal equivalent of this verb in spoken English would be make sure: • • Ensure / Make sure that your working hours as well as your rate of pay are written into your contract. I was unable to give her any assurance that Beth would arrive in time for the family re-union. If you give someone an assurance that something is true or will happen. you say that it is definitely true or will definitely happen in order to make them feel less worried: • • He sought an assurance from me that i'd always be available on Saturdays to undertake the work. theft and third party damage for as little as £30 per month. The insurance expired at the end of July and you haven't renewed it. Insurance is the term used to describe all other types of insurance: • That car is not insured. Secondly. They're not included under the house contents insurance. If you insure yourself or your property. 118 . Betty. you pay money to an insurance company so that if you become ill or if your property is stolen or damaged. Insure has another meaning. Both terms are freely used in British English: • As we came down that hill. I thought we were going to die and I started thinking about my life insurance / life assurance policies. assurance has the same meaning as assure. in British English we sometimes talk about life assurance as an alternative to life insurance to describe the form of insurance in which a person makes regular payments to an insurance company in return for a sum of money which is paid to them after a period of time or to their family if they die. I tried to ensure that everybody wore their life jackets the whole time that we were on the sailing boats.
and so on. There is no noun which is derived from ensure. Sam. 'tool' and 'apparatus'? Thank you for these four items. They are clearly all from the same lexical field.sympathise. Thus gymnastic apparatus refers to all the apparatus you would expect to find in a gym. the spelling with 'i' is North American. and so on.'ize' in American English and are often spelled with . It tends to be used in scientific or technical contexts: • 'The chemistry lab was full of the apparatus needed for a range of experiments'. honour (honor). The most common ones are words that end with 'our' in British English and are spelled 'or' in American English .' Apparatus is similar in meaning to equipment.labour (labor). my spell checker accepts both! Equipment.theatre. Another common difference is words that end in 're' in British English and are spelled with 'er' in American English. criticise. inquire and enquire question from Eric in Singapore: Please would you answer another question for me? What is the difference between inquire and enquire? Amos Paran answers: There is a very simple answer here . The same goes for the nouns. 119 . 'utensil'. And finally. words that end with . 'inquiry' and 'enquiry'. although it tends to relate to particular contexts. Equipment usually describes (all) the necessary articles for a purpose. There are of course other differences in spelling between American and British English. centre.Note that we cannot say ensurance. tool and apparatus What is the difference between 'equipment'.there is no difference in meaning. Luckily. utensil.'ise' in British English . Thus you would say: • 'A lot of equipment was needed for this mountaineering (or camping) expedition. The spelling with 'e' is British. What you need to know is what restrictions are placed on their use.
We'll just take it as it comes. Consequently. ~ Oh. 'take'. Can you please help me? Derek from Taiwan writes: What does this expression mean: take it as it comes? take something / someone for granted There are two realisations of this expression. Here are eight of the more opaque. For example. take it as it comes If you take things as they come.For tools and utensils it is also very important to know which other words they collocate with. you take them in sequence or in order with no need to prioritise: • You're going to be very busy today . 120 . In one of them when somebody takes you for granted. without acknowledging it: • He just takes me for granted . take-expressions We noted in another answer (to review that answer click here) that take is one of the most frequently used verbs in the English language. that doesn't bother us. we talk about garden tools for a gardener and work tools for a carpenter. The things I take for granted in Madrid just do not apply to my life in London. you assume it will happen or is the case without thinking about it: • • I took it for granted that I would give the opening address at the conference. If you take something for granted.expressions Mirto F Santos from Brazil writes: I don't quite understand the meaning of the expression take for granted.lots of customers. Mirto.never any thanks for all the things I do for him. but kitchen utensils for a housewife or house-husband. there are more than fifty expressions in current use that incorporate the verb take. they are befitting from your help.
These include: take after . that just about takes the biscuit! take multi-part verbs Similarly. take it out on someone .submit to insult without protesting. like a dog when cowed • She's horrible to you all the time .work off frustration by being unpleasant to someone • I know you've had a bad day at work. take someone to the cleaners . He took it on the chin and apologised.a stupidity that evokes surprise • I didn't mind her borrowing my jeans. I took off my dirty clothes and put them in the laundry basket. take one's hat off to .take it lying down .to resemble a family member in appearance. character or behaviour 121 .well. but don't take it out on me. it takes your breath away.stress that something is extremely beautiful • When you get a first glimpse of the Niagara Falls. take someone for a ride . like take away or take off which are relatively easy to understand: • • Have you finished with that yet? ~ Yes. there are numerous multi-part verbs where take is combined with a preposition and/or adverbial particle. perhaps for financial gain • He's taking you for a ride. I went into the casino with £100 and came out £1. • I take my hat off to the police for managing the protest without arresting anyone. take one's breath away . Why did you lend him £100? You'll never get it back. Other examples have an idiomatic meaning where the meaning may not be clear from an understanding of the individual words.deprive them of their money or possessions • They took me to the cleaners. I have. Some of them have a literal meaning.don't just take it lying down! take it on the chin .000 in debt. something takes the biscuit .express admiration for someone's achievements.accept a difficult situation without complaining • Her criticism was quite justified. Please take it away. but stealing me underwear .trick or deceive them.
• She took up line dancing after her husband died. birds should not be kept in cages. I'd like to take you up on that. take over . Tommy has really taken to his new teacher and can't wait to get to school. 122 .assume management. From a political point of view. take up on .• Sylvia has always been a worrier . How important is it. take up an activity .accept an offer OR challenge someone verbally Can I take you up on that lift to Manchester? ~ Sure! No problem. If we want to use point of view. I don't agree that cloning is inevitable. that the twins should stay together? ~ In my opinion. control or ownership • It's possible that the supermarket chain Safeway will be taken over by Sainsbury's. Note that the verb needed for going past someone is overtake: • He overtook me on the brow of the hill . Both these expressions emphasise the position or angle you are judging the situation from: • • From my point of view it makes no difference whether you return on Saturday night or Sunday morning. the agreement of the UN is extremely important.develop a liking for someone or something • • He's taken to drinking heavily since his wife left him. I think we would more often say from my point of view rather than according to my point of view.become interested in it or start doing it.she takes after her mother in that respect. it's very important.really dangerous driving! take to . in your view. Expressing views and opinions in my view / opinion I think we would normally drop point of and simply say in his view (in my view / in their opinion / etc): • • In my view.
the matter is over and done with and we can now move forward. It seems to me that when they are confined to a cage they never have enough room to 123 . I'm surprised you got into university with such low grades. academic writing and expressing opinions If you are required to write an academic essay in which you are asked to express an opinion (see below). To be honest (with you).• From the point of view of safety. As far as I'm concerned. include the following: to my mind: to emphasise that this is your opinion reckon: usually to express an opinion about what Is likely to happen feel: to express a strong personal opinion if you ask me: to express an opinion that may be critical to be honest (with you): to express a critical opinion without seeming rude as far as I'm concerned: to express an opinion that may be different from others' • • • • • • To my mind the quality of their football is just not good enough. If you ask me. always wear a helmet when you are on the building site. useful alternatives to in my view include: I think that… It seems to me that… I would argue that… I do not believe that… I am unconvinced that… I do not agree that… • • How acceptable is it for wild animals to be kept in zoos? I believe that it is quite unacceptable for animals to be kept in zoos. I reckon it'll rain later today. I feel she shouldn't be getting married so young. Let's go tomorrow. Less formal equivalents more characteristic of spoken English. in my opinion are all fairly formal ways of expressing your opinion characteristic of written English. to my mind / etc In my view. from my point of view. it's unreasonable to pay for something which should be free.
Faults Fault is not so much used to talk about someone’s character. weaknesses and drawbacks Could you help me to work out the differences in use between the following words: faults. we are wasting resources. many / some people argue… It is sometimes argued… Admittedly… While… • It is sometimes argued that it is possible for conditions in the zoo to replicate the wild animal's natural habitat. flaws. By this I mean there are more urgent economic problems to deal with: hospitals and schools should be our first priority. fault is probably the most widely term used. I would argue that it is kinder to allow a rare animal to die naturally in the wilds rather than to prolong its life artificially in a zoo. There was a delay in the broadcast of the programme and this was due to a technical 124 . for the larger mammals which needs acres of space to roam around in. making concessions To achieve balance in any essay. Instead we talk about electrical. clarifying an opinion It may sometimes be necessary to explain a thought in greater detail. it may be useful to incorporate opinions that are different from your own. in my view. Helen. or expressions with similar meanings. mechanical or technical faults: There was a fault in the wiring and I had no idea how to correct it. Useful linking expressions for doing this include: By this I mean… Here I'm referring to… To be more precise… That is to say… • By spending money on confining wild animals to zoos. While this may be feasible for smaller reptiles.move around. weaknesses and drawbacks? Are they interchangeable when talking about someone’s character? Of these four synonyms. faults. it will never be possible. Useful linking words and expressions include: Of course. flaws.
We all have our own faults. we can also use flaw to describe a fault in someone’s character: The only flaw in his character was his short temper – he tended to fly off the handle at the slightest provocation. she’s a nice person. yes. And. I forgot to pass on the message. He showed great weakness in not owning up to his part in the bad behaviour. It’s not my fault he’s late. However. we can also talk about serious or major flaws: There are major flaws in the way we train teachers in this country. Flaws We use flaw mainly to talk about a minor fault or weakness in something which make it less effective or valuable. Weaknesses can also refer to faults or problems that make something less attractive or effective: 125 . primarily. but. Weaknesses Weaknesses generally describe the state or condition of being weak and of lacking strength or resilience. The main weakness of this government is that it keeps changing direction on key policy issues. This is a more idiomatic way of saying: I am (not) to blame or I am (not) responsible (for this unfortunate situation).fault. It’s my fault. If you don’t get enough sleep. it’s entirely your own fault. There were serious flaws in the construction of the pedestrian bridge. Note also a flawless complexion: There’s a flaw in your argument. But sometimes it is used to describe a weakness in someone’s character: She has her faults. but the last part doesn’t make complete sense to me. She attributed her flawless complexion to the moisturising creams she used. We also have the frequently used expression: It’s (not) my/your/his/etc fault. We talk about flawed arguments for example. I suppose. It was partly the teacher’s fault for giving them too much homework. I’m sorry. A mechanical fault caused the train to come off the rails. There was a tiny flaw in the necklace and it certainly wasn’t worth all the money we had paid for it. I agree with you up to a point. A fault then describes a weakness in something. Don’t blame me. on the whole.
Note that if you have a weakness for something. 'to fire in anger' means to shoot for a purpose in war. Drawbacks We use drawback to refer to a feature of something which makes it less useful or acceptable than it could be. 126 . So. I can never refuse it. For example. none of the dictionaries I consulted (including a dictionary of military terms) had information about 'fire in anger'. you are very fond of it: I have a great weakness for chocolate. Drawback is often synonymous with disadvantage. In a military context. two of my colleagues at York St John University are specialists in Military English and I was able to ask them about the meaning of the phrase. But I'm also unsure whether the phrase "to fire in anger" is used specifically in a war context or also applies to non-military conflicts. The only weakness in her character that I could spot was that she seemed to be over-dependent on others. and provide a paraphrase. so I was a bit worried that I wouldn't be able to answer your question.They were keen to know how well it would sell in Russia so they listed all the strengths and weaknesses of their product for this market. note that we can refer to faults. they're fired to deliberately cause damage or harm. Pierre! Luckily. please. but we are less likely to talk about drawbacks in someone’s character. The main drawback of this examination is that it takes two months before the results are released. Shots fired in anger are never just for practice. here goes. but note that drawforward does not exist as an alternative to advantage! The only drawback / disadvantage with this accommodation is that it’s a fifteenminute walk to the bus-stop. I realise it doesn't actually mean to fire or shoot because one is angry. So. Helen. "to fire in anger" Could you.. and thanks for sending in such a challenging question! Well. Rachel Wicaksono answers: Hello Pierre. flaws and weaknesses in someone’s character. a submarine that 'fires in anger' shoots missiles at an enemy ship.. explain the meaning of the phrase "to fire or shoot (something or someone) in anger". from the shades of meaning inherent in all four of these terms.
so it only takes me 20 minutes to walk there. are: 'inches'. the non-military use of 'fire in anger' implies strong emotion. is fully recounted. 'feet' is an example of a measurement for height. 'yards' and 'miles'. shouting and shooting in anger. unlike 'metres' and 'centimetres' which are metric.. 'to shoot because one is angry'. Other non-metric measures.the first military guns in World War I to fire its guns in anger on British soil. what should I say? I'm five foot tall. as used in a military context: "The sinking of the Argentine cruiser. shouting and shooting in anger. "The man waved his gun around. length and distance. I hope this helps.. are: 127 ." ". in contrast. As you say." ". as far as I could tell. not for practice'. depending on whether the context is military or non-military. General Belgrano. The military meaning is 'in a real situation. which we use for weight. the military websites clearly used the phrase to mean 'shooting in war.becoming the first VII Corps unit to fire in anger since World War II. Maria. You'll notice that from these authentic examples of the phrase.." Now. or I'm five feet tall? Rachel Wicaksono answers: Thanks for your question. For example: "The man waved his gun around. Pierre .. Interestingly.When I typed "fire in anger" into an internet search engine. For example: "It's a mile from my house to the centre of York. we heard how. the non-military websites used the phrase to mean 'to shoot angrily'. the first British nuclear submarine ever to fire in anger. not for practice' and has no connection with the emotion of the person or thing doing the shooting. during the Falklands war by HMS Conqueror..and special thanks to my Military English colleagues for their specialist knowledge! Foot / Feet My question is .. distressed and angry about something he felt was very important." Other non-metric measures." So I think the best answer to your question is that 'fire in anger' has two meanings. In our previous example. or as you say in your question. 'Feet' is a non-metric measure.. It's an interesting one because of the differences between the way we write and the way we speak..which of the responses is correct: When somebody asks me how tall I am." So it's clearly implied that the gunman was extremely upset. which we can use for distance.
I suppose that's because metric measures are used here in Europe. My feeling is that verbs like 128 . But listen to that example again: "He's just like his dad. on the other hand. They might say. and for distance. But some things are changing. Most people now use metric litres rather than non-metric gallons for volume. height. 'pounds'. Shakira. to say you are 'five feet tall' is correct and is probably safer when you're writing in English. especially for personal weight and height. For example: "I weigh fourteen stones. we buy orange juice and petrol by the litre. Maria. if you're listening to BBC Learning English.'ounces'. he must be at least six foot tall. in an old passport of mine. for example: "He's just like his dad. there does seem to be some confusion over Shakira's height. The US. if you're talking to someone or writing and don't need to be formal. rather than 'metres'. That's fourteen and a half stone! I really need to go on a diet. perhaps you could contact us and let us know! So I hope that's helped." Non-metric measures are still widely used in the UK. to describe their own. and other peoples'. it states my height in metres. Margarete Stepaneke from Austria asks: I would very much like to know when to use become. he must be at least six foot tall." You're absolutely right about 'five foot tall'. Most people also use Celsius rather than Fahrenheit for temperature. seven pounds. 'Get' and 'become' Olga from Latvia asks: Please tell me when we must use become and when we must use get. the temperature in London is 18 degrees Celsius. you may be interested to know that you are the same height as the Australian singer Kylie Minogue and the Columbian singer Shakira! However. Maria. However." However. issued in 1987. saying that you're 'five foot tall' is fine. with some sources saying that she is 'four foot eleven' and others claiming she is 'five foot two'. For example. 'stones' and 'tons'. uses non-metric measures. but if you really are five foot tall. so you'll be fine in just a t-shirt!" Most older British people still use 'feet'. you don't have to tell us your real height. for example: "Today.
use get with a noun. Become is impossible here: • • 'I got the highest marks in the class for my essay on Lord Byron. He became quite angry when he discovered there was no food Become + noun We cannot. I was ten. aren't you? It became increasingly cold as we travelled north. I'm getting quite hungry now. get usually means 'obtain'.' 'Texas became the twenty-eighth state of the USA in 1845. Get + noun/pronoun When we use get with a noun or a pronoun as a direct object. his garden got really As he became older. get indicates growth or development and can therefore be used as the preferred alternative to become in an informal register. even though the meaning is 'grow' or 'develop into'. Compare the following sentences: Informal Formal I got interested in photography when I became interested in art in later life. he could no longer messy. as we shall see. maintain his garden It got colder and colder the further north we went. Is there a rule for when to use become? Get. As he got older. We have to use become in this sense: • • 'She was only seventeen when she became a beauty queen. has many different meanings whereas become basically indicates development of some kind. Get/become + adjective When used with adjectives. turn. however. Get is more informal and is frequently used in speech. 'receive' or 'fetch'.get. go and grow are often preferred to become. 'acquire'. become is more formal and is more often used in writing.' 129 .' 'I got my goldfish from the pet shop down the road.
• • • 'I was getting about fifty emails every day when I was working on the project.' Listen is used to describe paying attention to sounds that are going on. but I hope it is slowly becoming clearer. We use hear for sounds that come to our ears. but I went to Bristol by train yesterday. usually. For example. George Pickering answers: Hello. grow and turn to indicate a change of state Grow indicates a slow change and sounds literary. I listened to my new Mariah Carey CD. you can hear something without wanting to. without us necessarily trying to hear them! For example. Margarete.' 'Could you get me a punnet of peaches from the supermarket?' 'Let me get you a drink. Thank you for your question about what is the difference between hear and listen. 'Last night.' So. but I'll get into trouble with my editor if I make this reply any longer. Tien. Thank you. It is a difficult area.' There is so much more to get to know about get. An imaginary conversation between a couple might go: 130 . Tien in Malaysia asks: What is the difference between hear and listen? This question has been confusing me for some time. What'll you have?' Get and go to indicate movement Get indicates the end of a journey and can be used informally as an alternative to 'reach' or 'arrive at'.' 'I didn't get home until nearly midnight. they invested more money in shares. 'They heard a strange noise in the middle of the night. Compare the following: • • • 'I usually go to work by car. It can be replaced by ‘become’ or ‘get’. When we use go.' 'My aim is to grow old gracefully and with dignity. Turn indicates a faster change and can be replaced by ‘go’: • • • • 'As they grew richer.' 'The leaves turned brown as the weather got colder.' 'Can you tell me how to get to Buckingham Palace?' Go.' 'He drove away as soon as the lights turned green. but you can only listen to something intentionally. we are talking about the 'complete journey'.
'Did you hear what I just said?' 'No. which is correct . the past of the verb "to go. First. Let's look at each of these in a little more detail and describe a situation when they could be used. darling. You might say to your friend something like. it's quite late at night. but you could also say: . let's go. When it's a suggestion it is often followed by the tag. This is quite an unusual structure because it has what looks like a simple past form "went". or "Let's go"? The first thing to say is that they are both grammatically correct. they are both examples of accurate English. or . who you are talking to and sometimes the way you like to sound. shall we?" It's not really an order to do something but a polite way of suggesting that you want to leave. shall we?" You want to leave and you want your friend to come with you. "It's high time we went". If you just say."Come on kids. shall we?" It really does depend on your tone of voice and the relationship you have with the person you're speaking to. It could be a parent talking to his or her children ."It's high time we went.which is the common short form for "Let us".' A question from Abdalla Salih: Which is correct: 'Let's go home' or 'It's high time we went home'. This is followed by the infinitive of a verb without "to" and is usually an informal suggestion." . you are tired and you have to go to work the next day. "Let's go.It's about time we went and you can use a continuous form as well: 131 ."It's high time we went ". all using the word "time" where this happens. I wasn't listening. Now. Which one you use will depend on the situation. "shall we?" Imagine that you are at a party. your own style of speaking. You are there together with a friend and because it's late you want to go home. sorry. and why do you use the past tense of 'go' here? 'It's high time we went home' Callum Robertson answers: This is a very interesting question. "Let's go." .What is unusual about this is that this sentence is not talking about the past at all! There are a number of phrases. We have the example . This is often true in English that there are different ways to say more or less the same thing."It's high time we went". the structure "let's" ." However often there is no real difference between "let's go" and "let's go. the other phrase from Abdallah's question was.It's time we went. "Let's go!" that is more of a polite instruction and suggests that you have made the decision that it's time to leave and you expect the person you are talking to do what you say.
the subjunctive form of the verb. young man!" So in summary - "Let's go" is an informal suggestion or a polite instruction "It's high time" . 'hire' / 'rent'. A parent might say to a child.it's about time I finished this answer."It's high time you found a job.. but I thought there might 132 ." You can imagine the person who said that might be looking at their watch and worrying perhaps about catching a train. They are quite formal in their use and are stating that it's time that something happened. as I mentioned above. "let's go!" . to be honest. and .but you could also say ." And that's the same form that's being used in the expressions after the word 'time' However."If I were you. And if the situation is a little more urgent. I wouldn't worry about trying to remember this or trying to work out if a sentence is subjunctive or not.It's high time we were going The past form in these examples is. for example .is a formal statement that it is important that something happen soon or that something happen now.It's about time we were going. 'drive' / 'ride' Anne Beeker from the Netherlands asks: What exactly is the difference between to hire and to rent? I know American English uses to rent whereas British English uses to hire. But that is only true if the verb form is the past simple."It's high time we left come on or we'll miss the train. You expect "I" to be followed by "was". we use the expression "It's high time" which means it's very important that this happens now ." Or again a parent might say to an older child . 'rise' / 'raise'. The subjunctive is often used when we talk about unreal or imagined situations. I think. You can remember the time expressions I mentioned above as fixed expressions and they all have more or less the same meaning. However "I were" as in "If I were you" is the correct form of the past subjunctive which is used here because obviously I am not you and I can't be you so it's an imagined or unreal situation . And now ."It's time we went. You can see it clearly in a conditional sentence like this one: "If I were you.It's time we were going . I'd change my job" Normally you wouldn't expect to see the form "were" following the pronoun "I"."it's time you went to bed!" Which means "I want you to go to bed". In the party situation you could say.
