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"That's quite true, but…" "I agree with you in principle, but…"
important English speaking skill.
In a shop You're in a shop and the assistant gives you the wrong change. "Excuse me, I think you've given me the wrong change", or "Sorry, I think this change is wrong. I gave you $20, not $10." In a hotel "Excuse me, but there's a problem with the heating in my room." "Sorry to bother you, but I think there's something wrong with the air-conditioning." "I'm afraid I have to make a complaint. Some money has gone missing from my hotel room." "I'm afraid there's a slight problem with my room - the bed hasn't been made." When people apologise, they normally say "sorry" and offer to put the situation right. "Excuse me, but there's a problem with the heating." "I'm sorry - I'll get someone to check it for you."
Agreeing in English
"I'm not sure I agree with you." In English conversations, people often say that they agree or disagree with each other. There "(I'm afraid) I don't agree." are many ways of agreeing or disagreeing and the one you use depends on how strongly you agree or disagree. Here's a list of some common "(I'm afraid) I disagree." expressions. "(I'm afraid) I can't agree with you." Agreeing in English "I think you're right." "I agree with you." Strong agreement "I couldn't agree with you more." "You're absolutely right." "I agree entirely." "I totally agree." Partly agreeing "I agree with you up to a point, but…" "(I'm afraid) I don't share your opinion." Note When you disagree with someone in English, you can often sound more polite by using a phrase such as "I'm afraid…" Disagreeing strongly "I don't agree at all." "I totally disagree." "I couldn't agree with you less." Complaining in English When complaining in English, it helps to be polite. This page will help you with this
or "Sorry to hear that - I'll send someone up." Speaking tip Although you may find it strange to use the word sorry when you complain, English speakers consider it polite. It will help you get what you want! English greetings First impressions are important, so here's a guide to using the right expression.
You can use "Hello" with people you don't know, but a more formal greeting is "Good morning / afternoon / evening."
"Pleased to meet you. I'm Peter Mitchell, from Mitchell Creations."
"How do you do? I'm Peter Mitchell from Mitchell The other person normally replies with the same Creations." greeting as you have used and then makes polite conversation, such as "How was your Introducing other people trip?" or "Did you find our office easily?" Introducing yourself Introducing a friend to a work colleague "Sarah, have you met my colleague John?" "Sarah, I'd like you to meet my colleague John." Sarah says: "Pleased to meet you, John." Or "Nice to meet you, John." John could say: "Nice to meet you too, Sarah." Or "Hello, Sarah." Introducing clients "Mr Mitchell, I'd like to introduce you to my manager, Henry Lewis." Mr Mitchell could then say: "How do you do?" and Henry Lewis also says "How do you do?"
At an informal party "Hello, I'm Maria." Or "Hello, my name's Maria."
Greetings The reply could be: Two friends meeting Friends often say "Hi" to each other. Then they often ask a general question, such as "How are you?" or "How are things?" or "How's life?" The reply to this question is normally positive. "Fine thanks, and you?" "Fine thanks, what about yourself?" The reply could be: "Not bad." Or "Can't complain." Greeting people you don't know "Nice to meet you. I'm Peter Mitchell, from Mitchell Creations." "Hi, I'm Sarah." Or "Hello Maria, I'm Sarah." Or "Nice to meet you, I'm Sarah." At work-related events "I'd like to introduce myself. I'm Maria, from english@home." Or, "Let me introduce myself. I'm Maria from english@home."
Or Mr Mitchell could say: "Pleased to meet you." Or "Good to meet you." Speaking Tip "How do you do?" is quite formal for British English speakers and the reply to this question is to repeat the phrase, "How do you do?" (as strange as that may sound!) At a more informal party When you introduce two of your friends to each other, you can simply say, "John, this is Sarah." Cultural considerations At work, one person may have higher status your boss, or a client, for example. It's polite to address them as Mr / Ms until the situation becomes more informal. If someone says, "Please call me (Henry)", you know you can use first names. If someone uses your first name, you can use their first name too. People in European and English-speaking cultures often shake hands when they meet someone for the first time. * Don't forget to smile! :-)
Introducing people • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • What's your name? Who are you? My name is ... I am ... My friends call me ... You can call me ... Haven't we met (before)? Yes, I think we have. No, I don't think we have. I think we've already met. I don't think we've met (before). This is ... Meet ... Have you met ...? Yes, I have. No, I haven't. Yes, I think I have. No, I don't think I have. Hello, ... (name) Nice to meet you. (informal) Pleased to meet you. How do you do? (formal) Nice to see you. Nice to see you again.
Asking to meet "Are you available on the 17th?" "Can we meet on the 16th?" "How does the 3rd sound to you?" "Are you free next week?" "Would Friday suit you?" "Is next Tuesday convenient for you?" "What about sometime next week?" Agreeing on a date "Yes, Thursday is fine." "Thursday suits me." "Thursday would be perfect." Suggesting a different date "I'm afraid I can't on the 3rd. What about the 6th?" "I'm sorry, I won't be able to make it on Monday. Could we meet on Tuesday instead?" "Ah, Wednesday is going to be a little difficult. I'd much prefer Friday, if that's alright with you."
Making appointments Useful phrases for making and changing appointments.
"I really don't think I can on the 17th. Can we meet up on the 19th?" Setting a time "What sort of time would suit you?" "Is 3pm a good time for you?" "If possible, I'd like to meet in the morning." "How does 2pm sound to you?" Changing the arrangement "You know we were going to meet next Friday? Well, I'm very sorry, but something urgent has come up." "I'm afraid that I'm not going to be able to meet you after all. Can we fix another time?" "Something has just cropped up and I won't be able to meet you this afternoon. Can we make another time?" Making generalisations English speakers often prefer to make generalisations, rather than saying something is a fact. When you make generalisations, you will sound less direct and sure of yourself and therefore more open to other people's suggestions and ideas. People will think you're
In some cases "In some cases, English beaches are unsafe for swimming." In a large number of cases "In a large number of cases, obesity is caused by over-eating." Mostly, often, sometimes
To show that something is generally true
tend to "I tend to agree with you." (I agree with most of what you say.) "I tend to go to bed early in winter." (I normally go to bed early in winter.) have a tendency to "The English have a tendency to drink tea, not coffee." Note: have a tendency to is used more in written than in spoken English. To show how common something is
(These words go before the main verb, or after the verb to be) "We are mostly concerned with costs." "They mostly go to the cinema at weekends." "Eating chocolate sometimes causes migraines." "He is sometimes difficult to work with." "English people often complain about the weather." Speaking Tip Although you may find it strange to avoid saying exactly what you mean, being able to make generalisations is a speaking skill that will make you sound much more like a native English speaker.
Generally speaking "Generally speaking, more men than women use the internet." In most cases "In most cases, wars are caused by land disputes."
Making invitations How to make and accept invitations in English. "What are you doing next Saturday? We're having some people over for a meal. Would you like to come?" "Are you free next Thursday?" "Are