e people). caravan. hire a bike when you arrive. 'Hire a help' but surely not 'rent a help'?? 'Rent a car'.e. It is simply a matter of usage.' With other nouns it is customary in British English to use one and not the other. so I decided to hire some help three mornings a week. depending on whether it is used as a verb or a noun: ‘flats to rent’. but ‘bikes for hire’) We hire some help (i. so we decided to hire a private detective. Sanjay Mishra from India writes: When I return from my place of work on a automotive two-wheeler (like a scooter or a motorbike). bikes.' 'I rise (i.' 'If you’re planning to go to Cambridge for the day. house: • • 'I rented a cottage by the sea for the summer.' 'He rented me his flat in London while he was on holiday in Greece. equipment: • • • 'I had too much to do on the farm. electronic equipment: • • 'We rented a TV and video as we intended to stay in England for only six months. get up) at six o’ clock every weekday morning in order to be at work by seven.' (However. The essential difference is that raise is a transitive verb which needs an object to complete its meaning and rise is intransitive. note the difference in use. We would: rent a flat. You can: rent or hire cars.also be a difference between what you can hire and what you can rent. tools. cottage. you pay money in order to be allowed to use it for a limited amount of time. do I drive back or ride back? hire or rent? The meaning is the same: to rent or hire something. but not 'hire a car'? Erica from Hong Kong asks: I want to know the difference between ‘rise’ and ‘raise’. Compare the following: • • 'The sun rises in the East and sets in the West.' 133 .' rise or raise? Two verbs which are similar in meaning: to move to a higher position. It’s the best way to get round the town.' 'The police enquiries were making no progress. it functions without an object and is sometimes followed by a phrase of time or place.' 'I was painting the outside of the house and had to hire a tall ladder to get to the top. With some nouns you can use one or the other – it doesn’t matter which as both are freely used.
motorbike or scooter) we ride. Keep / hold still while I put this necklace on you.' Note that when we are passengers rather than drivers.• • • • 'He rose (i. Only when the meaning is to prevent something from moving can they be used interchangeably: • • • • Hold / keep the ruler steady so that I can draw a straight line.' 'I hadn’t ridden a bike for over twenty years and wondered if I would remember how to. a bus.' 'I raised my hand because I wanted to raise a question. Hold or keep? Jana from the Czech Republic writes: Can you please explain to me the different uses of keep and hold? I know there are some phrases where I must use keep and some where I must use hold but sometimes I don't know which one I should use. anything with two wheels or that we straddle (like a horse.' drive or ride? Anything with four or more wheels (like a car.e. but he took no notice of me. 134 . we ride in cars and trains. Her talk was so boring that she was unable to hold / keep my attention. Hold or keep We use the verbs hold and keep in many different ways and with many different meanings. We also keep or hold data and records: • He kept / held all his data on a hard disk. a judge in Britain has ruled that riders of go-peds – those tiny scooters which have a very small engine at the back – will also need to have a driving licence to ride them on the roads. In a recent court case.) Consider the following: • • 'I had never driven such a powerful car before. This is a firm arrangement which cannot be changed. a bike. stood up) to greet her.' 'My child was ill and I had to raise money to pay for the operation.' 'If you are raising a family as a single parent. but we tend to ride on buses. I'll hold / keep you to this. you shouldn’t try to work fulltime. (even though you need a driving licence to ride a motorbike. a lorry or a train) we drive.
you do not need to hold / keep financial records for more than five years. note that it may be followed either by verb-ing or by the preposition on + verb-ing: • • • Don't turn left or right.• For tax purposes. can also be used as an alternative to keep with this meaning: • I don't want to hold you up / keep you. Hold somebody up = keep The phrasal verb hold somebody up. I kept (on) reminding him that he should take my advice. meaning not to lose: • • • Can you hold on to these CDs for me while I'm away? Hold on to the instructions so that you know what to do if something goes wrong. etc. There is a similar distinction between hold on to and keep.000 spectators while Highbury. holds only half that amount. But you can only hold records in sport. we cannot substitute hold in its place. hold on to = keep You can see from the above example that one of the slight differences in meaning is that hold sometimes suggests something temporary while keep may suggest something more permanent. Referendums have been held in all central European countries in connection with EU membership. Keep the instructions safely somewhere in case something goes wrong. Arsenal. holds 67. you do not keep them: • John Lees from the UK holds the record for the fastest walk across America 2628 km in 53 days 12 hours 15 minutes between 11 April (the eleventh of April) and 3 June (the third of June). You must keep taking the medication until you are quite better. Keep = continue / store / stay in good condition When keep means any of these. or to put ones arms around or to contain or to organise an event. we cannot substitute keep in its place: • • • • • Can you hold my books for me while I look for my mobile phone? He held her tightly and hoped that she would stop crying soon. meaning delay. just keep right on till the end of the road. Old Trafford. I plan to hold a meeting soon to see if we can increase profitability. the home of Man U. When keep means continue. but could I just have a word? hold = carry / put arms around / contain / organise event When hold means to carry. 135 . but he ignored me. the home of their main rivals.
a further twenty four suffered horrendous burns. It was a horrific motorway accident: twelve people died.horrifying Horrendous can mean horrifying. You do not hold them: • • Can you keep a secret? Jane's going to have a baby.just awful. but it can also be used in a less extreme way. He failed to keep his promise / his word and told everybody about it. They'll keep in the fridge for about two weeks If you want to keep fit. Let's buy two kilos of peaches now. horrible and horrific. horrific You would describe something as horrific when it is really upsetting or frightening to think about it or speak about it: • • Having to survive in the desert for eight days with very little water and practically no shelter from the sun was horrific.• • • Where do you keep the keys to the shed? I can't find them. The walls were all painted a horrible colour and I've never had such dreadful meals. meaning unpleasant or shocking. describing something you feel dismay or disgust about. eat plenty of fruit! We also keep secrets and promises and you keep your word. Compare the following: 136 . terrible and terrific Charlie Qin studying English in Canada writes: What's the difference between horrible and horrific? horrible You can describe something as horrible (or deadful or awful) when you do not like it at all: • The hotel was horrible . horrendous .
terrible . I know that something is terribly / horribly wrong. are both derived from the noun terror from which we get the nouns terrorist and terrorism: • Ridding the world of terrorists and terrorism is easier said than done. Whereas horrific means very bad. Nobody at the camp had any idea about how to cook. are derived from the noun horror which also crops up in the compound noun horror film: • Horror films on television are usually screened late at night. Everybody in the team was terrific. • • 137 . terrific means very good. -ous. -ic. -ing. which have similar shades of meaning to horrible and horrifying. Note that all of these adjectives with their various endings -ible. so I could only afford one.terrific In a similar way. terrible and terrifying. They often mean little more than very. horribly . I had never seen them play so well together before. I'm terribly sorry. Are you all right? I was terribly upset when I heard that James had gone to Mexico without telling me. Note how they are used in these examples: • • • It was terribly important not to make any mistakes on the certificate as it was going to be framed. It was a horrifying picture: the dead and the wounded had all been left by the roadside. That was very clumsy of me to barge into you like that. I'm afraid. They were horribly / terribly expensive. Compare the following: • • • The food was terrible.terrifying . It took me seventy-five minutes to travel eleven miles. Be careful however with the adjective terrific which does not have the same meaning as horrific.• • The traffic this morning was horrendous. Sharing a prison cell with a convicted murderer was a terrifying prospect.terribly These adverbs are used even more frequently than the adjectives terrible and horrible. They should be back by now.
e. This usage quickly spread to the game of football to describe three goals scored by the same person in a football match: 138 . like superb or dire. it was first used in the game of cricket in 1887 to describe an unlikely situation where a bowler takes three wickets with three successive balls.g. write to our Message Board and put them into sample sentences. Most of the audience walked out long before it was over. Hot dogs and hat tricks Could you please tell me the origin of the words hot dog and hat trick? hat trick A hat trick was originally performed by a conjurer at a circus or variety show. The conjurer or magician pulled rabbits or other impossible items out of a top hat as if by magic. Here are some more adjectives which are used informally and which mean very good and very bad. This entitled the bowler to pass his hat around the ground for a collection of cash. • • Their performance was dire. In a sporting context. They had obviously spent a long time rehearsing it. or he might have been presented with a new hat or cap by the club he represented.• We're going to be horribly / terribly late if we stop to buy flowers on the way. The dancers were superb. which do not have these common adjectival suffixes? If you can. Note that they all have very common adjectival endings: Very good: fabulous amazing fantastic Very bad: awful shocking hideous dreadful revolting monstrous frightful appalling tremendous breathtaking wonderful marvellous outstanding magnificent stupendous smashing Can you think of any others meaning very good or very bad.
• Geoff Hurst's hat trick in the 1966 World Cup Final will always be remembered by English football fans. hot dog For those among you who don't yet know this Western delicacy. • The mini skirt is back in fashion. especially a frankfurter. hot pants Hot pants were very brief skin-tight shorts originally worn by young women in the early 1970s in Britain . The expression is thought to originate from the fact that hats. hamburger and ice-cream stands. They were hot-dogging for all they were worth. tend to go out of fashion long before they are worn out. a hot dog is a sausage. rapid turns. Note that we also have to hot dog in slang usage. • • A diet of hot dogs. he's on a hat trick of birdies. • Wearing a tie with a jacket . a caterer with the New York Stadium in 1900. A birdie on the ninth. It originated in America and was an invention attributed to Henry Stevens. but I don't think hot pants ever will be. plus hot-dog. you are king! Similarly. It has since spread to describe similar situations in other games: • Now as he approaches the tenth green. Let's see if he can make it three in a row with a birdie on the tenth. it is out of date or obsolete or so well-known and familiar that it has become uninteresting or boring. 139 . There may have been an allusion to the 'sausage' dog or dachshund which is roughly the same shape. A birdie on the eighth.for young people. we noticed that almost every wave carried a hot-dogger performing tricks .fast slides. hot dogger (noun): • On Bondi Beach in Australia. and particularly ladies' hats.'hot' because they looked sexy. cut-backs and flickoffs. meaning to show off or perform very well in skiing or surfing: • If you can hot dog on two-metre-high waves. ketchup or other relishes. pumpkin pie and ice-cream sundaes is not good for your waistline! On the pier there were all the usual side-shows. possibly derived from top dog or best person. that's really old hat. old hat If something is old hat. inserted lengthways into a hot bread roll and garnished with onions.
the verb which follows wish has a past tense inflection. or that they will enjoy their birthday which is to come.' As you suggest. Why should I say 'I wish you a Merry Christmas' instead of 'I hope you a Merry Christmas'? Is there any grammatical explanation on this issue? The answer is that the verb wish is used in a variety of different ways and hope cannot be used as a 'stand alone' verb in a sentence.' 140 . you are expressing the hope that they will have good luck in the future.' 'I wish you good health and every happiness in the New Millennium. often in connection with a particular event. or when you wish someone good luck or Happy Birthday.hot potato A hot potato is a delicate or tricky situation that has to be handled with extreme care.' 'He wished he hadn't said that. In this sense. wish is also used when you wish that something were the case or you would like it to be the case even though you know that it is impossible or unlikely. 'I hope you will be OK' and 'I wish you were here' (from Pink Floyd). In your 'Merry Christmas' example. the original hot potatoes are difficult to handle when you take them out of the oven or pluck them from the barbeque fire. Care has to be taken not to drop them! Hope / wish J Daudt from Brazil asks: I was told by an English teacher that the main difference between the verbs hope and wish is that when we use hope we do not know all the facts (a kind of future meaning) and when we use wish we know all the facts already. for Fiona was terribly upset.' 'They wished me all the best in my new job. As you will know. • The new law is politically a hot potato for the government as many people are very unhappy with it. Thus we have: • • 'We wish you could be here.' 'Remember it's Sarah's birthday tomorrow. This led me to think about Christmas time. Don't forget to wish her many happy returns. other than in the expressions 'I hope so' or 'I hope not. For instance. Thus we have expressions like: • • • • 'I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.' Let's look at wish first of all.
' 'He could do most of his work from home. Compare the following: 141 . if Jennifer hadn't phoned. hope must be followed by a clausal construction. 'house' or 'home' House describes a particular type of building. five months after they were married. plus infinitive. as in 'wish to'.' 'They were stranded on the side of the mountain and hoped (that) the rescue team would reach them before nightfall. I hope you'll enjoy good health and every happiness in the 21st Century.' 'Her mother hoped (that) Judith would become a doctor.' Hopes and wishes! It is my hope and wish that all of you out there reading this column will enjoy good health and every happiness in the New Millennium. So we have: • • • • • 'They were very much in love and wished to get married as soon as it could be arranged. If you hope to do something.' 'I hope (that) you won't think me rude. We speak of people's 'hopes for the future' and hope normally signals future intentions. you want to do it and intend to do it if you possibly can.' 'I don't wish to interrupt (your conversation). I do wish I hadn't gone there for my holidays.' she said. Or.' 'I was hoping to catch the 5. we would find: • • • • 'I hope (that) she'll like these flowers.' 'I don't wish to be rude.• • 'It rained every day. Home is the place where you live and feel that you belong to. but her heart was always set on the stage.' 'I don't wish to see him ever again. So we might have: • • 'I hope to be a millionaire by the time I'm thirty.' 'I wish you didn't have to work so hard. but that red dress really doesn't suit you. but that red dress that you're wearing definitely doesn't suit you.30 train and would have caught it. if he wished.' However. but the potatoes are burning dry.' Now let's take a brief look at hope. when a new subject is introduced. to put it in two other ways: I wish you good health and every happiness in the 21st Century. Like wish it can be used with to.' Wish. Thus. is also sometimes used as a slightly more formal alternative to 'want to'.
in his collection Cross Channel. The other type of interference is the type where people interfere in other people's business. these two words are similar and yet so different. but it’s time for me to go back home now!' 'We were at home in bed when our car was stolen from outside the house. She sounded really homesick. when you're listening to a radio programme and there are other signals and reception is not very good. for example.' 'These children need a good home and we are in a position to give them one.' 'I’ve enjoyed living abroad for the last six years. 'homesick' and 'homeless'. There's a wonderful short story by Julian Barnes called 'Interference'. how to behave. and the title refers to two types of interference which happen in the story. 'Intervene' has got more positive connotations. interfere and intervene Could you kindly explain what is the difference between interfere and intervene? Thank you. If I say to someone. telling them what to do. You intervene between two people in order to prevent a quarrel. 'Interfere' has very strong negative connotations. Both start with 'inter-'. it has the connotation of wanting to improve a situation. 142 .000 people each year.' 'The Houses of Parliament in London are visited by 50.• • • • • • 'Most people in Britain live in semi-detached houses. Amos Paran answers: Yes Eric. cleaning the house) this morning and my homework (work given to me by my school to do at home) this afternoon. The difference is in the connotations of the two words.' Note also the differences in meaning and use between 'houseproud'. One type of interference that the title refers to is interference with radio signals . 'housework' and 'homework'.e.you know. Stop interfering I mean that what I am doing is none of their business. I have no home to go to.' 'We’re going to buy Emma a doll’s house for Christmas. what to eat and so on. change things for the better.' 'She said that she was missing her home and family so much.' 'I am homeless. meaning 'between'.' 'People say that I’m houseproud because I spend so much time cleaning the house so that others will admire it. Study the following: • • • • 'I did my housework (i. And there's some of that happening in the story too.
Begin your letter by telling the reader where you saw the advertisement: • I am writing to apply for the post of Fashion Shop Manager advertised in the 'News Shopper' of 14 February 2002. You might then go on to say why you are particularly interested in this job and mention the particular abilities and skills that you have. Your CV or curriculum vitae lists your educational and career history and is a useful summary for an employer of all your educational and employment achievements up to the present time. covering letter Many employers will ask you to write to them or phone them for an application form and further details when they advertise jobs. Sometimes you will be asked to send your CV or resume.job applications I would like to know the difference between an application letter and a cover letter. 143 . I have always been interested in the latest fashion trends and developments and I believe your organisation is a well-run quality fashion business. letter of application If you are responding to a job advertisement you may be asked to write a letter of application. I believe I have all the skills. • I am applying for this position as I am looking to progress from junior to senior management. I would like to have examples of application and cover letters. can schedule and prioritise tasks and can work to strict deadlines. • You might then close the letter with the following formula. This is because I am always confused as to why both must be sent when one is looking for employment. This is the letter which lists all your work experience and qualifications and should also explain why you want the job. I have lots of retail initiative. I also work particularly well with people and would enjoy leading the team and working with clients and customers. knowledge and expertise that you are looking for. You must always ensure that it is up to date. I would very much like to work for your company. first as a sales assistant in a department store and for the last three years as a Section Head and Deputy Manager at Jones the Bootmaker. You would then go on to list your experience and relevant qualifications: • I have worked in the retail industry for a total of ten years. • I look forward to hearing from you and hope that you will be able to invite me for an interview.
His desk is always covered with papers. Such a covering letter might look like this: Dear Mr Sorefoot Fashion Shop Manager Please find enclosed my completed application form for the above position. I would very much welcome an opportunity to discuss my application in greater detail and convince you that I am the right person for the job. There are always lots of cafes and restaurants within the covered shopping malls in British towns and cities. noun and adjective is used in a variety of different ways: If you cover something. I can be contacted at any time by phone. She covered all her bedroom walls with posters of Eminem. I look forward to hearing from you and hope that you will be able to invite me for an interview. 144 . cover Note that cover as verb. As you will see from my form. you place something else over it to protect it or hide it or close it: • • • • Always cover what you are cooking with a tight-fitting lid and cook it slowly. • The air force was unable to provide any sort of air cover for their ground troops.A covering letter may then be very useful because you can enclose it with your CV or a completed application form. fax or email at work or at home. cover = protection Cover can also be used to talk about protection from enemy attack or for talking about insurance. I have ten years experience with Bates Retail as a Fashion Shop Manager. I don't know how he can work in such a mess. Yours sincerely Frances Slimwaist If you have filled in an application form you do not need to send a CV because all the relevant information should be on your form. In your covering letter you can draw attention to particular information which you wish to highlight.
• • We haven't covered molecular biology yet. All these words are used to describe people who work in the media. reporter and journalist I'm confused about the difference between presenter. Are you covered to drive this car? Do you have proper insurance cover? Does your travel insurance cover you against theft or loss of valuables? cover = address or report on a topic Cover can be used to talk about studying a subject or in a journalistic context to talk about reporting. just the endless barren plain. Your answer must be very helpful for me. weather. and Karim Kouchouk (the presenter of BBCe for BBC Learning English Arabic Service).. A presenter is a person who introduces or hosts television or radio programmes. The topic of the programme is not all about the presenter. He's going to cover the World Cup later this year for BBC World Service. and the difference between reporter and journalist. advertising etc. and welcome to[name of show] with me [name of presenter].. no trees. broadcaster. On tonight's show we will be. cover for = substitute for someone at work • • Can you cover for me this afternoon while I visit my father in hospital? There were not enough teachers to cover for absent colleagues and some students had to be sent home. whereas a presenter may have some flexibility regarding the 145 . an announcer may have a smaller role in a programme than a presenter does: on TV programmes. The presenter is the person who introduces the programme. Trevor MacDonald (a British TV news presenter). links between programmes. Hi Suharno. no valleys. An announcer's job is similar to that of a presenter. Another main difference between an announcer and a presenter is that the announcer usually reads word-forword from a script. introduces or links sections of the programme together and says goodbye at the end. Thanks. Some well-known presenters include Johnny Carson (an American TV chat show host). However. He or she provides spoken information about news. The first three: presenter. and announcer. A presenter's opening words on a programme are usually something like Good evening.• • • There was no cover of any kind. broadcaster and announcer are all related to TV and radio: media which is delivered partly – or wholly – through sound and speech (this type of media is increasingly available on internet too). programme content. We're going to do that next term. an announcer may only feature as a voice whereas a presenter will be seen on the screen. [presenter talks about the content of the programme].
Well Suharno. and Larry King in the USA. "Now then. and we're going to decide this case solely on its merits. Famous British broadcasters include Sir David Attenborough. politics.000. attorney Campos. I do hope this has been a useful answer to your question! Explanation of a joke Lisa from Taiwan asks: Why is it funny? What does the last sentence mean? 'Taking his seat in his chambers." Both lawyers squirmed uncomfortably.000. by both of you. A journalist gathers. "You. writes and reports news stories. "So."' To decide a case 'solely on it merits' means that only the intrinsic rights and wrongs of the arguments will be considered. these jobs are very similar.things they say. A reporter is a type of journalist who gathers information about newsworthy issues. He handed it to Leon. Suharno: you wanted to find out about the difference between a reporter and a journalist. And you. and may also edit and present news articles. I'd like to mention one more media profession." The judge reached into his pocket and pulled out a check. This may involve researching through several sources – interviews. gave me $10. It can also be used to describe someone who is well-experienced in the TV and radio industry. The word broadcaster can refer to an organisation such as the BBC (UK) or NBC (USA) which produces television and radio programmes. Sir Robert Winston and Sir David Frost. the reporter will create a report for publication or broadcast in the media. Turning to the second part of your question. Suharno. presenting etc. This job is usually reserved for senior journalists at a particular newspaper or magazine. A journalist's work is most often seen in print – especially newspapers – but they can work for TV and radio too. Reporters often specialise in a particular area. In fact.000. with a bribe. police and public records. health or education. and his or her programmes may be considered to be very important and well-respected. the judge faced the opposing lawyers. photographs etc. Finally. I'm returning $5. In a court of law one would expect all cases to be decided solely on their merits. directing. for example: crime. She or he chooses a topic that is in the news and writes not only about the events that have become newsworthy but also often offers some analysis and/or personal opinion. gave me $15." he said. A columnist is a writer (usually a journalist) who writes regularly (often weekly) for a newspaper or magazine. He or she usually has multiple talents – scriptwriting. 146 . "I have been presented. When the information is gathered. attorney Leon. and in some respects the terms are interchangeable.
Is there any difference and can you give me some examples of usage? kinds of / sorts of / types of / varieties of Kinds. sort of (a) / kind of (a) / type of (a) Sort of / kind of / type of are usually followed by an uncountable noun or a singular countable noun with no article. but would you expect to get a fair trial in a court of law from a judge who was open to bribery? kinds / types / sorts / varieties (of music) I have always had problems using the words kind and type.g. funky. slip jigs and hop jigs. R&B. Note that when the indefinite article is retained. how to find music from Yakutia or how to buy an organo pinareno from Cuba. I don’t know exactly what it is because there are several types of jigs – single jigs. He argues that his judgement will be unbiased now that the amount of bribe from defense and prosecution is equal. double jigs. pop. types and even varieties can all be used interchangeably. third stream and free styles of the 50s and 60s. various and many as well as with all: There are various kinds / types / sorts / varieties of jazz. soft bop. e. it sometimes has a derogatory meaning: 147 . Global Music – or World Music as it is known in Britain – is the synthesis of different kinds of music from around the world. varieties of tomato) The first three are very common and can be used in singular and plural forms. (although varieties may be used more in more scientific sorts of contexts. blues and swing of the 20s and 30s and then the later varieties of hard bop. Global Music websites can help you various / different / many / all . rap and classical.000 from both the defense and prosecution counsels. sorts. it’s a sort of jig or reel. Compare the following and note that all the examples today are taken from a global music theme: What kind(s) / type(s) / sort(s) / varieties of music do you like most? ~ I like all kinds / sorts / types: hip-hop. rock.It is funny because that is no longer possible in this case as the judge has already pocketed bribes of $10. If you want to know what type of instrument a morinhoor is. originating with ragtime. danced to very fast time.kinds / types / sorts varieties These nouns collocate readily with different. often using traditional instruments in an original way. but a / an is sometimes retained in an informal style: What sort of (a) / kind of (a) / type of (a) dance is that? Well.
What kind of a DVD player is that? You don’t seriously expect me to listen to electronic music with no surround sound, do you? sort of / kind of Sort of and kind of, but not type of, are used in another important way in informal spoken English when we want to demonstrate to the listener that we are not speaking very precisely but simply indicating a general idea. They are used to modify many different parts of speech including adjectives, verbs and clauses, see below: Why don’t you like this kind of music? ~ Well, it’s sort of loud and tuneless. They may also be used as fillers, i.e. to fill a gap in the conversation and to give the speaker more time to think: How would you describe your singing voice on this track? Well, I… I kinda howl like a wolf, and then ...kinda...kinda...squeal like a pig, but it seems to work, sort of. Uses of the word 'lack' Would you please tell me all the uses of the word lack (in different forms) and make a sentence for each of its uses? Is the sentence 'Many children are in lack of sleep' correct? If it is wrong, what should it be? I'm not too happy with 'in lack of', Wong, which doesn't sound quite right to me. Lack of is fine where lack is used as a noun, so you can say, for example: • • 'The lack of amenities in the hotel surprised all of us.' 'There was a general lack of enthusiasm among the trainees.'
Lack may also be used as a verb: • • 'They lacked the courage necessary to cross the fast-flowing river.' 'When she came to start making the cake, she discovered that she lacked half the basic ingredients.'
Large / Big What is the difference in use and meaning between the words 'large' and 'big'? Rachel Wicaksono answers: Well, this is a big question Iryna, so I'll do my best to answer it clearly and briefly! First I'll talk about form: 'Large' and 'big' are both regular adjectives... Their comparative forms are 'larger' and 'bigger',
Their superlative forms are 'largest' and 'biggest'. 'Big' is a very common word in both written and spoken English; in fact, it's in the top 1,000 most frequently used words. 'Large', on the other hand, is a less frequently used word and doesn't even make it into the top 3,000 most frequently used words in English. Now, onto the question of meaning... The general meaning of both 'large' and 'big' is: 'of more than average size/amount/weight/height' etc. For example: 'Iryna has got a well-paid job and can afford to live in a house' - OR... 'Iryna lives in a large house'. In these examples, both 'big' and 'large' mean that Iryna's house is of more than average size. Although 'big' and 'large' both mean the same in these examples, 'large' sounds a little more formal. Neither 'large' nor 'big' can be used with uncountable nouns. This means, we can say: 'The house has a (big or large) garden' - because 'garden' is countable. However, we can't use 'big' or 'larg' with 'traffic', because 'traffic' is uncountable. With uncountable nouns, you can use 'a lot of' - for example: 'There's a lot of traffic on the road next to the house.' So, although 'large' and 'big' are often interchangeable, sometimes they are not. So next, I'll try and give you some examples of when this is the case... 'Big' can mean 'important', for example: 'Buying a house is a very big decision'. It can also be used in informal situations to mean 'older', for example: 'He's my big brother'... as well as 'successful' or 'powerful', for example: 'York is a big tourist destination'. Also in informal situations, we can use 'big' to mean 'doing something to a large degree', for example: 'She earns a lot of money, but she's also a big spender' - OR... 'I'm a big fan of yours'. 'Big' is used in a lot of fixed phrases, and because these phrases are fixed, to change 'big 'to 'large' would sound wrong. Examples of fixed phrases using 'big' include: 'It's no big deal' - it's not really important. 'I have big ideas for this house' - impressive plans for the future. 'She's a big mouth' - a person who can't be trusted to keep a secret. 'He's too big for his boots' - too proud of himself. There are also some fixed phrases using 'large'. Examples include: 'The prisoners are at large' - they have escaped and may cause harm. 'She's larger than life' - more exciting or amusing than most people.
Finally, quantity words.... 'large', more often than 'big', is used with the following quantity words: 'a large amount', 'on a large scale', 'a large number of', 'a large quantity of', 'a large proportion', 'to a large extent', 'a large percentage of', 'a large part of', 'a large volume' and 'a large area'. So......a very big - or large - question, Iryna! I hope this has helped a little!
Take (and last)
Gisela from the Czech Republic writes: I'm not sure about the difference in use between take and last. Which is better in these examples: How long does the film last? How long does the film take? Take or last? Both take and last are used to talk about the amount of time needed for something. We tend to use take when we are more in control of the experience and last when we have little or no control over it. Take suggests more active involvement and last implies a more passive experience. Thus we are more likely to say: • How long does the film last? ~ It's a long one. It lasts (for) over three hours
Compare also the following examples of greater and lesser control of the action using take and last: • • • It takes half an hour to prepare lunch and an hour to prepare supper usually. Dinner lasts for / takes at least ninety minutes when Henry's at home there's so much to talk about. The five-set match lasted for more than three-and-a-half hours before the champion went through to the next round 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7, 6-2. "I didn't expect it to take so long, but it took me twenty minutes to settle down in the opening set," he said afterwards.
Note that when we use preparatory it as subject and when it is followed by a personal pronoun, me, you, her, him, or them, we have to use take, not last: • It will take you all day to tidy your room - it's in such a mess.
It only takes me five minutes to put my make-up on now. It used to take me ninety minutes before I got married.
Like get, take is a very common multi-purpose verb and is used in many different ways. Here are a few of the commonest: take (opposite of give) • • • • I offered him four tickets for Romeo and Juliet, but he only took two. The burglars have taken all my jewels. There's nothing left. I'll take a copy of the agreement, if you don't mind. Then I won't forget anything. I'm going to take ten minutes now to explain to you how this works.
take (opposite of bring) meaning 'carry' They are opposites in the sense that when we use bring we are describing movements to where the speaker or listener is located, and when we use take we are describing movements away from the speaker/listener. Compare the following: • • • • She took me to the hospital because I was feeling decidedly ill. Take an umbrella with you. It's going to rain. My secretary always brings me my mail first of all and then she takes the children to school. I took my calculator to school every day until the maths teacher said: "You needn't bring them any more. We have enough now for everybody."
take (= have) • • • • • I'm going to take a shower now. ~ Why don't you take a bath? It'll be more relaxing. Let's take a break now. You've been driving for two hours and you need to take a rest. I'm going to take a holiday as soon as my boss gets back from leave. We took a long walk along the seashore every evening before dinner. Take a good look at this and make sure it's in perfect working order before you decide to buy it.
In all of these expressions with take + noun to describe common actions, we can use either have or take. Have is more characteristic of British English whereas Americans would be more inclined to use take.
there are some very subtle differences between the two words which means we can’t use them completely interchangeably. still to mean something or someone doesn’t work. “lazy” will always have a negative connotation. which can be used interchangeably. Lazy which we know means someone who doesn’t really word very hard. Both mean people with lots of money.” This means that the printer. So when you learn some new synonyms. isn’t doing anything. idle can be used in other contexts. we are just saying they’re not working. For example: cheap and inexpensive. you may see a sign which says “Printer idle. an so at that point. So lazy is always seen as a very bad thing. you may find two adjectives that mean similar things. However. the people are idle. However. Both words can actually be used to describe someone who doesn’t work very hard. when we say someone is lazy.lazy and idle A question from Anne McConnell in England: Why aren't lazy and idle exact synonyms? Karen Adams answers: Well we have two words here that mean very similar things. Both mean that something doesn’t cost a lot of money. So here. However. it’s important to learn not just what they share. For example. sometimes factories must close. at the moment. for example “John is really lazy. we often use the adjective cheap to describe something that’s not of very good quality. So for example wealthy and rich. However. Similarly. we mean they don’t work very hard. the factory is idle.d. but we can’t say the printer is lazy. idle. if you press print on your computer. We can talk about wealthy people or rich people. rich furnishings. meaning very good quality. That’s idle – i. Similarly. but also what the difference is between them. because there isn’t enough work.e. Remember. It’s very very important to think about the adjectives you use in particular because very many of them can carry different connotations. we can only say the printer is idle. the work force. Also.” Both mean that John’s doesn’t really work as much as he should do. in British English. rich has a slightly different meaning. So for example. in all contexts. but without the negative judgement.” or “John is really idle. It’s important to remember that it’s difficult to find words that are exact synonyms.l. we can also talk about rich food. but also one with a very similar meaning. So when we use idle in this way we are not giving a negative comment on the people or the thing. So it can sometimes have a negative connotation. 152 . it will give us a very negative idea of the person it’s being used to describe. but one adjective can be used with a wider range of nouns.
Learning and using synonyms People use synonyms to avoid repeating the same word. For example: This hotel is so expensive. It's very pricey. What is the difference in meaning between expensive and pricey? When should I use synonyms? expensive / pricey Synonyms are words with the same or sometimes slightly different meanings. Alternatives are sometimes used in the same context with little or no difference as in your example, Yeon-Ju, except that pricey is a bit more informal than expensive. Virtually anything that costs a lot of money may be considered expensive or pricey. keen / eager I am always keen / eager to introduce synonyms in this way in the examples of use that I quote on the learnit pages. In this example, keen and eager are very close in meaning and may be used interchangeably. Finding alternatives with the same or similar meaning is undoubtedly a good way of expanding your vocabulary and use of English, Yeon-Ju, but we have to be careful. disgusting / appalling These synonyms are quite close in meaning, but not as close as in the previous pairs. Compare the following: The food they served at John and Paula's wedding reception was disgusting. The food they served at John and Paula's wedding reception was appalling. The service at this hotel is disgusting. The service at this hotel is appalling. Both adjectives are possible in both contexts, but disgusting is perhaps more appropriate to the first context as it suggests that the food was highly unpleasant to the taste. Appalling is perhaps more appropriate to the second context as it suggests that the service was generally unpleasant, shocking, offensive and unacceptable. pretty / good-looking / beautiful These three synonyms, indicating someone or something that is pleasing in appearance, are also quite close in meaning, but use is restricted:
It was a beautiful summer's day. She was wearing a pretty polka-dot bikini. With his jet-black hair and high cheekbones he appeared unusually good-looking. A summer's day cannot be pretty or good-looking. A bikini is not substantial enough to be called beautiful (whereas an attractive wedding dress we would describe as beautiful). Only people, of either sex, can be described as good-looking and men are not usually thought of as pretty or beautiful. Collocation What we learn from this is that words sometimes occur together, or collocate with each other, in fairly fixed ways. verb + adverb Certain verbs tend to be used with certain adverbs. If you think hard / carefully about it, you'll realise that I'm right. (Not: If you think strongly / powerfully / precisely….) If I remember correctly / rightly, you were not there at the time. (Not: If I remember exactly / precisely / truly…) If you truly / really love me, you'll turn down that job in Norway. (Not: If you purely / justly / rightly / precisely love me….) adjective + noun Certain nouns tend to occur with certain adjectives: It came as a complete surprise to me when she married him (Not: It came as a comprehensive / full / entire surprise to me…) He carried out a full / comprehensive market survey before launching the product. (Not: He carried out a complete / all-embracing market survey…) (And not: …before discharging / dispatching / propelling the product.) verb + noun Certain Verbs and nouns habitually occur together. If you eat chocolate before a meal, it will spoil / ruin your appetite. (Not: …it will damage / harm / suppress your appetite.) The government has recently conducted / carried out a survey on the causes of obesity in children. (Not: The government has fulfilled / administered / run a survey…)
I can't change my eating habits so I shall continue to eat junk food. (Not: I can't alter / amend / modify my eating habits…) learning and using synonyms When you are learning new words it is always a good idea to learn them in the contexts in which they are used and the typical collocations that go with them. 'lend' or 'borrow' How can I use the word owe when I lend someone some money. Do I say: 'I owe you 20 dollars' or do I say: 'You owe me 20 dollars?' The importance of my question is how do I use this word in both ways such as when I borrow some money from someone and also when I lend someone some money?
If you borrow something from somebody, you take it with their permission and promise to return it in due course, at the end of a limited period usually. If you borrow £5,000 from the bank, you will owe them £5,000, plus interest on the period of time you have borrowed if for. Consider the following: • • • 'I borrowed five pounds from my brother and forgot to pay it back.' 'I always buy the books I want to read, although I agree it would be cheaper to borrow them from the library.' 'Many of his ideas are borrowed from other sources.'
If you lend somebody something, or lend something to somebody, then you give them something of yours for a limited period of time. If you lend someone some money, they will owe you the money. Consider the following: • • • 'She lent her sister her car for the weekend.' (NB: verb + indirect object + direct object) 'If you lend your coat to Philip, you’ll never see it again.' (NB: verb + direct object + indirect object) 'If you can lend me a hand with these reports, we might finish them by suppertime.'
In the sentence, ‘work hard lest you should fail in your examination’ can 'lest' be used without the support of the word 'should'? Yes, it can. First, what does lest mean and when do we use it? Lest is a very rare word and quite old fashioned.
Most people in Britain know it, because we see it written very often in the same place - on war memorials, on statues, which have been put up so that we remember people who died in wars; and what's very often written on these statues is ‘lest we forget’! Now, what lest means is ‘so that we don't’ or ‘so that you don't’. It's a warning. It's introducing a danger to be avoided. And Shazad’s example: ‘work hard lest you should fail your examination’ lest introduces the danger of things to be avoided: if you don't work hard, you will fail your examination. Here are further examples: We often use it after a command, ‘work hard lest you fail your exam’ and ‘dress up warmly (wear warm clothes) lest you catch cold’. We can use it without a command, we might talk about something we did in the past, so we might say ‘I worked really hard, lest I failed my exam’. Written What we do need to remember though is that it is a very, very formal and oldfashioned word and if you use it when you're talking, you're going to sound rather strange. It's a word which we see written - it's not a word that is used in conversation. Remember it, because you will see it written; but only use it if you really want to impress somebody in a very, very formal situation. Can lest be used without the support of the word should? Yes. And it normally is used without should. In Shazad's example, 'lest you should fail your examination', that use of should of course has a completely different meaning from the usual meaning of should. We usually think of should in terms of an obligation: something you have to do. And here, it doesn't mean that - here, the meaning introduces a conditional that suggests that this is a possibility, but not a strong possibility. It is not necessary. We usually do leave it out. The interesting thing is, that when we do leave it out, the word that is left there is an infinitive - which means, that if we're using ‘he’, we don't say ‘he must work hard, lest he fails the examination’; we say ‘he must work hard, lest he fail the examination’. And that's a curious and interesting little bit of English. let or leave I am 22 years old and have been learning English for 6 months. I would like to know the difference between let and leave. Please explain with examples. I shall be very grateful to you. We use both let and leave in different ways and for different purposes. They cannot be used interchangeably. let + infinitive
A very common usage of let is in the phrase let us or let's when we are making a suggestion involving others. Note also the usage with the infinitive of there is/there are. These are more formal alternatives and require to before the infinitive. Let = allow/permit We can see from these last examples. Let me think about it. Allow me to say how pleased I am to see you here this evening. 157 . Compare the following: • • • Let's just have a cold salad for supper this evening. Let me try to get it out with this stain remover. Permit me to say how pleased I am to see you here this evening. Let's do that! Let's forget I ever said that. I like the orange dress but not with that hat. Don't let's go to Sheila's party tonight. Both are very common. When it is used with the negative there are two alternative versions to choose from: don't let's or let's not. that let also means allow or permit. I'm going to sell my car. Let's just have a quiet evening at home Let is also commonly used to make a suggestion to oneself in the phrase let me or to a third person in the phrase let him/her/them. particularly the Joey and Phoebe example. I wouldn't let them stay up after nine to watch the adult film on TV. shall we? I didn't mean to offend you. Let there be no doubts in your minds that we shall win this battle. Compare the following: • • • • • Do you like this outfit? Let me see. We say this instead of Why don't we…? or I suggest we… which is quite formal. Do you want to buy it? I'm not sure. • • Let's not get too involved in their argument. It's better if they sort it out themselves. It is often used with shall we? as a question tag. Can Joey and Phoebe stay overnight next weekend? Oh. please let them stay. There's still a stain on this jumper. shall we? And let's go for a run before we eat! OK. I can't let you go to France without me. Compare the following: • • • • • Let me say how pleased I am to see you here this evening.
and have. (= departed) Nobody leaves school at the age of sixteen now. Compare the following: • • • The plane left early as everybody was on board half an hour before take-off. I'll leave it for you / to you to decide what to do. Can you let me have those reports by midday on Friday. Compare the following: • • • I'll eat later. I can't make the decision. but they had to last for six days. often with there is/are or have got: • • • I haven't got any cash left. leave = let it remain It is here that the meaning of leave comes closest to let. let is frequently used with know. It had been completely destroyed. leave has a number of different meanings and uses. Nothing was left of the castle. leave = go (depart/quit/abandon) As we saw with let. Just leave it for me in the fridge. like they used to. where it means tell. where it means send or give. 158 . I left my car in the car park and took the bus into the town centre. (= abandoning) left = remaining Here it is almost opposite in meaning and is used as a past participle normally at the end of the clause.Note that with the passive voice. let me know/ let me have Finally. we have to use permit or allow: • • We didn't let him go home until he had spoken to the Headteacher. Compare the following: • • • • Please let us know as soon as possible whether you are able to accept our offer. please? Let me have half an hour to think about it and then I'll let you know. He wasn't allowed/permitted to go home until he had spoken to the Headteacher. (= stops attending) Don't tell Maureen I'm leaving her. If you had let me know earlier. Can you get the sandwiches? There were only two days' rations left. I would have saved it for you. close but not identical.
I could see that London lay beneath us. She was lying asleep on the sofa when her husband arrived home. Can you lay the table for me please? Lunch is ready. ******************************************************************* 'Lie' or 'lay' on a bed What's the easy way to remember the difference between lie and lay ? lie (+ phrase of place) / lay (+ object) Perhaps the easiest way to remember the difference.. he has lain. he laid.. I have to leave now anyway! There are even more shades of meaning of leave than we have covered. Present lie lay he lies. I told her not to lie out in the sun. not 159 . he was laying.. I'll leave it for you... Antonio. but I was determined to have a go.. Check them out in a good dictionary.. I'll deal with it. Leave it with me / to me. she is laying Past he lay.. she lays. he is lying. he has laid Now compare the following: lay ( + object) lie ( + phrase of place) lay ( + object) lie ( + phrase of place) lay ( + object) lie ( + phrase of place) lay ( + object) She laid the baby on the bed in order to change its nappy.. His lawyer will lay great emphasis on his state of mind when the murder was committed and claim that it was manslaughter. There are only four pages left. When I looked out of the aircraft window. First. but she must have lain there for at least an hour for her back was very sunburnt. This final example combines a number of different usages of let and leave: • Let me finish off the translation for you.. see how the words look in the present and the past tense. I had never laid carpets before. is that lay is a transitive verb which needs an object to complete its meaning and lie is an intransitive verb which functions without an object and is followed normally by a phrase of place. he was lying.• I can't get the stove to work. OK....
we're looking at it intensely and it's normally moving.I didn't intend to.I switched it on to find my favourite programme. it just happened. or "I touched the fabric. 'look'. 'see' and 'watch' A question from Muhammed Nadeem in Pakistan : What's the difference between the verbs 'look'. usually because it was moving. there's usually a difference between intention and non-intention. writes: I have been studying English since I came to Canada. we intend to look at it but we're also looking at it quite intensely. it just happened. and this group. we're talking about seeing something with an intention. 'look'. However. but you must try to take a grip on your life and decide where your future lies. When we watch something. "this morning I looked at the newspaper" – I intended to see the newspaper. look forward to / agree to / object to Adriana." . So." .I didn't intend to see them. "I watched the bus go through the traffic lights. about four years now. or. 'see' and 'watch' are verbs of visual sense. there are two very important differences. However. for example. lie ( + phrase of place) None of us knows what lies ahead. 'see' and 'watch'? Karen Adams answers: 'Look'." We want to see it. It's important when you find these verbs of the senses to gather them together and try to find the differences between them.I intended to feel the fabric." . "I felt the wind on my face. When we say 'see' we are normally talking about things we can't avoid – so for example. It depends on how you intend to look or watch and how intense the looking is.I didn't intend to feel this. so." "I watched the movie. Remember that when you look at words which seem to be similar it's important to find out exactly the differences between them because basically you can't really use them interchangeably. usually because it's moving. but 160 . So. "I heard the radio. Remember. "I listened to the radio" . Similarly. learning English in Canada.murder. 'see' and 'watch' seem very similar. 'look' – you intended to do it. it just happened. for example. it just happened. and watch you intended to do it and you were looking intensely." . when we use the verb 'look'. "I opened the curtains and saw some birds outside. they all talk about different ways of using your eyes. 'see' – you didn't really intend to. When we use verbs of the senses.
They're looking forward to joining their children in Australia There are many such three-part verbs. it's hard for me to apply what I've learnt. It is an integral part of the verb. agree . I just wonder why you can use both infinitive and V-ing form for the verb share. For instance. e.: look back on = think back to put up with = tolerate come down with = fall ill with There are a number of instances where such verbs end with the preposition to. look forward to something = anticipate something with interest Look forward to is one of the many phrasal verbs in English in which an adverbial particle (forward) as well as a preposition (to) is combined with the stem verb to signify a particular meaning. Jolie from Vietnam writes: In the example In no way will I agree to sharing an office with Ben. he undertook this arduous trip up the Amazon. He's talking about getting it published in National Geographic magazine. What we are looking forward to can be exemplified as either as a noun phrase or as a verb-phrase with an -ing pattern • • • Jill says she's not looking forward to Jack's party next weekend.g. Instead of going on holiday last summer. And I must get down to reading Jack's article which he sent me two weeks ago I must face up to the fact that I'm never going to be promoted in this organisation. I very much look forward to meeting you soon. Note that when verbs follow prepositions (any prepositions) the V-ing form is normally used.because there are so many exceptions to rules. e.agree to 161 . not the to-infinitive pattern: • • • I managed to finish reading Jack's article by staying up till midnight.g.: face up to = confront get round to = do something after some delay get down to = concentrate on Note that in such instances to is not part of any infinitive phrase. And whatever it is that we face up to or get round to is normally expressed as either a noun phrase or as a verb phrase with an -ing pattern: • • • I must get round to cleaning my car next weekend. I don't understand why it's correct to say I look forward to hearing from you and not I look forward to hear from you.
the -ing pattern is more likely.'lunch / supper /dinner' Gareth Rees: Well Pia. If we are using the phrasal verb. belong to a larger set which includes words such as breakfast. particularly for people who are working. agree and agree to. The expressions do relate to the time of day that you eat the meal and the type of food and the size of the meal. A question from Pia in Poland: Could you please explain the difference between lunch. That's why it can get confusing. you might have lunch or dinner. supper and dinner. In the evening. you might have dinner or supper. breakfast. tea and brunch. agree. to clear the dishes from the table after eating and not to go out until we've finished our homework. Jolie.There is a complication in your example. This is simplest. thank you for asking a question about my favourite topic. supper and dinner. it's the first meal of the day in the morning. Compare the following: • What have you agreed? We've agreed to tidy our rooms when we get up. The expressions you've chosen .lunch. agree to. Does the expression relate to the time of the day that you eat the meal. First of all. I think that people who have a quick lunch in the middle of the day will say they have dinner in the evening and this dinner will be a good meal. • object to Note that the opposite of agree to is object to and here only the -ing pattern is possible: • What do you object to in her behaviour? I object to her going out every evening and not telling me where she is going. the toinfinitive pattern is imperative. the type of food or the size of the meal?. If we are using the non-phrasal verb. where both the -ing form and the toinifnitive pattern appear possible: • • I cannot agree to share / to sharing an office with Ben. food and meals during the day. I'll be talking about those later. Lunch sounds more informal or more typical. In no way can I agree to sharing / to share an office with Ben The complication arises because there are two different forms of pretty much the same verb. In the middle of the day. 162 . What have you agreed to? We've agreed to arriving punctually before the working day begins and to not leaving before five o' clock in the afternoon.
Now I mentioned there are some other meals. Brunch is a mixture of breakfast and lunch. dinner. Brunch is usually had at about 11 o'clock. dinner is really the main meal and people might have it in the middle of the day or in the evening. Two more words that you could add to your list are brunch and tea. "It's time for tea!" This means their small evening meal. "It's tea time". thing. A common lunch in England is a sandwich. I think this word is often used in families.A supper is usually a light meal and is probably had after a larger dinner has been had in the middle of the day. as you can tell by the sound of the word: 'brunch'. I'm fed up!' 'I did all my homework last night so tonight I'm going to do the housework. nothing. Look at the following examples: • • • • 'What shall we do now?' 'You can do what you like. 'make' and 'do' Davivien asks about 'make' and 'do' collocations: I would like to know the differences between the verbs to do and to make. He just sat there. I'm going home!' 'He didn't do anything. but dinner might include soup. often with what. We talked about breakfast. anything. Lunch is in the middle of the day. But there are no easy rules to follow. Well. etc and generally speaking we also use do to talk about duties. brunch. And the final word is tea. particularly with their children. meat with vegetables. So. it is of course unusual to have breakfast. like tea and coffee. lunch. but it can also be a light evening meal. supper is in the evening. not impossible. Do you 'make an exam' or do you 'do an exam'? do You do an exam. We always use do to describe indefinite activities. Now of course this is a drink. And people usually have brunch as a replacement for both lunch and breakfast. Confused? Well most people see a dinner as a more complete meal. But let me tell you. And from that comment you'll understand that I have the ideal physique and dietary habits for radio and the internet and not for TV. tea and supper all in one day. To finish.' 163 . Lunch and supper are both light kinds of meal. jobs or (leisure) activities.' 'You expect me to do everything around the house. and then a dessert like apple pie and ice cream.
I did my best anyway. and perhaps some birdwatching too. It is not always as easy as the above examples suggest. 1 2 3 4 make make make make do do do do the cleaning and the cooking a lasting impression (on someone) the shopping and the washing-up some serious work check answer check answer check answer check answer 164 . It is often simply a matter of usage.' 'I have to make three phone calls. Study the following examples: • • • • 'I made three suggestions and left it to him to make the final decision.• • 'I did a lot of research and I think I did a good job on that essay. Best of luck! The first two examples are done for you. creating or performing something. make We tend to use make when we are talking about constructing.' 'I intend to do lots of walking on holiday this year.' make or do? Test your knowledge of make and do now by clicking on what you think is the correct box in the examples that follow. of learning and knowing which of these two verbs collocate with which nouns.' 'I've made all the arrangements for the trip and I've made a great effort to get it all right.' 'I'm afraid I'm going to have to make my excuses and leave.
g. a profit or a fortune fun of someone or a fool of someone amends for one's behaviour check answer check answer check answer check answer check answer check answer check answer check answer check answer check answer check answer check answer Answers do the cleaning and the cooking make a lasting impression (on someone) do the shopping and the washing-up do some serious work do a lot of damage (to something) make an announcement make an application (e. Thanks. for a driving test) a sound or a noise one's hair or one's teeth a lot of harm rather than good business (with somebody) (somebody) a favour love. not war make a mess. broadcaster and announcer are all related to TV and radio: media which is delivered partly – or wholly – through sound and speech (this type of media is increasingly available on internet too). broadcaster.g.5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 make make make make make make make make make make make make do do do do do do do do do do do do a lot of damage (to something) an announcement or a speech an application (e. Your answer must be very helpful for me. The first three: presenter. All these words are used to describe people who work in the media. and announcer. for a driving test) make a sound or a noise do one's hair or one's teeth do a lot of harm rather than good do business (with somebody) do (somebody) a favour make love. and the difference between reporter and journalist. 165 . a profit or a fortune make fun of someone or a fool of someone make amends for one's behaviour Media related jobs I'm confused about the difference between presenter. not war a mess. Hi Suharno.
The presenter is the person who introduces the programme. Finally. Famous British broadcasters include Sir David Attenborough. Reporters often specialise in a particular area. directing. photographs etc. In fact. Suharno. and his or her programmes may be considered to be very important and well-respected. [presenter talks about the content of the programme]. A reporter is a type of journalist who gathers information about newsworthy issues. police and public records. A columnist is a writer (usually a journalist) who writes regularly (often weekly) for a newspaper or magazine. On tonight's show we will be. An announcer's job is similar to that of a presenter. This job is usually reserved for senior journalists at a particular newspaper or magazine. health or education. I do hope this has been a useful answer to your question! melt. an announcer may have a smaller role in a programme than a presenter does: on TV programmes. Another main difference between an announcer and a presenter is that the announcer usually reads word-forword from a script. Sir Robert Winston and Sir David Frost. I'd like to mention one more media profession. A journalist's work is most often seen in print – especially newspapers – but they can work for TV and radio too.. programme content. Turning to the second part of your question. and Larry King in the USA. the reporter will create a report for publication or broadcast in the media. weather. It can also be used to describe someone who is well-experienced in the TV and radio industry. links between programmes. these jobs are very similar. for example: crime.A presenter is a person who introduces or hosts television or radio programmes. The word broadcaster can refer to an organisation such as the BBC (UK) or NBC (USA) which produces television and radio programmes. politics. Trevor MacDonald (a British TV news presenter). Suharno: you wanted to find out about the difference between a reporter and a journalist. thaw and antonyms 166 . A journalist gathers. whereas a presenter may have some flexibility regarding the things they say. an announcer may only feature as a voice whereas a presenter will be seen on the screen. The topic of the programme is not all about the presenter.. and Karim Kouchouk (the presenter of BBCe for BBC Learning English Arabic Service). and welcome to[name of show] with me [name of presenter]. and may also edit and present news articles. He or she usually has multiple talents – scriptwriting. Well Suharno. A presenter's opening words on a programme are usually something like Good evening. She or he chooses a topic that is in the news and writes not only about the events that have become newsworthy but also often offers some analysis and/or personal opinion. However. introduces or links sections of the programme together and says goodbye at the end. writes and reports news stories. He or she provides spoken information about news. presenting etc. and in some respects the terms are interchangeable. Some well-known presenters include Johnny Carson (an American TV chat show host). When the information is gathered. This may involve researching through several sources – interviews. advertising etc.
167 . The shoplifters just melted (away) into the Oxford Street crowds of Christmas shoppers. that this too solid flesh would melt Thaw. We also have the phrasal verbs melt away and melt (away) into meaning to disappear: • • At first they were enemies. usually because it is heated: • • Melt 50 grams of butter in a saucepan and then add the onions and mushrooms. but over time their differences melted away.Keith Gama de Carvalho from Brazil writes: Could you please tell me if there are any differences between the verbs melt and thaw? I'm thinking about the second scene of the first act of Hamlet by William Shakespeare: O. The snow on our grass melted quickly in the warm sunshine. is mourning the death of his father two months earlier and is distraught about his mother's hasty re-marriage to his father's brother. thaw When something thaws it warms up slowly and changes gradually from a frozen state to a temperature above freezing point: • The snow was thawing and the streets had become slushy. it changes from a solid to a liquid state. I would take it out of the freezer and leave it to thaw out overnight. Hamlet. and resolve itself into a dew! melt When something melts. We also have the phrasal verb thaw out. which we use when referring to frozen food or if we have just come inside from very cold weather: • • If I were you. in the speech you refer to. For this reason he wishes that his flesh might melt into the dew. Keith. Let me just stand by the radiator and thaw out a bit before I start to cook dinner.
you'll miss your chance of seeing this film. He scored four goals. No. It was my granny's funeral last Thursday so I had to miss all my lessons last week. Is Jenny still here? ~ You've just missed her. miss / missing / missed Bernadette from France writes: It is always hard for me to use the verb miss correctly. They were clearly going to lose. when I try to translate: Tu me manques. All the various factions solidified and promised allegiance to their leader. Pour the beef dripping into a bowl and when it has solidified you can spread it on toast.: • Once on stage. This glue dries very fast and hardens in less than an hour. Compare the following: • • • • • • • • If you're not careful you'll miss the flight and there isn't another one till next week. e. You can't miss it! If you leave the queue now. The railway station is right at the end of this road. you've missed the point.We still use melt figuratively today when we speak of our feelings or emotions melting. Thanking you in advance. for instance. The bullet just missed my head. His assets were frozen because he was five hundred thousand pounds in debt. She was afraid. 168 . his inhibitions melted and he gave a confident performance. Please advise me.g. She left five minutes ago. He didn't want it back. Her whole body stiffened when she heard him come through the door. Antonyms of melt and thaw would be: freeze harden solidify stiffen Study the examples below to see how these verbs may be used: • • • • • • • • If it's cold enough in January. but then he missed a penalty. His attitude to the company hardened when he realized that his shares were worthless. I always get confused. the lake will freeze (over) and we can go skating. Bobby GAVE her the money. but their resistance stiffened and they fought harder than before. miss = fail to make contact with There are a number of shades of meaning when miss means 'fail to make contact with'. It whizzed past my ear and embedded itself in the wall.
rather than missing people or a missing peoples register. This is the meaning of miss that you allude to in your sentence Tu me manques. missing / missed (adjs) = lost / cannot be found When missing and missed are used as adjectives. I miss the sunshine. Did you know you've got a button missing from your blue shirt? She has been missing for over six months and has now been placed on the missing persons register. we would say simply: I miss you! Compare the following: • • • • I miss my grandmother terribly. rather than in front of it. My name was missing from the list of participants but it was clear that I had enrolled.miss = be sorry to be without In this sense. e. There have been several near misses between planes landing at this airport recently. to emphasize the individuality of people who have left home and it is not known whether they are alive or dead. Did you know there are five pages missing from this book? It goes from 32 to 43. He's failed his exams again and I think he has missed the boat as far as higher education is concerned. Do you miss walking in the Pyrenees? ~ Yes. Note also that missing is often placed after the noun it qualifies. We should have climbed the mountain. I miss the cheese and the wine. I miss that too. It was a missed opportunity. They were unable to complete the jigsaw as several pieces were missing. we can miss both people and things. 169 . miss in idioms Note also idiomatic usage in the following expressions: • • • • He didn't have all the advantages of a proper education and really missed out. Growing asparagus is very difficult and can be a very hit-and-miss affair. Will you miss me when I'm away? ~ Oh. I miss the people. Bernadette. gentle person. Compare the following: • • • • • • • The weather cleared. Note that in this last example we talk about a missing person or a missing persons register. Note in English we would not translate it as You are missed by me. they behave like present and past participles. She was such a kind. I shall miss you all right! What do you miss most about the south of France now you're in Britain? ~ I miss my family. Instead.g missing pages are pages that are missing. Ten people are known to have died in the blast and a further fifteen are still missing. a missed opportunity is an opportunity that has been missed.
meet (verb) When two or more people meet. miss out on something = miss an opportunity that you would clearly benefit from hit and miss / hit or miss = sometimes very successful. sometimes not near miss = when something is nearly hit by e. gathering (and gather) and rally are more restricted in use. I'm going. they come together or are brought together for some reason or they just happen to be in the same place and start talking: 170 .g. What about you? ~ No.• • • I think I've missed a trick here in failing to consult my accountant about tax returns. I think I'll give the book signing ceremony a miss. a vehicle or a bomb miss the boat = miss an opportunity which will probably not arise again miss a trick = fail to take advantage of an opportunity give something a miss = to avoid it a miss is as good as a mile = a failure is a failure by however small an amount NB1 Miss can be used as an alternative to Ms placed in front of the name of an unmarried woman when the person concerned wishes it to be known that she is single. meeting and rally? How do we distinguish between them when we use them? Meeting (and meet) are the most generally and widely used from your list of four. gathering. Assembly (and assemble). NB2 Miss Right or Mr Right can be used as expressions to describe a woman or man who is regarded as an ideal marriage partner: • He was looking for the perfect Miss Right and had some difficulty in finding her! meeting/gathering/assembly/rally Chen Jianxin from China writes: Can you please tell me what the difference is between these four nouns: assembly. They came fourth in the league and missed promotion by only one point. Jianxin. but as the old saying goes: a miss is as good as a mile.
~ Pleased to meet you. Dad. I haven't. I'm sorry she's in a meeting. this is Martin. Representatives from the two countries will meet again in June to resume their talks. I've got a meeting in the afternoon which is sure to go on till six or seven in the evening. you collect them with a particular purpose in mind: • • We went out to gather mushrooms in the woods. gather (verb) When people or things gather somewhere.• • • Where shall we meet this evening? ~ Let's meet under the clock at Waterloo Station. As far as I can gather… is an expression meaning As far as I can find out…: • • I gather there will be no alcoholic beverages at the his party. ~ When will the meeting be over? Can we hold a meeting with everybody to discuss this. they come together for a particular purpose. When you gather things or pieces of information. meeting (noun) A meeting is any event where a smaller or larger group of people come together to discuss something or to make a decision: • • • Can I speak to Jane please? ~ No. Have you met my dad? ~ No. he was trying to raise money by selling cars which had been stolen. They do not meet by chance: • • • The storm clouds are gathering. Martin. I gather means I understand in the sense that somebody has told me or I have read about this. ~ Well. I need to gather as much information as I can so that I can write this report. Can you see the birds gathering on that tree over there? We gathered around the camp fire and started singing folk songs. As far as I could gather. gathering (noun) 171 . please? You can't make a decision without having a meeting first. It's going to rain soon. come and meet him. Can you come to supper on Thursday? ~ I don't think so.
A gathering is a group of people who are meeting together for a particular purpose: • • There was an exclusive gathering of show-business people and footballers at Posh and Becks' Gucci and sushi garden party last Saturday. It was a friendly gathering. Everybody was in good humour and there was a lot of laughter.
assemble (verb) Assemble is very close to gather in meaning in the sense of coming together for a particular purpose. It perhaps suggests a greater sense of organisation: • They assembled / gathered in the school canteen after the exam to discuss how well they had done.
When we assemble things, we fit the different parts together to make a whole: • • He couldn't assemble the jigsaw without seeking the help of his older sister. If the police can assemble / gather enough evidence, they will arrest him for burglary.
assembly (noun) Assemblies are usually larger gatherings of people who meet regularly for a particular purpose: • • The National Assembly voted to hold the first entirely free elections for over 20 years. The assembly of musicians was impressive. Over 300 were gathered together in the Festival Hall.
In a school, the assembly is a gathering of all teachers and pupils at a specified time in the school hall for matters that affect the whole school: • The Junior School Assembly lasted for 45 minutes as there was a presentation on road safety.
You will also find assembly lines in factories where employees work on particular part of a product (e.g. a car) at a particular stage of its manufacture.
rally (verb) When people rally, they unite to support something: • He rallied his supporters in the hope that his party would win the election.
When someone or something rallies, it begins to recover from a weak position: • • The stock markets rallied and shares returned to their early morning values. After four days in bed, he rallied sufficiently to be able to sit out in an armchair.
If you rally at tennis, badminton or squash, you manage to keep the shots going with your partner for as long as possible without losing. Rally can also be used in this sense as a noun: • It was one of the longest and most exciting rallies of the entire tournament.
rally (noun) A rally is primarily a large public meeting that is held to show support for a cause or a political party. Rallies, like meetings, are held: • Over ten thousand people held a rally in the square to demonstrate their support for international human rights.
Mother tongue, honeymoon and a small amount of gold Saeed asks: Why do we say mother tongue and not mother language and why honeymoon and not honey month? Marga asks: Do you say: a small amount of gold or a little amount of gold? What is the difference? Honeymoon Honeymoon is a compound noun, meaning a holiday spent together by a couple immediately after their marriage. We also have the expression honeymoon period, meaning the beginning of a period of time when everything is pleasant in a relationship and partners don't criticise each other: They plan to go on honeymoon to Thailand for a month. The honeymoon period for this new government is now over. Honey month is an impossible combination and would not make any sense now, even though the word honeymoon was originally used to describe the first month of marriage. The reference to the moon (and therefore lunar month) is ironic: everybody knows that as soon as the moon is full, it starts to wane and dies.
Mother tongue - native language Mother tongue is another fixed collocation. You are right, Saeed, we do not say mother language. Instead, we would normally say native language, though native tongue is also possible, see below: Her mother tongue was Russian, but you would never have guessed it from her perfect pronunciation of English. You should acquire a perfect grasp of your native tongue before you start to learn a foreign language. The greater part of learning a foreign language, Saeed, is all about knowing which words naturally occur together. The examples given so far are relatively straightforward but it becomes more complicated when we look at the words which small and little naturally occur with. A small house / a little house When little and small both mean not large, with some nouns they can be used interchangeably with little or no difference in meaning: They lived in a little house in the country. They lived in a small house in the country. However, little also suggests that you feel sympathy for something, whereas small is more neutral and does not suggest this. Compare the following: He's only a little boy. He doesn't know the difference between right and wrong. ~ He may be a small child, but that doesn't excuse his behaviour! Because little invokes sympathy, it is often used with other adjectives like nice, sweet, tiny, pretty, poor. Small cannot be used in this way: This job is a nice little earner. Maximum reward for minimum effort. She's a sweet / pretty little thing. Always has a smile on her face. They live in this tiny little bed-sit in Shepherds Bush. Little = not much Little is also more complicated than small because it can also mean not much. Small can only mean not large. Compare the following: Will you have beer or wine with your meal? ~ I'd like a little wine, please. A small glass of red wine would be nice. Would you like a large or a small coffee? ~ Oh, a small coffee please. I shan't sleep tonight if I have a large one.
Abstract nouns that often follow little (meaning not much) include hope, chance, change, effect, use and point: There's little chance / hope of finding any survivors after such a massive explosion. I see little point in continuing the rescue mission. There has been little change in his condition over the last seventy two hours. The new drugs appear to have had little effect. Small amount / small number When we define small as not large we are thinking about small in size, amount or number: These shoes are too small. They really don't fit me at all. I only had a small amount of gold but enough to purchase everything I needed. A disappointingly small number of people entered the competition. Note that small also combines readily with very and few as well as with too. Few cannot be combined with little and little is not normally used with very or too: I noticed that there were a few small mistakes in your essay. The phone box was very small, but we all managed to squeeze in. I've heard the term 'Soho nail bomb attack'. What does the term nail bomb mean? I know the word bomb. What does the addition of nail do to the meaning? A nail bomb is a bomb which is filled with nails. When the bomb explodes the nails fly out and cause serious injury. On Friday 30 April 1999, a massive explosion devastated a gay pub in Soho in the heart of London. The blast tore through the Admiral Duncan pub at 6.37 p.m. when the area was crowded with people enjoying the evening sunshine at the start of a holiday weekend. Three people were killed and more than one hundred were injured, many of them very seriously. It was the third in a series of three bombings in the capital in which ethnic minorities and homosexuals had been targeted. The Soho nail bomb caused particularly horrific injuries as a consequence of the confined space in which it exploded and because of the shrapnel effect of the long nails contained within it.
Normal, Ordinary and Usual I have studied English in high school for three years but I can't tell the difference between normal,
ordinary and usual. Hi Hoa, Well, this is a good question! There are so many words in English that have similar meanings, which I know can be confusing for learners. In the examples you give, normal and ordinary do have very similar meanings, but usual has a slightly different meaning. I think it’s useful here to talk about vocabulary collocation, which means words that are often used together. And when you’re studying English vocabulary, it’s worth spending some time just studying collocation. You can do this by looking at a good quality monolingual (English-English) dictionary, which explains collocation. You can also study collocation by reading texts (fiction or non-fiction) in English and looking carefully at the combinations of adjectives and nouns, and verbs and their objects. And it’s also possible to purchase specialist vocabulary books and collocation dictionaries. But to get back to the words you asked about Hoa, I think normal and ordinary have [a] very similar meaning, which is probably: ‘how you expect something to be, not unusual or special’. So if we had a normal or ordinary day at work, it would mean that nothing particularly special happened. A normal or an ordinary meal in a restaurant doesn’t sound very exciting, but I suppose it’s better than having an awful one! There is a slight nuance in meaning, however, when we talk about normal people and ordinary people. If we mention normal people, it probably means ‘people who think and behave in the same way as most other people’. But the phrase ordinary people may carry a nuance in meaning about wealth and social status, meaning ‘people who are not particularly rich’. So we might say: These houses have been built for ordinary people to buy. …which contains an indirect reference to wealth. I don’t think we’d say: These houses have been built for normal people to buy. … because this seems to be commenting on behaviour rather than income. Similarly, if we make a comment like His new watch is very ordinary. … it would be a slightly rude or negative comment. And the opposite of ordinary is, of course, extraordinary, and if we described a watch as extraordinary it would mean ‘very special or unusual’. Now let’s get back to the other word you mention, usual. This is slightly different because it implies habit or regular behaviour. For example, my usual bus would be the one I always take, at the same time, every day. My usual newspaper would be the one I always buy. You can arrange to meet someone at the usual, meaning the usual bar, café or place where you meet. In this case it would be impossible to use
normal or ordinary. Finally, regular customers in pubs often ask for their usual, meaning the drink they usually order! Well thank you for your question and I hope this has helped! no = not / not any In the sentences: Hong Kong's goal: zero accidents on the road. Hong Kong's goal: no accidents on the road. shouldn't the plural form be changed to singular? Hong Kong's goal: zero accident on the road. Hong Kong's goal: no accident on the road. Zero means no and the noun that follows it should surely be in singular form. Please answer my question. zero = not any With countable nouns, zero is always followed by plural nouns. With uncountable nouns, the singular form is used. Compare the following: Zero degrees centigrade is the same as 32 degrees fahrenheit. We are likely to see zero growth on the stock market this year. We are not likely to see any growth on the stock market this year. no = not a / not any With countable nouns, no is normally followed by plural forms. It sounds more natural and makes better sense to say: It was early December and there were no leaves on the trees. No dogs, unless they are on a lead, are allowed in the flower garden. No road accidents were reported in Chelsea throughout August. than: It was early December and there was no leaf on the trees. No dog, unless it is on a lead, is allowed in the flower garden. No road accident was reported in Chelsea throughout August. Sometimes, no may be followed by singular or plural nouns, depending on whether one is thinking of one or more than one: It was 9 a.m., yet there was no policeman on duty outside the embassy. It was 9 a.m., yet there were no policemen on duty outside the embassy. In the Premiership last Saturday, no players were sent off. In the Premiership last Saturday, no player was sent off. In the Premiership last Saturday, not a single player was sent off.
Sometimes, it is more natural to combine singular and plural use: He must lead a lonely life in that village: he has no wife and no children. (A man normally has one wife, but often has more than one child!) no = emphatic use Note that we tend to use no, rather than not a or not any when we want to emphasise a negative idea. In the lonely man example above, no is more effective than not a / not any. Compare: He must lead a lonely life: he doesn't have a wife and he doesn't have any children. With subject nouns, when no is used emphatically, not a / not any are not possible: No politician tells the truth all the time. No writer has won the Booker prize more than once. Note that singular use sounds more natural in these examples. no collocations There are a number of common nouns that normally combine with no, rather than not a or not any. Most of them are uncountable and include no amount, no time, no idea, no doubt, no reason, no need, no evidence, no problem, no way, no point, no use. Study these examples of use: No amount of washing could remove the stain from the garment. There's no time to lose. We must leave immediately. I have no idea how you solve this problem. It's quite beyond me. There was no doubt she had lied. All the evidence pointed to her guilt. I've no reason to think he won't return. He needs me as much as I need him. There's no need to cry. We can sort this out together. She complained of chest pains but the doctors found no evidence of infection. Can you help me with the ironing? ~ No problem. I'm not busy this evening. Can you help me with the cleaning? ~ No way. I have to be out by seven. There's no point in shouting. He's deaf and can't hear you. It's no use complaining. They won't bother to answer your letter. once, twice, thrice I’m a little confused because I’ve found the word thrice in a book. A few teachers told me there is no such word or that I cannot use it and that I should use three times instead. Can I use this word and in what circumstances? We’ll take this opportunity to look at a number of complications with the expression of numbers and frequency in English.
although you may still come across it in certain contexts: This vehicle travels at thrice the speed of sound. twice. ~ When was that? ~ Before I bought this business. Teachers say they would be twice as effective if they had no administrative tasks. You will hear the recording only once. They play football thrice weekly. I’m only going to say this once. thrice The norm here is to say once (rather than one time) to say three times (rather than thrice) in current usage. Once. One time is occasionally possible as an alternative to once.000. I’ve visited her two times already this autumn and she’s visited me once.000 or a very large number) Note how they are used: 179 . Better to say: This vehicle travels at three times the speed of sound. He had only ever seen his great-aunt one time before. Compare the following: He had only ever seen his great-aunt once before. Do you know the different references to these numbers? nought / zero / nil / o / love (0) half a dozen (6 or approximately 6) a dozen (12 or approximately 12) a score (20 or approximately 20) a billion (1.000. We go out with our colleagues for a drink once a week or once a fortnight and have a staff party once a year. Thrice is definitely old-fashioned. Unemployment in the north of England is twice the national average. (not one time) can also mean at some time in the past: I once ran a fish-and-chip shop in Brighton. this is more often used than two times. Compare the following: I’ve visited her twice already this autumn and she’s visited me once.once. They play football three times a week and train every night. Our house in the village was once the train station. although two times is also quite common in informal usage. When it comes to twice. ~ When was that? ~ When the trains used to run here.
maximal / minimal To express the idea of the largest amount possible. meaning very small in quantity. however. How many zeros do I write down for a billion? Is it six or nine? Billions of dollars need to be invested to re-build this country. ~ Why didn’t you buy half a doxen? Scores of volunteers offered to help in the search for the missing child. England won their recent match against Liechtenstein by two goals to nil. Minimal. In Slovenian this sounds really funny. but they are not married? 180 . The minimum height for a policeman used to be five foot ten. My phone number is o two o. nine nine o three. is much more often used as an adjective. I’ve told you billions of times to lock the door before you go to bed. The maximum sentence for armed robbery is twenty years. The language of love Mojca Belak from Slovenia asks: How old can a boyfriend/girlfriend be? A friend who is 50 recently sent me an email gladly informing me that he now has a girlfriend. maximum / minimum. The minimum wage in Britain is now four pounds fifty an hour. How long should I sit in front of the computer screen? ~ Maximally three hours. we would normally use maximum as both adjective and noun. Roddick was leading by two sets to love and forty love in the first game of the third set when rain stopped the match. How long are the shifts for this type of work? ~ Four hours is the minimum and twelve hours is the maximum. Compare the following: Arsenal now head the Premiership table with maximum points from five games. Can you set out the arguments for and against capital punishment in half a dozen paragraphs? I bought two dozen eggs but we’ve only used four. Visibility was almost zero at the City Airport last night because of the fog. Maximal as adjective or maximally as adverb are more rarely used. Mimimum describes the smallest amount possible. so what DO you say for somebody who is not in his/her teens or twenties any longer and is in a relationship. Compare the following: He managed to pass all his exams with minimal effort. eight seven o seven. Note the slight difference in meaning.House prices rose by nought point two per cent last month. Which could be the alternatives – if there are any? ‘Partner’ didn’t seem to be accepted. There may be one or two delays on this service but they are expected to be minimal.
'partner' can sound rather formal because partnerships. Although boyfriends and girlfriends are often associated with teenager years. but do not necessarily live with. although people from their twenties onwards may well have.' 'Will you be my partner at bridge this afternoon?' And ‘partners’ in a firm or business are the people who share the ownership of it: • 'He was partner in a firm of lawyers. However. Consider the following: • • • 'After their Wimbledon experience. This is Guy Wilkinson.' There are some other expressions that can be used. of course. such as 'lover' and 'other half' but it's true to say that in English there is no one preferred term! parts of the body M Ramesh Kumar from India writes: 181 . are not only of a sexual nature. ‘Boyfriend/girlfriend’ and ‘partner’ are the words that we normally use to describe somebody who is in a sexual relationship. or dance then you would do so with a ‘partner’. it looks as if sister Serena will be Venus Williams’ doubles' partner for some time to come.' 'He is such a good dancer that he has no difficulty in finding appropriate partners for all the Latin-American competitions.We don’t have very much choice in the matter.' it is also quite common for people in their twenties. thirties. Partner’ is perhaps the preferred term to describe the person you are living with on a more permanent basis. If you play a game against another pair of people. Mojca. forties and even fifties to use the words 'boyfriend' or 'girlfriend' to describe someone that they are in a relationship with. as in: • 'I remember my first boyfriend was a very spotty individual whose voice had only just broken.' It is unlikely that teenagers would have ‘partners’. but are not married to: • 'I don’t think you’ve met my partner.
toes 182 .arm 11 .ear 5 . You can use this list for pronunciation practice.stomach/tum/ tummy 19 .abdomen 20 . 1 .face 8 .knee 24 .foot/feet 26 .breast 17 .leg 23 .neck 9 .fingers 16 .others are more popular.thumb 15 .wrist 13 .bottom 21 .nose 6 .head 3 .hand 14 .thigh 22 .lips 7 .shoulder 10 .ankle 25 . particularly the practice of vowel sounds.Could you please give me the parts of the body from head to toe with exact pronunciation of native English speakers? Here's a chart which shows the major parts of the body: obviously not to be used for an anatomy lesson! Some words are used mainly in the medical profession .chest 18 .hair 2 .eye 4 .elbow 12 .big toe 27 .
two big toes. two thumbs.they're about one metre from your thighs.about two metres from your dainty feet! Let's add them together: Two lips and two hips. I suppose! Add on fingers. nose and lips are placed. One nose. And your lovely white teeth . Between your chest and your legs is your abdomen. And don't forget your eyes . And every other toe. Your lips are about one metre from your hips . At the front is your tum 183 .shake your hips! And your nose is nearly two metres from your big toe if you grow full-size. as far as I know! Your breast is the upper part of your chest. You hear with your ears. You smell with your nose And kiss with your lips. Lots of lovely white teeth And two dainty feet That's well over thirty body parts. That's well over sixty. Two eyes and two thighs. But for the sake of rhyme And pronunciation practice This time they are not in order. You see with your eyes. And at the side are your ears to help you hear. On your head is your hair You can wear your hair long Or you can wear your hair short On your face your eyes.Parts of the body From head to toe.
as an alternative to stomach. We'll touch them in order. Your bones are covered by flesh.fully awake. Bum: your bum is the part of your body which you sit on. Get as close as you can: · · · · · brain: make me think lungs: breathe in and breathe out heart: I can feel you beating stomach: I can hear you rumbling when I'm hungry bladder: I'll empty you when you're full We sometimes say that we are only flesh and blood And made up of feelings which we cannot touch. It is frequently used in informal English and is slightly rude: Do you think my bum looks too big in these jeans? More neutral alternatives would be bottom or backside.. In this sense tummy.roughly speaking. They're all very busy . blood and skin.short for tummy At the rear is your bum . i. the parts inside your body where food is digested. so I don't want my tummy to show. Your organs are all inside .don't let them escape. Glossary: Tum: your tum or tummy is the part at the front of your body.short for bottom! Between your bum and your tum Are your thighs . is often used by children or by adults talking to children: Jonathan's got tummy ache from eating too many unwashed strawberries. Joints are formed where two bones meet Your upper and lower arms are joined at your elbows Your upper and lower legs are joined at you knees Your wrists join your hands to your arms And your ankles your feet to your legs. Dainty feet: feet which are dainty are small. 184 . It can also be used to refer informally to stomach. delicate and pretty. I'm going to be doing a lot of sunbathing this summer. just below your waist. And it's the skin that holds it all in.e.
for example. So that's another slightly more complicated and not so common use of the word 'peoples'. So for example we talk about one person and two people. My full name is Yaciel Edelio Tellez Toledo. for example child – children. for example. So don't forget 'pan-'. I'm sure you know that most nouns in English are made plural by putting an s on the end. But that little 'pan-' prefix is something that you might want to remember because we often use it to mean 'all'. for example. or police are looking for 5 persons. 'Epidemic' is the word that we use when we're talking about a large number of people or animals in a certain place that are affected by disease or illness. Persons is normally a more formal use. girl – girls. However it becomes slightly more complicated because sometimes you do see the word 'persons'. that's a very topical question. It gets slightly more complicated when you find the word peoples. Catherine Walter answers: Yumi. And when you're talking about a group of nationalities you may find the word 'peoples'. I would like to know about the difference between 'epidemic' and 'pandemic'. And that's the short answer. 185 . So for example 4 persons were injured in the accident. so for example. And sometimes if you're listening to the news. I wrote to you because I am in doubt with the correct use of 'person' and 'people'. Karen Adams answers: Hi Yaciel and thank you for your question. to news reports you may hear news reports talking about persons. Thank you. And 'person' is one of those nouns that has an irregular plural.A question from Yumi in Japan: Hi. but let's hope we can forget the pandemic. 'Pandemic' is the word we use when almost all the people and animals in a certain place are affected by a disease or illness. So people make up new words by putting 'pan-' in front of something ? you might hear about a 'pan-Asian' conference. I come from Cuba. related to the bird flu. For example if you're in a lift or elevator you might see the sign 'Four persons only'. People can be used to mean a nationality – all of the people of one country – so for example 'the people of Cuba'. So in normal everyday speech you will hear people talking about 'many people'. But some nouns have irregular plurals. a more formal plural form. 'the peoples of South America'. 'People' is in fact the plural form of person. We hope that we won't be talking too much about pandemics in the next few months. The first one os to do with singular and plural nouns. That was my question because I know that 'person' and 'people' both are nouns and I would like to know when I'm going to use 'person' or 'people'. 'there were a lot of people at the concert'. boy – boys. there are several points to make here. The answer is actually very simple.
I hope that answers your question. Can you please explain to me how to use both terms correctly? Problem Problem is a countable noun and describes something that causes trouble or difficulty. We couldn't solve the problem of getting across London in less than two hours.) I can't meet him in Paris and he can't meet me in London. 'a three-person room'.) • We also talk about mathematical problems and solving problems of various sorts. (NOT: I can't meet him in Paris and he can't meet me in London. Problems and troubles A Writer from Cameroon in West Africa writes: I'm having difficulty distinguishing between problems and troubles. Can you come and have a look at it. Can you come and have a look at it? (NOT: I've got a big trouble with my computer. 186 . We talk about having a problem or having problems with something. '2 – person' is the adjective describing 'car' and as you know we don't put an 's' on an adjective. normally you find 'people' as the plural form of 'person' – one person. So in summary. Sometimes you'll find people used to describe the nationality so you'll find 'peoples' to describe different nationalities and sometimes you'll find the word 'persons' in more formal styles of writing or in signs for example. three people. It's a real problem. This is where 'person' is being used to describe the noun. So far example we talk about a 'two-week holiday' not a 'twoweeks holiday' or a 'three-year course' not 'a three-years course'. For example 'a twoperson car'. Trouble cannot be used in this way: • • Children with learning difficulties find mathematical problems impossible. It's a real trouble. So hear we use 'two-person car'. Compare the following: • I've got a big problem with my computer.Finally you may find the word 'person' attached to a number. not about having a trouble.
go to. ~ What's your problem? It's quite harmless. Can you come and have a look at it? I'm a bit deaf and I had trouble hearing what she said as she spoke very softly. The current drought is causing serious problems for the farmers in this area. worries or difficulties. the verbs that the noun trouble collocate with include the following: put to. problem as a countable noun and trouble as an uncountable noun. No problem! . Compare the following: • • • Could you look after Jimmy for me for five minutes while I pop out to the shops? ~ No problem! I'll finish this off tomorrow. rather than buy it from the shop.What's your problem? We also have the expressions No problem! which we use to say that we will be happy to do something or are happy for something to happen and What's your problem? which we use in a threatening way to ask someone about something we disapprove of. If you buy a dishwasher. I don't like people wearing face jewellery. run into. if you don't mind. These verbs cannot be used with problem in the same way. get into. It's blocking my drive. I think it could cause health problems in later life. save. 187 . Compare the following: • • • I'm sorry to put you to all this trouble ~ It's no trouble at all! I'm going to take the trouble to bake my own bread. but could you move your car forward a bit. it will save you the trouble of washing your dishes by hand.With the verb cause. that's their problem! trouble Trouble is mainly used as an uncountable noun and describes problems. ~ Well. and be in. I'm sorry to trouble you. Trouble can also be used as a verb. ~ No problem. Compare the following: • • • • I'm having trouble with the printer now. Compare the following: • • The recent football hooliganism in Sunderland caused the police a lot of trouble. In addition to cause. Why are you crying? What's troubling you? ~ It troubles me that I haven't heard from him for five weeks. take. we can use both trouble and problems.
completely. A question from Jean-Francois from Limoges. real and serious collocate with both trouble and problems. insoluble and intractable collocate only with problem: • • A fundamental problem in the design of this car is the transverse engine. I'm sorry... There was no way out of it. 'I am quite happy'. fairly. somewhat happy but not completely happy or it can mean I'm totally.. It was an intractable / insoluble problem. France: I find it difficult to understand the word 'quite' in a conversation. thanks for your question. No trouble! Note that the expression No trouble! is used in a similar way to No problem! • I'm sorry to have kept you waiting for so long ~ That's no trouble! problem / trouble + adjs Note from the examples above that the adjectives big. The simple answer is that it has both meanings. I shall get into real / big trouble. If we say: "I am quite happy". For example: 'delighted' means 'very pleased' 188 . Your next question will probably be: How can we tell the difference? When somebody says: "I am quite happy". Firstly. Note that fundamental. I had run out of water and was still ten miles from the nearest oasis. Does it mean 'partially' or 'totally'? Please help! Alex Gooch answers: Hello Jean-Francois.there are some clues that can help us solve this problem. How do we know if they mean partially happy or totally happy? Well. but simply reading the sentence on the page can't help us with this. if I lend you my brother's bike. However. I really don't know if this means'partially' happy or 'completely' happy. entirely. don't despair . I was in serious trouble. 100% happy. This can mean that I'm partially. It was jammed all the way from Epping to Cambridge. we have some adjectives in English which include the idea of 'very'.• • • We ran into trouble as soon as we reached the motorway. If I read the words.. You asked whether 'quite' means 'partially' or 'totally'.
and he's feeling 100% healthy. we could have a conversation like this: Alex: Are you feeling better now? William: Well. 'Quite' is often used with one of these adjectives. we have to think about the context. But in modern conversational English. going down at the end of the sentence. completely. if we say: "I am quite exhausted". On the other hand.that doesn't make any sense. when these sentences are spoken.. that probably means that he or she is partially happy or healthy. that probably means that he or she feels totally happy. Secondly. William probably means that he feels partially healthy. definite tone of voice. (William: Hello!) Let's imagine that William has recently been ill: Alex: Are you feeling better now? William: Yes. or healthy. If you think about this. we can often get a clue from the speaker's tone of voice and intonation: If he or she speaks in a positive. William probably means that he has fully recovered. it's quite old-fashioned to use 'quite' to mean 'totally' or 'completely' . It's still used this way sometimes in writing.. I'm feeling quite healthy. Often we can clearly understand which meaning of 'quite' the speaker intends. and so on. 100% exhausted.. especially in formal writing. This means I'm absolutely. In this case. William's here with me. 189 . it always means 'totally'. and if it rises at the end of the sentence.'exhausted' means 'very tired' 'enormous' means 'very big'. if the speaker's tone is more uncertain.. so you might read that in a novel for example. In fact. In fact. but not completely. but not completely healthy. by looking at the meaning of what he or she is saying. Also. However.at least in spoken English. I feel great! Here. or whatever. So. it's logical because it's impossible to be 'somewhat very tired' . but I still have a terrible headache. and in this situation. I'm feeling quite healthy. thank you. 'quite' normally means 'partially'.
Could you please help me to clarify the main usages and differences of these two closely related words. Hope this helps! Relative / relation – relationship Denis Baizeau from France writes: I do not feel comfortable when I have to use the words relation and relationship.A question from Alice in France: 'Raise' and 'rise' . for example. So. another way I can say that is that I think that taxes need to rise. either physically or metaphorically. Amos Paran answers: Well. 'Raise' needs an object. but Jenny felt that their relationship wasn't really going anywhere.it's difficult to use them. Many thanks in advance. It can also describe close ties between people or groups of people and the way they feel and behave towards each other: • The Smiths placed great emphasis on close family relationships and always went on holiday together. The difference between them is a grammatical one. especially one involving romantic feelings: • They had been together for two years and Mike wanted to carry on. the basic meaning of the two verbs. I can say that I personally think that the government of this country needs to raise taxes (and 'taxes' is the object of the verb). 'raise' and 'rise'. We are always talking about the need to raise standards (and 'standards' is the object of the verb) . Will it be possible to explain these two verbs in BBC learning English? Thank you. Relationship can be used in two other ways. and 'rise' cannot take an object. 190 . from a low position to a higher position.another way of saying it is that standards need to rise. It can describe two things and the way in which they are connected: • Doctors now believe that there may be some relationship / connection between autism and the MMR vaccine. is almost the same moving up. Relationships A relationship is a close friendship between two people.
I can't leave him to fend for himself when he needs my help. If you say that they are your own flesh and blood. not through marriage. Relations Relation also describes the link between people. The adjective relative and the adverb relatively are used when you are comparing the quality or size of something in relation to something else: • Both cactuses were relatively small and I wanted one that was larger to fit into the pot. we could also say: • Relations between (the leaders of) the two countries have never been closer. groups or countries and the way they behave towards each other. For example. Your blood relations are the people who are related to you by birth. The need to improve race relations in Inner London boroughs is of paramount importance. Mark Totterdale and Simon Totterdale (no relation) are both head teachers in Bristol. you are emphasizing that they are members of your own family: • He's my own flesh and blood. In this sense there is very little difference between relations and relationship. not diplomatic relationships or race relationships: • • Diplomatic relations between the two countries were broken off over this incident and their ambassadors were sent home. Relatives (noun) .relative (adj) Note that we also use the term relative to describe members of your family: • • She couldn't get any of her relatives / relations to look after the children. The chimpanzee is native to equatorial Africa and is believed to be the closest living relative to man. so had to employ a childminder. we talk about diplomatic relations and race relations. For instance. Most of the differences are context specific in this sense.• The relationship between the leaders of the two countries has never been closer. Your relations are also members of your family: • • I invited all my friends and relations to my twenty-first birthday party. 191 .
if something rises it moves upwards. The water in the river had risen to a dangerous level and everyone had to be evacuated from the village. there is some kind of connection between them. Related (adj) When two or more things are related. Rise .30.risen Generally. Rise. Aren't you two related? ~ No. You must always ask the question: fit to do what? They were discussing the relative / comparative merits of Liverpool and Leeds as places to live when I entered the room. When the sun and the moon rise. When people are related. we're not. If the wind rises. If the water in a river rises.• • • Fitness is a relative concept. 192 . He was able to smuggle the animals out of the country with relative / comparative ease. ~ Oh. In the social sciences anthropology and ethnography are closely related disciplines. If you rise. they are members of the same family: • • • • He was arrested for theft-related offences. I thought Henry was your cousin. so I had risen early. it becomes higher. I had all the equipment needed for gymnastics and related activities. it blows more strongly: • • • I hope to be out in the desert on my horse as the sun rises behind the Pyramids. He rose to greet me when I entered his office.rose . The wind rose later in the night and kept me awake as it howled through the trees. they appear in the sky. get up or stand up: • • I needed to catch the 7. arise and raise Would you please be so kind as to explain the difference between the following verbs: rise and arise? Thank you so much. this is a rather formal way of saying that you get of out bed.
If a situation or problem or something arises.arisen Arise is mainly used in a more abstract way. but if it does. Industrial use of oil rose by over 200 % in the 1970s whilst industrial use of coal fell by the same proportion. • Arise.arose . this is also known as a rise.) If you rise to a higher position in your organisation. Sir William! meaning that he. it increases. Arise . If you get an increase in your wages or salary. get out of bed or stand up. you improve it: • If you are in agreement with what Mr Jenkins has put to you.5 percent last year. would you please raise your hand. If you raise your voice. the lowest increase since 1992.raised .raised If you raise something. if the opportunity arises. If you raise the standard of something.g. At the age of 32. We can also use arise to mean to get up. may now (a)rise from his kneeling position as a knight of the realm. I can't get teletext. but it is even more formal than rise in this sense. just give a vague reply. you speak more loudly. the monarch touches the recipient's shoulders with a sword and then says. I shall certainly go to Scotland next year. Raise . it's known as a raise. William.If an amount rises. (In American English. you become more successful or powerful: • • • • Inflation rose by 0. you move it to a higher position. she has risen to the top of her profession. Note that when a knighthood is bestowed in Britain. e. I got a rise of over £4000 when I was promoted to a position of greater responsibility. A problem has arisen with the TV that I bought last week. it comes into being and people become aware of it: • • • I don't think the question of compensation will arise. 193 .
Amy was sitting at the back and had to raise her voice in order to be heard. Rise. Note that raise is a regular verb. but it didn't even raise a smile. I thought it was a good joke. The female audience raised the roof when the boy band appeared on stage. We want to raise standards of literacy in British schools. whereas rise is irregular. shouting. let alone a laugh. You always raise something. recall and recollect? Thank you very much. remind 194 .• • • The flag on the roof of the palace is raised whenever the queen is in residence. remind.remember / recall / recollect Agustin from Spain writes: I have a question about verbs which appear very similar. Could you possibly explain the differences between remember. in other words. His wife does everything around the house. is an intransitive verb: it does not involve anything or anyone other than the subject. clapping etc • • • • I decided to raise the alarm and alerted the rescue services when my companions had not returned by nightfall. Make no mistake about it: standards will rise. He never raises / lifts a finger to help her. Note the following idiomatic expressions with raise: to raise the alarm = warn people of danger not to raise or lift a finger = do nothing to help to raise a smile or a laugh = say something which makes people smile or laugh to raise the roof = make a building reverberate with loud singing. on the other hand. remind . Note also that raise is a transitive verb. it must always be used with a direct object.
Compare the following: Do you remember the first time we sat under the stars. sometimes with some difference in meaning. Thus. decide. finish. Some. Remember to close all the windows and lock all the doors before you leave the house. Doesn't this countryside remind you of Cornwall? It does me. I would finish writing the report tomorrow. remember + infinitive or remember + verb-ing? A lot of readers ask about verbs that are followed by verb-ing forms or to + infinitive. I shouldn't need to remind you to wash your hands before you sit down to eat. 195 . Some. I can't remember where I've put the spare set of car keys. I shall always remember flying to America on Concorde. Some verbs can be followed by either verb-ing forms or to + infinitive. I forgot to warn him about the dangerous dog and he was bitten. It is often used with to + infinitive and with when. but remind me of your house number. i. remind is a transitive verb. you make them remember it. Remember can be used transitively with an object or intransitively without an object. Have you seen them? Will you remember to collect your suit from the dry-cleaners or shall I do it? She remembered that she was going clubbing that evening and cheered up. I think I know which one it is. you recall people or events to your mind.or that-clauses. Compare the following: I don't remember talking to you about Terry's divorce. I don't even remember you asking me about that. agree. enjoy. They are so alike in looks and appearance. are always followed by to + infinitive. Remember and forget are two such verbs.where. Remember If you remember something. I decided to turn off the computer and go home. it always has an object which may be followed by to + infinitive or a that-clause. Remember and forget + verb-ing forms always refer back in time. I remember. like want. you associate it with a memory from your past: She reminds me of The Princess Royal. are always followed by verb-ing forms.e.Remind and remember are not the same. If you remind somebody about something. I reminded them that the dress rehearsal had been brought forward to Wednesday. listening to Beethoven's Ninth? Do you remember when we first ate wild mushrooms? ~ Yes. Compare the following: Remind me to send Denny an email about the change of dates. When you say that somebody or something reminds you of something. like look forward to. Remember and forget with an infinitive always refer forward in time.
I shall never forget sharing a bottle of iced water with you beside the Pyramids in Egypt. A question from Dahlia. She recollected / recalled that she had been living in Paris when Picasso and Matisse were both working there. If a player is recalled to a team. s/he is included in the team again after being left out: Many people in Ireland still hope that Roy Keane might be recalled to the Irish squad in time for the World Cup. although remember would not imply that the experience was talked about. recall When you recall something. you remember it and tell others about it: The Prime Minister recalled his visits to France and the six meetings he had had with the French President. I just want to know the meaning of this word: rote learning. over and 196 . If a company recalls a product. As far as I can recall. you remember it and usually talk about it. recollect If you recollect something. you were warned three times that you would lose your job if you persisted in being late. I distinctly recall warning you about this. it asks for it to be returned because it has found to be defective: The pharmaceutical company is going to recall one of its drugs because of possibly dangerous side effects. what's the exact meaning? Martin Parrott answers: What is 'rote learning' ? Rote learning is learning something by repeating it. We could also use remember here as the most common of the three verbs. There is little difference between recollect and recall in this context. We often say: as far as I can recall or as I recall or I seem to recall to refer back to something that you have been talking about: I seem to recall that you were against the idea of Henry joining the Board of Directors.
that could also help her to pass the exam.but. I'm interested in what you learnt by rote for your exams is this your English? Dahlia: No. to pass the exam… Martin: Yeah Dahlia: . Now. It's an interesting term.. Martin: Oh. we just keep just rote learning it . from Russian to Arabic… Martin: Yeah? Dahlia: …so. Dahlia: . where my students astonished me by how good they were at rote learning.. without understanding.. Dahlia. many words is hard to know the meaning of. what else can you do apart from rote learning then? Martin: Reading and underlining words.you know. Dahlia? Dahlia: My most studying is like rote learning. saying the same thing and trying to remember how to say it.. or something like that by rote learning.. most of what I read. Question: If Dahlia wants to learn some useful vocabulary. What have you learnt by rote learning.it helps us to remember . and it doesn't actually help to understand it. and perhaps using some rote learning. Martin: That's right.but often we say "I learnt something by rote".. I think sometimes in learning a language rote learning can be useful. It's something related to my studying. and words that come up several times. is it? Dahlia: I just keep saying it to pass my exam. erm. But. I'm studying economics… Martin: Yes. I know that I worked in China at one time..over and over again. It describes the technique for learning . rote learning. Most of our books are translated from. trying to say it fluently and fast. or study. does it? Dahlia: Yeah. or a song. it doesn't help us to understand .and there is a lot of subjects quite difficult to understand every single word. but she wants to know the meaning as well.and often we learn a poem. and we use the expression "by rote". looking them up and then perhaps putting them on a list. quite difficult sometimes to understand everything. Martin: It is. it's not my English. if you need to remember it for the examination. and I used to set lists of words for them to learn 197 . then I'm sure that's very useful. Martin: Yes? Dahlia: So.. Martin: Well.
to understand it. thank you very much for your question about the difference between "satisfying" and "satisfactory". you look at them deliberately. but reading text in which those words occur. Watch is often used with progressive tense forms. And then as a teacher I'd just have to help them understand them. Compare the following: Can you hear me at the back? Am I speaking loudly enough? 198 . could you offer an alternative to a student at home who maybe does want to learn vocabulary and improve their vocabulary. If you watch something or someone. in the second case it was one that you enjoyed. The best is when perhaps the word is used several times in different contexts. but may be used with can to suggest something in progress. A good bilingual dictionary is such a useful tool as well.so we need to be not necessarily reading a long book. usually for a longer period. George Pickering answers: Well Ha. and we can understand from the context what it means. See is not used with progressive forms. we have to see vocabulary in a context . A question from Ha in Vietnam: Could you tell me the difference between "satisfying" and "satisfactory"? Thank you. So what would be the difference between a "satisfactory" meal and a "satisfying" one? In the first case the meal was ok. usually with no explicit intention or purpose behind the action. or acceptable. So generally we prefer to have "satisfying" experiences to "satisfactory" ones. I mean just as a practical tip. Whereas "satisfying" means that something meets your needs or requirements and has positive associations. "Satisfactory" means that something is adequate. and maybe isn't finding rote learning good. Question: In terms of learning a language. what other ways of learning are there? Martin: I think rote learning may be useful for remembering it .and the next day I'd discover that they remembered them. So. See / Watch Seeing is noticing something or somebody with your eyes. See and watch I'd like to know the different meanings of see and watch and the typical uses of these two verbs.
He's seeing the doctor about his bronchitis tomorrow. I'm sorry. See / Hear + that-clause We often use I hear and I see with a that-clause to indicate that we have noted something or that we understand or gather that something has happened or will happen. He has a bad influence on her. see = find out (note progressive forms never possible) I'll go and see if I can help them. As we saw when he went back to help them. It's only a one-day strike. I could hear them talking in the next room. more specific uses of see and watch: see = meet (note that in this meaning progressive forms are often possible) I'll see you outside the hospital at eleven o' clock.I could hear a dog barking but apart from that there was no sound. I didn't hear the phone ringing because I was listening to a Mahler symphony on the radio. I see / understand / gather that the postal workers are threatening another one-day strike in October. Note these further. She must really stop seeing him. I hear / understand / gather that you're planning to quit your job with IBM and go freelance. You need to listen to the tape very carefully if you want to understand what she is saying. I thought you liked her. I'm surprised to hear you say such awful things about her. 199 . I can't see / understand what all the fuss is about. but I tried not to listen to what they were saying. these guys are totally independent. He went back to see if they needed any help. but he's not well enough to see you now. Have you heard that Jenny's gone freelance? ~ No. I've heard nothing about that. I'll just see you to the door. see = accompany You may not be able to find your way out.
He's old enough to come home by himself. He was in a terrible condition and had drunk far too much whiskey. Condition can also refer to a health problem: Considering its age. Situation / Position / Condition All three nouns are similar in meaning.. We talk about things happening in or under appalling / terrible conditions. this house is in excellent condition. Condition Condition describes the physical state of something or some one. I have no complaints. but they have different nuances or shades of meaning and are used in different contexts in different ways. they are excellent. but can you just see him across the busy road? watch = be careful about . Watch out for pickpockets. We must watch the time or we shall be late. 200 .. Watch your purse too. if you stand or sit somewhere and watch people as they pass by. Are you happy with your working conditions? ~ Yes. watch = look after Can you just watch my bags while I go to the loo? You may also watch your weight if you decide to be careful about the things you eat or watch the world go by. She has a severe heart condition and shouldn't be smoking at all. We also talk about people's living or working conditions: The rescue was attempted under extremely difficult conditions and with little chance of success. We talk about people or things being in good / bad / terrible / etc condition. Watch that you don't spend too much money in Oxford Street. Conditions (plural) refer to the environment in which something occurs. The refugees were living under appalling conditions with no access to clean water.
I am particularly concerned about the situation in the south of the country where the rules of law and order appear to have broken down. Situation Situation refers to a set of conditions that are in place at a particular time and in a particular place: If the situation had been different. The conditions imposed by the university meant that no one was likely to qualify.the company has failed to make a profit in each of the last four years. Conditions also describe things that must be true or be done before something else can happen. Make sure you read the terms and conditions carefully before you take out the student loan on condition that Note the expression on condition that for saying that one thing will happen only if another thing happens: You can have the day off tomorrow on condition that you agree to work on Saturday. They spoke to the police about the incident on condition that they would not be called as witnesses.The extremely windy conditions made it difficult for either side to play decent football. situation comedies / situations vacant 201 . We also talk about an economic or financial situation: The financial situation is dire . our marriage might have succeeded. Terms and conditions describe the business or financial arrangements of an agreement. you will need to satisfy certain conditions. We talk about meeting or satisfying or imposing conditions. In order to qualify for a grant as a postgraduate student.
they'll move up to third. where you stand or are placed. What is their position in the league? ~ They're in forth position at the moment. i. Position can also describe a general situation and in this context can sometimes be replaced by situation: The position / situation is that everyone must be interviewed about the break in by the security services. just in front of the back four. I wouldn't dream of sheltering an escaped convict. Position also means opinion.e. it refers to the way or where somebody or something is placed. a place in a list or where you play in a team sport such as football: Is the assistant manager position still open? ~ No. I'm sorry. on an issue: My position on fox hunting is that it is a useful way of keeping the number of foxes down. position Position is used in a wider variety of contexts than situation or condition. 202 . First and foremost.Note also the compound nouns situation comedies (abbreviated to sitcoms) which describe amusing television drama series revolving around a set of characters in a family or organisation and situations vacant which refers to a column or page in a newspaper where jobs are advertised: 'The Office' is regarded as one of the most original sitcoms the BBC has produced so far this century. I was quite badly injured in the demonstration but managed to drag myself to a sitting position under a tree. My best position is on the left in midfield. This is quite a detailed map showing the position of all the oil refineries. Position can also refer to a job in a company. it's already been filled. but if they win today. If I were in your position / situation. If you just want a clerical job. This plant loves sunlight and should be placed in an open sunny position in the flower border. look in the situations vacant column in the local newspaper.
As in the example. If you resolve to do something you make a firm decision to do it. They are often organised competitively. Can you please explain in more detail the difference between sport and game? Sports are activities which require physical effort and ability and some degree of mental skill usually. I'm trying to write my reports in English. For example. I need to know the difference between the verbs 'solve' and 'resolve'.in other words similar in meaning and therefore sometimes used interchangeably. where the basic meaning is to find a solution or answer to a problem. but in them meantime. "We must be firm in our resolve to oppose them." 'Resolve' also sometimes appears as a noun meaning a determination to do something. The simplest answer I can give you here is to say that in many contexts they are roughly synonymous . we could say either "we have solved the problems in management" or "we have resolved the problems in management". 'sport' or 'game' Martina Sotona from from The Czech Republic asks: The Olympics are over and I would like to ask why we call them the Olympic Games when they are about sports. Sian Harris answers: Hello Lilia. although not necessarily.A question from Lilia in Rio de Janeiro: Since I'm improving my English. argument or difficulty means to deal with it successfully. To resolve a problem." However. played outdoors and with a ball. "They resolved to take action." So Lilia. you'll find more examples in your dictionary. Thank you. I hope I've clarified the key differences there. Thus: 203 . "The cabinet met to resolve the dispute. thanks for getting in touch. be aware that 'resolve' can be used with the infinitive with a slightly different meaning.
dominoes. for this reason.' Games are also activities involving skill. seem and appear Look. seem and appear are all copular verbs and can be used in a similar way to indicate the impression you get from something or somebody. Copula verbs join adjectives (or noun compounds) to subjects: She looks unhappy.rugby netball golf cricket tennis motor racing football table tennis cycling basketball squash skiing hockey badminton running baseball volleyball swimming However. physical ability or skill is needed. For games like these. They appear (to be) contented.) Compare the following: • • • 'Do you fancy a game of golf this afternoon?' The game (or match for most ball games) between Manchester United and Liverpool had to be abandoned at half time. The pitch was waterlogged. Note that adjectives. 'computer games' and games like chess. I spend all weekend every weekend either watching it or playing it in summer. they are called the Olympic Games. knowledge or chance in which you try to win against an opponent or solve puzzles. not adverbs. 'card games'. Thus. appear and look Are there any significant structural or semantic differences between seem.' 'Cricket is my favourite sport. He seems angry. not so much. are used after copular verbs. 204 . we talk about games when two teams or individuals meet to play against each other. seem. We do not say: She looked angrily He seems cleverly. backgammon. appear and look in the sense of to give the impression of being or doing something? look. darts. mahjong and Monopoly. we have 'word games'. (So. snooker. if any.
I seem to have lost my way.We have to say: She looked angry. Of course. Nobody's answering. They do not appear to be at home. It looks like we're going home without a suntan. but not after look.differences in meaning 205 . and It appears.. but as a transitive verb with an object.as if / like After look and seem. We cannot use look in this way. look / seem . It looks as if / like you won't go to prison after all. It seems like she'll never agree to a divorce.. has to be followed by an as if / like clause: It seems that I may have made a mistake in believing you did this. No one's answering. It looks.. Can you help me? It seems to be some kind of jellyfish. when look is not used as a copular verb. Do not go near it... They cannot be traced.. seem / appear to + infinitive After seem and appear we often use a to + infinitive construction ( or a perfect infinitive construction for past events). Compare the following: They appear to have run away from home. He seems clever. We can also use a that-clause after It seems?. It appears that you may be quite innocent of any crime. an adverb will describe how someone looks: She looked angrily at the intruder.. appear / seem . we can use an as if / like construction: It looks as if it's going to rain again. but not normally after appear. It seems as if they're no longer in love. They appear not to be at home.
more objective facts and impressions They have the same surname. She's not getting any better.You can use seem to talk about more objective facts or impressions and about more subjective and emotional impressions. Digital radios for less than £50 began to appear in the shops before the end of last year. It doesn't seem like a good idea to leave him here by himself. non-copular use of appear and look Note that seem is used only as a copular verb. Cracks have suddenly appeared in the walls in our lounge. He didn't see me because he was looking the other way. Compare the following: impressions / emotions It seems a shame that we can't take Kevin on holiday with us. I've looked through all the drawers and through all my files. look = direct your eyes / search I've looked everywhere for my passport. We do not usually use appear to refer to emotions and subjective impressions. but I can't find it. Note that look is used in a wide range of phrasal verbs: Could you look after the children this afternoon while I go shopping? Could you look at my essay before I hand it in? I'm looking for size 36 in light blue. but both appear and look have other meanings and uses: appear = (begin to) be seen She has appeared in five Broadway musicals since 2000. It seems ridiculous that he has to stay here to look after the cat. It seems / appears that she's not been taking the medication. but they don't appear / seem to be related. Do you have it? 206 .
for example. The D. Don't you want to look round the school before enrolling your children? He's a wonderful role model for other players to look up to.' (Note that in British English defence is spelt ‘defence’ and not ‘defense’. defense attorneys in America who act on behalf of their clients. There are also. of course. Recently we had a discussion about the correct use and the difference between the following words: Is there any difference in use? Solicitor lawyer attorney barrister counsellor These legal terms all belong to the same family of words. I was advised to put the matter into the hands of a solicitor. look them up in a dictionary. Consider the following: • 'Nobody wanted the position of district attorney – it was poorly paid in comparison with that of defense attorney. I'm looking forward to a holiday now. but are quite different in use. Krista Soenen from Belgium asks: I’m a student attending an English course in Gent. Solicitors are lawyers who give legal advice to clients and prepare legal documents and cases. I've written a letter of complaint and they've promised to look into the matter. Solicitors often specialise in different areas: there are. They do not usually. The following would be an example of usage: • 'When my husband left me. or District Attorney is a lawyer in the U.) 207 . I'll probably be there by ten o' clock.' Attorney is American English word for a British English lawyer.S.It's been a hard year. to my knowledge.A. Belgium. appear in court. Look out for me at the concert. who works for the state and prosecutes people on behalf of it. If you don't know the meaning of these phrasal verbs. family law solicitors and company law solicitors.
As such has two meanings. I'm an English teacher. and because I'm an English teacher I hate to see grammar mistakes.A lawyer.000 in lawyers’ fees alone.' A question from Arif Kizilay from Turkey: I have a question . and such as? Thank you. please note that we do not use the term counsellor in the legal sense at all! A counsellor can be any person whose job it is to give advice. The first is quite difficult to explain. I could say. 208 . care and support to those who need it. We talk about lawyers for the prosecution and lawyers for the defence.' A barrister in British English is a lawyer who operates in the higher courts of law in Britain and speaks on behalf of either the prosecution or the defence: • 'He was regarded as an eloquent and persuasive barrister and was much in demand for a period of over twenty years. as such and such as. then. These two phrases. Study the following: • 'The defence court case cost £560. is a person who is qualified to advise people about the law and represent them in court.thanks for your question. 'Such as' and 'as such' Alex Gooch answers: Hi Arif .can you please answer it for me? What's the difference between as such.' We also speak about the prosecution counsel or the defence counsel when referring to the team of lawyers who are operating on behalf of either the state or a client: • 'The counsel for the defence argued that the case should never have been brought to court as it relied only on circumstantial evidence. so let's look at an example.' However. look similar. in British English. but in fact their meanings are very different. Consider the following: • 'This hospital employs 15 counsellors whose job it is to deal with patients suffering from severe depression.
Paul's Cathedral. but it does sell magazines and newspapers. Magazines and newspapers are similar to books. in this sentence I'm saying the words 'an English teacher' twice. An easier way to say it is like this: I'm an English teacher. Can you please tell me in which sense and where they should be used? 209 . but he's spent most of his life there. Here people use suppose and supposed to a lot of the time in conversation. but they are not exactly books. However. You could say: She's an athlete. Such as is much easier. suppose and supposed to Sanmati Pragya from India writes: Hi! I’m an Indian citizen living in America. the second time it appears. and as such she has to train very hard. use Euros. We use it in sentences like this: There are lots of things to see in London. with the same meaning. The film was a romance.Another way to say this. and as such it had the usual happy ending. Or: He isn't American as such. such as France and Germany. Or: Many countries in Europe. we use the word such to represent the words 'an English teacher'. but it isn't exactly the same as being American. and as such I hate to see grammar mistakes. such as the Tower of London. Here are some similar examples. and as an English teacher I hate to see grammar mistakes. the London Eye and St. so be careful there!). We can also use as such to mean something like 'exactly' in a sentence like this: The shop doesn't sell books as such. In this example. is like this: I'm an English teacher. Spending most of your life in America is similar to being American. it has the same meaning as 'like' or 'for example' (but not exactly the same grammar.
isn’t it? ~ Hold on. the rule or the custom. suppose is often used in requests with negative structures when we hope the answer will be positive: • • • I don’t suppose you could lend me your dinner jacket. I don’t suppose I could see the doctor now. Will you try to see Jennifer when you get back? ~ I think/suppose/imagine/ expect not. 210 . would that be all right? Suppose / Supposing I come / came next Thursday rather than Wednesday. Can you wait till then? It is also used in short answers with the same meaning of think/believe/imagine/expect. Suppose/supposing = what if…? Suppose or supposing can also be used in a quite different way instead of What if…? to introduce suggestions or to express fears. Would you be prepared to stay on for an extra week? ~ I suppose/expect/guess so.Suppose and supposed to are used very frequently in British English too. but I always tidy it when I get up in the morning instead. will / would that be all right? Will these shoes will be OK for tennis? ~ I don’t think so. Suppose / Supposing the court is wet and you slip(ped)? be supposed to + infinitive = should Supposed to in this sense means that something should be done because it is the law. Compare the following and note that the verb that follows suppose or supposing can be in either present of past tense form: • • • We haven’t got strawberry jam for the filling. could you? ~ Sure! When do you need it? I suppose it’s too late to see the doctor now. could I?~ I can fit you in at 11.30. Note that suppose here describes a mental or emotional state. Note that two forms of the negative are possible here: • • • Will Jeremy be at Peter’s this evening? ~ I don’t think/suppose/imagine/expect so. We shall see that suppose has a number of different meanings and uses and that supposed to is different again from suppose. Let me see if I can fit you in. so suppose / supposing we use(d) raspberry jam. and it is not normally used in the continuous form. in practice it is often not done: • I’m supposed to tidy my room before I go to bed at night. However. suppose = think/believe/imagine/expect In this sense.
. Wasn’t Tom supposed to be here for lunch? I wonder what’s happened to him! I should have gone to Cuba for a conference last year but then I got ill and couldn’t go. we can use should have as an alternative to was supposed to: • • • • I was supposed to go to Cuba for a conference last year but then I got ill and couldn’t go. cotton to / cotton on to To cotton to means to like. but should always be written in its correct form grammatically as supposed to.they do not cotton to the idea that. In the past tense.. but did not happen. 211 . but I’m not sure whether I can. It is an expression which is not used very much any more in contemporary British English. Why don’t you try it? The castle was supposed to be haunted. Shouldn’t Tom have been here for lunch? I wonder what’s happened to him! supposed to be = generally believed to be Finally. note that the final d in supposed to is not pronounced. it is used to mean that something was planned or intended to happen. to admire or to become attached to.• • In Germany you’re not supposed to walk on the grass in the parks.. I’m supposed to return these books by Friday. Note that in these examples. but in England you can. synonyms for: I (don't) understand Stefan Babec from the Slovak Republic writes: Could you please explain to me the expression in this sentence: . It is pronounced as 'suppose to'. we can use supposed to be in this sense: • • This stuff’s supposed to be good for stomach cramps. The allusion is to a thread of cotton which very easily attaches itself to clothing for example. but I had a good night’s sleep there nevertheless! When you are practising these examples in speech..
He still hasn't cottoned on to the fact that I'm not in the least bit interested in him. and particularly British English. appears to be incredibly rich with informal expressions for I don't understand. Here are a selection of the most common. Could you go back over that last bit again? I don't understand English. what does it mean they are? • • • I don't know I've (got) no idea I haven't (got) a clue Which British king is supposed to have imprisoned his nephews in the Tower of London? • • I haven't (got) the faintest I haven't (got) the foggiest 212 . To pick up the thread(s) means to resume one's line of argument or to get back into the way of things: • • • I haven't done this sort of work for over five years so it will take me a while to pick up the threads. I'm going back to John and we're going to try to pick up the threads of our marriage. lose the thread /pick up the thread(s) Other expressions which use the idea of cotton threads are to lose the thread of something and the opposite to pick up the thread(s). Can any of you answer these difficult questions? If someone is described as 'sagacious'.Much more common is the colloquial expression to cotton on to which means to catch on or to grasp a line of thought: • • They didn't know much English and it was surprising how quickly they cottoned on / caught on to what I was saying. To lose the thread means to lose one's train of thought because of some sort of interruption or digression. The allusion is the same as before: cotton fibres or threads which become attached to clothing. I've lost the thread of what you were saying. Sorry.
this suggests that you do know the answer which might even be on the tip of your tongue. it is sufficient to say: • I haven't got the faintest / foggiest. Ken is much used in informal Scottish English as both a verb and a noun for know and knowledge. but it is not immediately available. that's beyond me. In music. The expression 'You've stumped me' or 'I'm stumped' derives from the game of cricket. Who made the first telescope in the world? • • • You've got me there. However. Originally. 213 . But if your mind goes blank. Come again. you do not have sufficient knowledge to be able to understand it. In the Bible. You've stumped me there. you would not find the answer to the questions you have asked. We can also use get in this question to mean 'Do you understand?': • Do you get what I'm saying? Or if you don't understand something you can say: • I don't get it. where if the batsman is stumped. he is out and his innings is over. I'm a bit stymied there. we would have said: • I haven't got the faintest / foggiest / slightest idea. These last two synonyms for I don't understand are more colloquial and not quite in the same politeness register as the earlier alternatives. my mind's gone blank. But now. Sorry. The idea of the last one is that if you did a body search on me. Search me. what is the sixth note in the tonic sol-fa scale? • • • I'm not with you. which is the second book of the Old Testament? • • • Sorry. they are quite acceptable in discourse among friends. That's beyond my ken. If something is beyond your ken.• I've got no notion Notion is another word for idea.
I completely understand! That's absolutely clear! You're quite right! Of course! Absolutely is currently one of our most favoured adverbs when expressing strong agreement with something: • • Are you going to Jim's party on Friday? ~ Absolutely! Do you really want to wear that? ~ Yes. but it's chickenfeed to me. relationships.If you do know the answers to all these questions. just as a boozer is a pub or someone who drinks a lot of alcohol. who came to this knees-up. it may sound strange and inappropriate if you do so. drink. Big bucks denotes a large amount of money (bucks are dollars). If you are exposed to slang expressions in your learning of English. Knees-up = party. So. Also slang changes very quickly. 214 . please write to our Message Board and tell us. absolutely! slang. etc. Absolutely bonkers is very crazy or unpredictable. They are often fairly strong in emotive terms and may sometimes be found offensive to people outside the group. let's finish on a more positive note with some synonyms for I do understand! We don't seem to have as many of these! • • • • • I'm afraid I can't agree to you borrowing £500 from your sister. then? My ex was absolutely bonkers. Here are some more expressions: • • • • It may be big bucks to you. chickenfeed is small change. They often relate to sex. idiomatic expressions and euphemisms slang Slang consists of very informal expressions or words which normally feature in speech rather than writing and are used by people who know each other well or who have the same jobs. it is important for you to understand their meaning and the emotive force behind them. Have a look at some of the slang expressions on our Talk Lingo pages. A score of 100% would suggest that you might be a suitable candidate for a TV quiz game! I do understand! Finally. my ex = former boyfriend or girlfriend. Booze is alcohol. We'll have to get some booze in for tonight. In fact. backgrounds or interests. drugs. It may be less appropriate for you to use them if you are not part of that group. social groups.
Idiomatic expressions are extremely common and are found in all kinds of English. It's not working again. 215 . idiomatic expressions with 'out' Good dictionaries will usually list idiomatic usage of words after the literal meanings are given. you may find the following idiomatic usages listed and illustrated: • • I was so tired I went out like a light. I can't believe he was so rude to her. (As a rule of thumb. If someone is out of order. Thus: • I could eat a horse. These two are in current use. He was totally out-of-order. As a learner. they have acted in bad taste or their behaviour is unacceptable. For example. There are too many. it is better to say: • than: • It's raining cats and dogs out there. is an idiomatic way of saying: • I'm very hungry. both formal and particularly informal. Thus after the literal definitions of out. It's raining very hard out there. they are probably current. You will learn the most common naturally through the learning material that you are using. I've never seen such behaviour: he was completely out of order. Note that the primary meaning of out of order relates to machines that are not working or are not in good order: • • Go and put this out-of-order notice on the photocopier. which has gone out of fashion. But do not make a special effort to learn them. The allusion is to falling asleep immediately like switiching off a light. if you come across idiomatic expressions more than once in your study of contemporary English. And it is much better to be accurate when using non-idiomatic English than inappropriate when using an idiom.idiomatic expressions Idiomatic expressions are combinations or collocations of words which cannot be translated word for word.) To go out like a light is to fall asleep or unconscious instantly. it may be difficult for you to know what idioms are in fashion and which are not.
verb and noun If there is a change or if something changes.e.e pornographic) magazines on the top shelf and the adult videos under the counter. upsetting or embarrassing. but me and my friends have had some pretty hot discussions about the meaning and different usage of these two words… change . death.e. This was not just the pre-euro era. admit to being homosexual).euphemisms A euphemism is a polite word or expression that people use when they are talking about something which they or other people may find unpleasant. I must admit. allow others to let it be known that I am homosexual). urinate). compulsory redundancy programme).e. It was the pre-decimal era. There are many euphemisms that refer to sex. Many of the outlying villages suffered collateral damage (i. then in the action (euphemism!) in Serbia at the end of the 1990s and most recently in Afghanistan. We keep the adult (i. However. 216 . We cannot easily replace change with switch.e. it becomes different in some way or it is replaced by something of a similar kind . I can't hold it in. Spend a penny derives from the days when there were door locks on the outside of cubicles in public lavatories which could only be opened by inserting one old penny into the lock.e. • Going out to work every day is quite a change from university life. The term is of US origin and was first used to describe deaths in the Vietnam War. I decided to come out (i. When we use euphemisms we are protecting ourselves from the reality of what is said. Izmaelov from Denmark writes: Hi Roger! Are you familiar with the words switch and change? I guess you are.e. We have no alternative but to let you go (i. only change is possible or normal. I shall have to spend a penny (i. The expression is still in frequent use today. civilian deaths). I didn't want to be outed (i. Euphemisms are often good examples of idiomatic language use: • • • • • • He passed away (i.e. died) after a long illness (i. etc. in all of these examples that follow. bodily functions.and it in this respect that the meaning is most similar to switch. sack you). then in the Gulf War. It's no good.e. You know that we're in the middle of a rightsizing exercise (i. cancer). war. Collateral damage is unintended damage and civilian casualities and deaths caused by the dropping of bombs in the course of a military operation.
deciding to do something else.she had changed so much. give me the same amount of money in smaller coins or notes) I had no loose change (i.reversing your opinions or attitudes a sea change .m.e.things which pass from one owner to another • Did you know that Brenda's sex-change operation hasn't been successful? ~ Do you mind if we change the subject? ~ Of course we can. usually the opposite changing your tune . We can use switch or change in all these examples. (i. Could you change the light bulb for me please? ~ OK. a light. We switch these things on and off. We also turn them on and off. You'll have to change at Reading. changed in appearance) I'm the father of three children but I still don't know how to change a nappy.a more informal expression for saying or doing something else having a change of heart . I shall have to come home and change first. haven't you? You were going to get a season ticket three weeks ago! He suddenly became responsible for his actions. radio. Can anybody change this £50 note? (i. smaller coins) so I had to pay with a £10 note. I hardly recognised her .a complete change in someone's attitudes or behaviour things which change hands . If you switch to something different. We can turn them down or up. I was away for the whole weekend so I packed two changes of underwear.e.e. but you should know that she's going ahead with her plan to change her name from Brenda to Brendan. but we cannot switch them down or up: • You call that music? It's a terrible row! Either turn it down or switch it off. but switch is more dramatic: 217 .e.• • • • • • • • • I can't go straight from work. • • switch . But I'll change the oil in your car first.starting to talk about something else to avoid embarrassment changing your mind . I can't afford to take everybody to this football match.g.verb and noun A switch is a device for making and breaking the connection in an electrical circuit in e. This sea change in his behaviour surprised his parents. (i. TV or heater. from red to green) before you cross the road. change clothes) There's no direct (train) service to Oxford after 10 p. you change suddenly to a different task or activity from what you were doing before.e. We also talk about: changing the subject . ~ You've changed your tune. You must wait till the (traffic) lights change (i.
switch is frequently used in newspaper headlines. Abel Xaviar. There was no direct service to Miami. Gang switched signals to help refugees. See if you can work out the meaning. Switch to euro uncovers Ireland's excessive prices. ~ Whatever turns you on! Travel/journey/trip/expedition/safari/ cruise/voyage Haidar Mirhadi from Iran writes: What is the difference between these words all concerning travel: 218 . especially when you find somebody attractive Whatever turns you on! . to stimulate their interest. I was going nowhere so I decided to switch / change jobs. He is really switched on when it comes to fashion. The changeover or switch from the Irish punt to the euro has revealed the high cost of certain goods.a stock/fixed response to a description of unusual practice • • • • • His description of his working day was so boring that I just switched off.to excite them.to be well-informed or up-to-date about contemporary issues to turn someone on . I think you would create more space if you switched / changed / moved the furniture around.it's a film about philosophy. is ready (= set) to move from Everton across town to Liverpool football club.• • • • Would you mind switching / changing places with me so that I can sit next to my child? I had to switch / change planes in New York. He knows all about the Italian fashion houses. What a turn-off! And then I became really interested in the triassic. Because of its dramatic quality. but I don't really turn you on. A criminal group of men (= gang) changed or switched train signals from green to red so that trains would stop to allow refugees to climb on board. I thought you liked me. The answers are below: • • • Abel Xavair set to switch to Liverpool. Finally. do I? Oh no . the Portuguese defender.to stop paying attention to be switched on . jurassic and cretaceous periods. These three examples all appeared in the Independent daily newspaper on 28 or 29 January. note these more informal and idiomatic usages of switch and turn: to switch off .
Some of you may suffer from travel sickness. (Note that the plural is spelt journeys. You make journeys when you travel from one place to another. I don't do as much travelling as I used to now that I'm retired. Travelling is also a general term which refers to the activity of travel: • • Travelling by boat between the islands is less tiring than travelling by road. make sure you take plenty of traveller's cheques with you. We can talk about someone's travels to refer to the journeys he makes: • His travels abroad provided lots of background material for novels he wrote. It's the right time of year to talk about travel as the holiday season is now beginning in most countries north of the equator. journey (noun) A journey is one single piece of travel. Travel often crops up as part of compound nouns. Compare the following: • Make sure you keep all your travel documents safely. You can obtain your travel tickets from the travel agents in the High Street if you don't want to order them over the Internet. If you don't have a credit or debit card. We occasionally use journey as a verb as an alternative to travel. although it may sound a bit formal or poetic: We journeyed /travelled between the pyramids in Mexico on horseback.travel/journey/trip/expedition/safari/ cruise/voyage? Thank you. We often use travel as a verb: • I love to travel during the summer holidays. it lasted for ever. travel/travelling (nouns) Travel is the general term to describe going from one place to another. trip (noun) 219 . Air travel may well give you a bumpy ride. We can talk about journeys taking or lasting a long time: How long did your journey take? ~ Oh. not journies): • • • • • The journey from London to Newcastle by train can now be completed in under three hours. We stopped at every small station. This year I plan to travel all around the Iberian Peninsula.
Are you going to join the expedition up the Amazon this year. cruise (noun and verb) A cruise is a holiday during which you travel on a ship or boat and visit a number of places en route. usually. but we didn't break down in four weeks of travelling expedition (noun) An expedition is an organised trip whose purpose is usually scientific exploration of the environment. • • • Numerous expeditions to The Antarctic have ended in disaster. but we go on trips: • • • • I went on a day trip to France. He's gone on a business trip to Malaysia and Singapore. We talk about day trips. you might have worn your light cotton safari suit for this purpose: • His one ambition in life was to go on safari to Kenya to photograph lions and tigers. like the one Tom went on last year? Less dangerous and less adventurous are shopping expeditions when you are hunting down particular goods or bargains and fishing expeditions when you go in search of fish which are not easy to locate or catch. the QE2. It was an old car.A trip usually involves more than one single journey. They are hoping to take a trip on the cruise liner. The trip went well. You go on safari to safari parks. The round-trip ticket enabled me to visit all the major tourist destinations in India. Where's Laurie? ~ He won't be in this week. We left at 6. just as you go on trips. safari (noun) A safari is a trip or expedition to observe wild animals in their natural habitat in Africa. You go on expeditions. In days gone by. in 2004.30 in the morning and returned before midnight the same day. We make journeys usually. voyage (noun) 220 . My parents have seen nothing of the world so are saving up to go on a world cruise when they retire. When we cruise. round trips and business trips. this is exactly what we do: • • They cruised all around the Mediterranean for eight weeks last summer and stopped off at a number of uninhabited islands.
the great explorer) take care / take a look: verb + noun collocations with take Maria asks: Please can you give me some information about collocations. There are verb + adverb collocations like wave frantically (not wave hecticly). not necessarily for pleasure. e. It will be cold in Scotland. There are a large number of take + noun collocations of which I include a selection of the most common below. There are adjective + noun collocations like regular exercise (not steady exercise). Note how much of the original meaning of take is retained in these examples.g: I took him to the hospital because he was having difficulty breathing.1500) he discovered the South American mainland. take Take is one of the most commonly used verbs in the English language whose basic meaning is to move something or somebody from one place to another. but historically they were very significant: • His second voyage (1493 . And there are verb + noun or verb + object collocations like follow someone's example (not pursue someone's example).A voyage is a long journey. On his third voyage (1498 . on a ship. especially about verb + noun collocations with take? Thanks a lot. (Christopher Columbus. collocation Collocations are words that habitually or typically occur together. The first five are relatively easy to understand: take a walk / a bus / a train take a minute / a while / ten minutes take exercise take an interest in take a photo 221 . We don't talk about voyages very much in the present time. Take plenty of warm sweaters.96) led to the discovery of several Caribbean islands. There are adverb + adjective collocations like completely or wholly satisfied (not utterly satisfied).
etc: perform an action in order to achieve something take advice: follow someone's guidance (on how best to achieve something) take offence: feel upset because of something someone has said or done take cover: hide of shelter from e. She took pity on the stray dog and be became a family pet.I'm not ready yet. I took 300 photographs when I was on holiday in Patagonia. you'll stop seeing him. Aren't you finished yet? ~ No. Since Sharapova won Wimbledon my son has taken an interest in tennis. measures. so we had to take cover. We should take steps to ensure that no more money is lost on this venture. it will take me a while. There's no need to take offence. take steps.g bad weather or gunfire take pity: show sympathy for someone because they are in a bad situation. The final five are most difficult as they are idioms whose original meaning has been lost (but which is explained in the notes below): take the mickey out of someone take the axe to something take a raincheck take heart 222 . Why don't you take a walk round the park? It's essential for your health to take regular exercise. I was only joking! They were firing over our heads. I'm afraid The middle five are a bit more difficult so an explanation of the meaning is given after each example: take steps / measures / action take advice take offence take cover take pity If you take my advice.
moral courage was supposed to come from the heart and physical courage from the stomach. take the axe to something: make drastic cuts. take one's breath away: be so surprised by something that it makes you hold your breath Ones that we have not worked on include: take a seat take a bath / shower take care take a look take milk / sugar in tea / coffee take a break take somebody's word for something take your temperature take a risk take the credit take responsibility take the weight off ones feet 223 . take the mickey out of someone: to tease. Cockney rhyming slang for piss. Mickey represents Mickey Bliss. I'm afraid. take heart: take courage In former times. The company took the axe to senior management and abolished five posts. particularly in workforce take a raincheck: politely decline an offer whilst implying that you may take it up later.take one's breath away Stop taking the mickey. I'm fed up with being the butt of your jokes. The expression then is a euphemism for take the piss. A rainckeck was originally a voucher used in the US entitling one to see another baseball game if the original one was rained off. Can you manage Friday? ~ I'll have to take a raincheck on that. The way she played Lady Macbeth was so compelling it took my breath away. Try to take heart from the fact that he's no longer in pain.
On all quality distance learning schemes. Would you please tell me the different usage of the terms: teacher. Start with the most commonly used ones which I have listed first. instructor. they can never replace him. if the meaning is not clear. Teacher Teacher is the general term for someone whose job it is to teach: I'd like to go into teaching and get a job as a teacher in an inner city primary or secondary school.take a dim view of something take ones hat off to someone take a page out of someone's book take a leak take stock that takes the biscuit! Check them out in a good dictionary. so I hired a maths tutor to give him private lessons after school. If you are enrolled as a student in a British university. lecturer. 224 . professor? Thank you in advance. Tutor We sometimes use the word tutor instead of teacher to describe somebody who gives personal or private lessons: My son wasn't making much progress in school. face-to-face support from trained tutors is essential. trainer. Teacher/trainer/instructor/lecturer etc. you will have a personal tutor who provides you with close support throughout your studies and with whom you will have tutorials to discuss aspects of the subject being studied: There are just six students in my tutorial group and we had a very interesting tutorial on global warming and climate change last week. Teaching assistants can only ever support the classroom teacher.
A teacher at secondary school or high school or junior college is never a professor. particularly at a college or university Dr Gradgrind is our lecturer on the Victorian novel and the course will be taught through a series of lectures and seminars. you will require a flying instructor.Lecturer A lecturer is someone who gives a lecture or formal presentation. Coach 225 . If you intend to ski this winter on the higher slopes. an instructor teaches you on how to learn or improve in a particular skill or sport: If you want to learn how to drive. you'll need a ski instructor. Note that in the US. an instructor is a university teacher below the rank of assistant professor. In the US. then eventually perhaps professor. is one of the most formidable intellects ever to theorise on the origins of the universe. Professor In the UK. then reader. then senior lecturer. you will need a driving instructor. The first step in an academic carrier is usually lecturer. If you want to learn how to fly. Note that a seminar at a college or university is a class for a small group of students to discuss the subject with the lecturer. Instructor In British English. professor is a university teacher of the highest rank in a subject area: Professor Stephen Hawking. a professor is a full-time teacher at university. Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge.
. has resigned. "My father used to tell me wonderful stories" . 'say'. Paul Anacone. so: 'Can you tell me what's happened?' We say. who worked with Pete Sampras for six years. With 'tell' we usually say who is told.. and 'speak' A question from Dmitrij in Latvia: Hello! I am learning English by myself (excluding BBC Learning English!) My question was. so: 'He said goodbye to me as if we would never see one another again'. In-service teacher trainers are in very great demand here as there is no pre-service training for teachers. The examples below are taken from tennis and football: Tim Henman. 'me'. Trainer A trainer can be someone who trains people for a particular job or profession or who trains someone in certain varieties of sport.. you'll work on a wide range of strategies and techniques. Now. Paul Bracewell.. 'Say' can be used for any kind of talking. has a new coach. You could say there is a personal object. 226 .A coach is someone who trains individual sports players or a team. that's an instruction. So let me try to tell you about those. and 'speak'? Thank you! Catherine Walter answers: Hello Dmitrij.. So here are three sentences where you could not use 'tell': She said 'Where have you been?' So I said what a good idea. It's not surprising that you find these confusing because as far as meaning goes these three words mean more or less the same thing.informing me. we use the word 'to'. We only use 'tell' to mean instruct or inform.. 'say'. There's another limit on the usage of 'tell'. national coach with the England youth teams for the past two years. With 'say' we don't usually say who is told. of patterns of use. So you might say 'please say each word clearly and distinctly'. what is the difference between 'tell'. 'tell'. And if we do say who is told. Britain's No 1. If you can get Kevin as your personal fitness trainer. 'I told him to wait for me on the platform'. It's more a question of how we use them.
Another example would be if. if previous trains are anything to go by. tell the time and tell the difference. or a sentence. you're looking at your watch. Another example of 'is anything to go by' could be: you're standing on a station platform. yes we would. China should carry on growing at this hectic pace for another twenty or thirty years.. and I hope this will help you be happier with the way you speak it. meaning that his previous experience of the trains running late is about thirty minutes. we use the word 'to' if there's a personal object.' Sarah Bradshaw answers: Well Amir.. To / For A question from Paulo from Brazil: 227 . do you think we would get lots more listeners' letters asking us questions?' And our producer might say. a name. 'If we had Britney Spears on the programme. So it begins with if: 'if x is anything to go by then. that are kind of fixed expressions like tell the truth. Britney Spears. 'Well.' That's 'tell' and 'say'. 'then'. we invited a well-known pop star onto our programme. 'is anything to go by' means 'in our experience' or 'in the experience of the person writing' or 'in the experience of the person speaking'. the train is late.' So in his experience in something similar is anything to go by. Can you tell me what 'is anything to go by' in the text below means? 'And if the experience of earlier Asian economic miracles like Japan and South Korea is anything to go by. A question from Amir Gilani: Hi. We use 'speak' to mean 'talk formally'. 'Well. 'I spoke to him severely' or 'She spoke to our teachers' association last year'. it will be half an hour late'. and then the concluding sentence. An example would be: 'Don't say a word. perhaps. And we use 'say' before words like a word.Maureen said 'What's the matter?' We use 'tell' without a personal object in a few expressions.' So remember how to construct that: it's 'if' and 'is anything to go by'. So you could say. something else. for example and we said. you go up to a guard and say: 'When is the next train to London?' And the guard might say. You also asked about 'speak'. And of course we use it when we're talking about people's language ability: 'Do you speak English?' And you do. and when we do use 'speak'. if last week's programme with Phil Collins is anything to go by.
Here is a gift for you. Happy Birthday to you! – although it might be more common simply to use the greeting without a pronoun in speech. 228 .. Renato Hi Paulo and thanks for your question. But let’s begin with your first example Paulo. And. So now to answer Renato’s question. Happy New Year or Congratulations. For example. does it sound natural to hear Let's go out for lunch? Shouldn't to be used with go when followed by a verb? Please enlighten me on this topic. And when we use Happy Birthday we’re using a set expression or a greeting like Happy Christmas. Yours sincerely. because there are so many prepositions and so many different combinations of verb and preposition that have to be memorised individually. And the use of preposition is a topic that worries many of my students – I know because I’m often asked for advice about which preposition to use where.Hi Samantha. I like to study English and my question is about the use of the prepositions to and for in some special cases. and functions as a preposition showing the intended recipient: The parcel is for Jenny. according to one American. Renato. when we say Happy Birthday. Thank you Samantha. I know that I must say Happy birthday to you and That’s a gift for you. should I say an efficient method to solve my problem or an efficient method for solving my problem? Why. with the infinitive verb. . The flowers are for mother. Let’s put this into a complete sentence by adding a verb: I discovered an efficient method to solve my problem. for example. for is followed by a pronoun. and a similar question from Renato from Brazil: I am always confused when to use to or for. I’d say that the first example. In the examples you give.. I’m going to answer a similar one at the same time from Renato. as well as answering your question. and if you wanted to follow this expression with a pronoun. especially around the time that assignments are due in! I do think that prepositions are one of the most difficult areas of English to master. I would like some guidelines to help me with this matter.Happy Christmas to you!. is the better choice. my name is Paulo. you. But I just don’t know the reason I can say. As I wrote to you. In your second example Paulo. you would have to use the preposition to with it . You’ve only given me part of the sentence – an efficient method to solve my problem – but the phrase suggests an outcome or the solution to a problem. That’s a gift for you.
Thus. In each of the examples above. I made her a chocolate cake to make her feel better. 'used to' / 'get used to' Supawadee from Thailand asks: I always confuse to be used to and used to. With the negative we often say never used to in preference to didn't use to or used not to . we are talking about something which happened regularly or was true at an earlier stage in our lives but which is now over. in your own example. so we have to use the preposition for in this expression! Well Paulo.In this case.in an informal register. similar to the one in your own example. we simply use the present simple tense. if I said Shall we go out to eat lunch? the verb go out would be followed by a verb. Finally. He went into town to order his new computer. to look at the last example. thanks for your question and I hope that both the answers will be useful to you. Please kindly show me what the differences are. If we want to talk about present habits or states. especially the meaning of them. there is an outcome or an intention which is reported by the to clause. wouldn’t it? However. Study the following examples: 229 . the second verb always appears in the infinitive form because these are all examples of the infinitive showing purpose: I watched television all day to relieve my boredom. Renato – Let’s go out for lunch – the verb is followed by a noun (lunch). When we use used to. Renato. it can only be used in the past tense.
Note also the possible/probable replies to used to questions.' be used to + noun or -ing get used to + noun or -ing If somebody gets or is used to something.• • • • 'Do you remember? There used to be fields of clover where those houses are now. but now I smoke twenty a day.) 'I found it quite a strong drink at first.' 'I never used to smoke. Read through them again using these replacement verbs. I did. but probably not now. where it is very quiet.' (It quickly became quite palatable. I never did.) 230 .' 'I wasn't used to living in such a small flat and I found it really hard at first. isn't it? In all of the above examples be or get used to can be replaced by be or become accustomed to which is very similar in meaning.' 'Didn't you use to ring the school to say you were ill and then play poker with Sam?' 'I sometimes did.' (A regular habit then. So. Note that used to cannot be used in question tag form.' 'I never got used to shaking hands with people all the time when I lived there. yeah!' 'You used to do ballet in the church hall. Study the following examples: • • • 'Did you use to go ice-skating when you were young?' 'No. you see. but nowadays you play chess with your computer. but I soon got used to it. we use the normal auxiliary did. but I'm sure you'll get used to (wearing) them. It is no longer strange or awkward. but that was when I was working full-time. Study the following: • • • • • 'These are very high heels. It's just not the custom in our country. if a little more formal. present or future experiences.' 'I used to buy really expensive make-up.' To make questions. It can refer to past. didn't you?' 'Yes. just to recap and confirm: • • 'When I lived in Mexico. Every Saturday between the ages of nine and twelve.' 'You used to play chess with your friends. I used to drink tequila at every opportunity.' 'I'm used to all the noise now. but I'd always lived in the country before. he becomes or is fully familiar with it.' 'Are you getting used to the accent now? It's very different from standard English. I know.
writes: Many times I have heard sentences like these: • • I'll just pop into the supermarket.verbs with adverbial particles Amin. The problem with phrasal verbs (verb plus preposition or verb plus adverbial particle) is that the meaning of the two-word (or sometimes three-word) verb is very different from the meaning of the two parts taken separately. What are the differences between pop into and pop over? And how about pop out? Can we say pop out somewhere? I would be most grateful if you could tell me which sentences in those settings (along with prepositions) are most common. (lay on = was in a horizontal position on) Caroline laid on a wonderful spread of food for everyone. Informally. Alternative transport was provided for all employees throughout the train drivers’ strike. we would be more likely to say and write the first of these two possibilities. Compare the following: • • I decided to lay on transport for everybody as the train drivers were on strike. Lay on is not the same as lay + on: • • I lay on the bed thinking about what to do next. but I am not sure how to use them. These verbs with adverbial particles or prepositions are extremely common in informal idiomatic English and are often preferred to a single verb equivalent. I decided to provide transport for everybody as the train drivers were on strike. (laid on = provided) Let’s have a look at how pop is used with either particles or prepositions: 231 . studying English in New Zealand. I understand the meaning. You can pop over to this office any time tomorrow. whereas in more formal English we might write the second of these two: • • Alternative transport was laid on for all employees throughout the train drivers’ strike.
I was passing by. In the first five examples above. Of course. So she often pops down if she needs anything. Compare the following: • • • • • • My new neighbours across the road had just moved in so I popped over to see them. In the sixth example it means appearing unexpectedly. Dora. And in the final example it is a euphemism for dying. Amin. Don’t answer the door if anyone calls. Are they similar or different in meaning? drop off drop in/by drop out drop over • • pop off pop in pop out pop over Could you give me a lift in your car and drop me off at the station? (= let me get out) The lecture was so boring that I dropped off half way through. I may be 85 and I may have to use a stick to get around. or I might pop up to see her if I’m feeling lonely. so thought I would just pop in for a chat. we might define pop + particle as appearing or disappearing (popping out) briefly and casually. all the prepositions function as adverbial particles. noticed the light was on. except for pop off which has a more distinctive meaning and is not quite so common. not as prepositions with objects except for: • He popped into the shop. we can also use pop in its original literal sense. I’m going to pop out to the shops for ten minutes. (= fell into a light sleep) 232 . but I’ve no intention of popping off yet. • He had shaken the champagne bottle and the cork popped out before he was ready to pour.pop into pop over pop in pop round pop out pop down pop off pop up In all of these examples with pop. meaning to burst open with a short sharpish sound. When you are learning phrasal verbs. My friend. I hadn’t seen him for years. it is safest to assume that for each one each particle introduces a different meaning and sometimes more than one meaning! Let’s compare the following pairs. Then he just popped up one day at the club we used to belong to. lives in the flat above me. They are all similar in meaning with the adverbial particle indicating direction.
(= fell out) I dropped over to see her because I knew she wasn’t feeling well. but wed is not used very much nowadays as a verb as it is rather old-fashioned. If you wed someone. Her wedding dress was this colour and the icing on the three-tier wedding cake was this colour too. I shall never wed as I like to be independent. There are a number of other wedding compounds that are associated with wedding day: • • • • The newlyweds had told everybody that they wanted no wedding presents as they were emigrating to Australia. (= pay a casual visit) He dropped out after a term . 233 . It can sound quite effective however. The predominant colour at Sophie's wedding was creamy white. because it is unusual.he just wasn’t prepared to study. (= left college early) I opened the car door carelessly and my purse dropped out. you marry them. Sometimes it has a poetic ring to it: • • We got wed soon after the baby was born. The reward is that if you can use them appropriately in context. (paid a casual call). they are distinguishing marks of a native-like command of English. All of this usually happens on your wedding day. it’s probably worth getting hold of (= obtaining) or lashing out on (= spending a substantial sum of money on) a dictionary of current idiomatic English which pays attention to verbs with prepositions and particles. You don’t need to phone first. wedding or marriage? Morena Diego from Italy asks: Could you please explain to me the difference between wedding and marriage? wedding / wed A wedding is a marriage ceremony which is held in church or a registry office and also includes the party or special meal which follows the ceremony. Is it true that in Britain you wear your wedding ring on the third finger of your left hand? A silver wedding is celebrated after 25 years of marriage and a golden wedding after 50 years. I emphasise the word ‘current’ as idioms come into and go out of fashion.• • • • Drop by any time you’re passing. Learning phrasal verbs is probably a lifetime’s work and if you want to do it well.
I didn't bother to get washed as I knew I would be working on the farm. However. This use of get with a past participle is a very common structure in contemporary English and is used across a range of common expressions. There are two kinds of difference between 'wait' and 'await'. We got married on 10 June. 234 . It has the same sort of force as reflexive verbs have in other languages. Be careful not to get lost. So you can't say. Kind regards.for example. The verb 'await' must have an object . but by the beginning of the autumn both of us knew that the marriage would not last and that sooner or later we would have to get a divorce / get divorced. 'I am awaiting your answer'. although we can say they married and they divorced as an alternative to they got married and they got divorced. Remember. Interestingly. Most marriages these days do not last. we cannot say: they engaged. Amos Paran answers: Thanks for this.marriage / marry / get married Marriage describes the relationship between husband and wife or the state of being married: • • • They enjoyed a long and happy marriage. A question from Sergio Gil Rejas in Peru: I would like to know what is the difference between 'wait' and 'await'. And the object of 'await' is normally inanimate. The first difference is in the grammatical structures that are associated with these two verbs. They didn't get dressed until two o'clock in the afternoon. When should I use 'wait' and 'await'? Thanks a lot and congratulations for the site. that person becomes your husband or wife and we use the verb marry in preference to wed normally. and often abstract. even more usual than marry is get married. 'John was awaiting me'. Sergio. only they got engaged is possible. I never get invited to Sarah's parties. it's a big dark wood. We had known each other for fifteen years before we got engaged. Thus in English we would say: Don't get lost! NOT Don't lose yourselves! Consider the following: • • • • • • • I married the man next door / I got married to the man next door. The bride's parents did not approve of Victoria's marriage to George. Here. If you marry someone. not a person.
and in cases where things are quite formal. 'wait' and 'await'. this means that there are many of them: We’re well-off for coffee shops in this town. if a friend was really late you could say. better off well-off Well-off relates mainly to money matters. is the level of formality. 'I have been waiting for you for two hours!' The other difference between the two verbs. if you say you are well-off for something. Firstly.it would be used in formal letters. I would suggest that you should use 'wait for'. you mention the length of time that you have been waiting for example. use 'await' only in cases where you are absolutely sure that you have heard good users of the language using it. speakers often mention what or who they have been waiting for . They’re definitely better-off than we are. Well off.for example.' Finally. well-off for However.The verb 'wait' can come in different structures. 'Await' is more formal than 'wait' . If you are well-off.' Very often. 'I waited in line to go into the theatre. Just look at the way they dress! To be better-off. you can just use 'wait' on its own: 'We have been waiting and waiting and waiting and nobody has come to talk to us. There’s one at every corner in the High Street. 'I have been waiting here for at least half an hour. with 'wait'.' Another structure that is very common is to use 'wait' with another verb .so. Mariano. but you have enough money to live well and comfortably: By central European standards they are quite well-off They have their own flat and drive new cars. you may not be rich exactly. as you suggest. for example. better-off The comparative form of this adjective is better-off which is used to talk about the varying degrees of wealth different people have: We’re not as well-off as the Jones’s. also has another meaning of being in a better situation and is used mainly in conditional patterns as follows: 235 . If you want a tip about using these two verbs.
cf the rich / the poor: The rich and the poor live side-by-side in this part of town. when we are talking about general preferences. Would rather is very common in spoken English and is often abbreviated to 'd rather. Omar. 'd rather However. the better-off The better-off is sometimes used as a noun to describe a category of people. when we are talking about specifics. you’d be better-off taking a taxi. It says on the sign that the motorway ahead is blocked. would rather is used as an alternative to would prefer to followed by an infinitive. prefer is followed by verb-ing. I'd like to know the difference between prefer and would rather. As you indicate. You’ll be better-off if you leave the motorway at this junction which is coming up now. It is used in this form with all personal pronouns: I'd / you'd / he'd / she'd / we'd / they'd rather… Study these examples: 236 . thus: • • I prefer listening to music to watching TV.If you’ve got heavy bags to carry. • • I'd rather do x than do y I prefer doing x to doing y Prefer and would rather can be used interchangeably. I'd rather listen to music than watch TV. The better-off should pay a higher rate of income tax. while those who are worst-off should pay no tax at all. rather and better? Omar studying English in Canada writes: I’ve just found this page which is for learning english and I find it amazing and easy to follow.
Study the following: • • • Shall we go out for dinner tonight? ~ No. So we'd better do that. Study the following and note the intricacies of the verb forms: • • • Rather than lose precious sleep discussing it now. What about you? They'd rather have the strawberries by themselves. Note that it is sometimes slightly threatening in tone. but I'd prefer to have them with cream. I'd rather we ate at home. Would you rather drink beer or wine with the curry ~ I'd rather drink beer. 'd better Note that 'd better. They'd better buy me a Christmas present or I shall never forgive them. Like 'd rather. injure/wound/hurt/harm/damage as verbs/adjectives/nouns 237 . I suppose.• • • Would you like to go out for dinner tonight? ~ No. whereas prefer requires to + infinitive. You'd better phone him and tell him that you're not going. as in the last example. I think we should go to bed and talk about it in the morning. Had better is always more urgent than should or ought to and has the same force as I would advise you strongly to…. I think I'd rather eat at home / I'd prefer to eat at home. 'd better is followed by the bare infinitive without to. It would be unforgivable to arrive late. which is similar structurally to 'd rather. rather than spend half an hour on the phone every night. Study the following: • • • We'd better not be late for the Ambasador's party. Shall I write to Harry and tell him that we've sold the car? ~ I'd rather you didn't. In fact. if you don't mind. My mother would prefer us to email each other once a week. 'd is the abbreviated form of had. not would. My mother would rather we emailed each other once a week instead of spending half an hour on the phone every night. Would rather (but not would prefer to) is also followed by a past tense when we want to involve other people in the action. Note that would rather is followed by a bare infinitive without to. Rather than means instead of and can be used in combination with would prefer to and would rather. rather than walk home after the party. is used to suggest necessary action. My mother would rather we caught the bus. even though it has a present or future meaning. or We must / we mustn't…. she insists on it. In this case however.
Note that verbs that refer to physical feelings (hurt. you cause them to feel pain. ache. I don't think she'll ever fall in love again. Agostin. harm. hurt could be replaced by injured. You're hurting my arm. but there are a number of distinguishing characteristics. The demonstrators injured a number of innocent people when they started throwing stones. seriously injuring scores of people. wounded. and cause them to feel emotional pain: • • I think she's going to be hurt. hurt. harmed and damaged. damage and their associated adjectives: injured. hurt. injured / injury (nouns) / injured (adj) • • • • The injured were taken to hospital by air-ambulance. you feel pain there. hurt (verb) If part of your body hurts. Two minutes of injury time were played at the end of the fist half. They were suffering from shock but did not seem to be otherwise hurt. How could he behave like that? hurt (noun/adjective) • • The hurt that she felt was deep and would only be softened with the passing of time. That hurts! You can also hurt someone's feelings. You are quite right.Agustin from Spain writes: I would be very grateful if you could explain the difference between injure. injure (verb) In the sentence describing people suffering from shock above. ~ My arm hurts. etc) can often be used in simple or progressive tenses with no difference in meaning: • • Have you been knocked over? Tell me where it hurts / it's hurting. If you injure somebody. wound. you cause physical damage to part of their body usually the result of an accident or through fighting: • • A number of bombs have exploded. Their meanings are so close that I have difficulty differentiating them. though his coach took him off at half-time as a precaution. Ouch! Don't touch me. These verbs and related nouns and adjectives are quite close in meaning and use. What hurt me most was the betrayal. If you hurt someone. He was not seriously injured. 238 . Their injuries were thought to be serious.
a knife or some other weapon. 239 . to slowly recover after being defeated or made to feel ashamed or unhappy: • • I didn't want to rub salt into the wound so decided not to mention Bob's infidelity. we can also speak of someone being brain-damaged (not brain-injured) or suffering brain damage. In English. The four wounded men were taken to the field hospital in the back of the Jeep. Normally damage relates to inanimate objects: • Professional boxers sometimes suffer irreversible brain damage. Damage is the physical harm that is caused to an object. wound (noun) / wounded (adj) • • The open wound really needed stitches and took a long time to heal. you inflict physical damage on part of their body. We also have the expressions: to rub salt into the wound. The driver of the Red-Cross ambulance was wounded by the shrapnel. If he continues drinking like that. to make an unpleasant situation even worse and to lick one's wounds. damage (verb) It is things that are damaged. especially a cut or a hole in their flesh caused by a gun. When he got home. • • There was no escape.e. not people. You will also have noticed that with these verbs the passive voice is often used. the adverb-verb collocations are normally as follows: badly hurt / seriously injured / mortally wounded. i. he discovered that the vase he had bought had been damaged. such as reputations and the economy can also be damaged. The British team could only retire and lick their wounds after such a comprehensive defeat on Spanish soil. i. it is often a matter of knowing which adjectives collocate with which nouns and which adverbs go with which verbs. More abstract qualities. In this particular word family. often in battle.e. They were mortally wounded by the enemy fire. Compare the following: • • • • The car was so badly damaged in the accident that it was barely worth repairing. High inflation was damaging the country's economy.wound (verb) If you wound somebody. his reputation as a defence lawyer will be damaged. damage (noun) / damaged (adj) However. But this is an exception.
What's the damage? harm (verb) People OR things can be harmed or physically damaged: • • The bank robbers were anxious not to harm anyone. 240 . She might not agree. No harm done! harmful / harmless (adjs) Harmful and harmless describe something that has or does not have a bad effect on something else: • • He looks quite ferocious and barks quite loudly. It will do / can do no harm to remind him to take the medication before he goes to bed. but he's quite harmless. there's no harm in…. He'll come to no harm in my garden.• It was a huge bomb and the damage caused to the shopping precinct was quite extensive. We also have the informal expression: What's the damage? meaning 'What is the damage to my purse or my pocket?' in other words: What do I owe you in payment for this service or these goods?: • Thanks very much for the work you have done on those curtains. Without doubt. no harm done: • • • • Will my dog be all right with you? ~ He'll be fine. I'm sorry to crash into you like that! Are you all right? ~ I'm fine. The harmful effects of smoking on people's health is well-documented. it will do no harm to…. but there's no harm in asking her to postpone the meeting.the burning of fossil fuels harms the environment in which we live harm (noun) We have a number of expressions with the noun harm which are confusingly similar: will come to no harm.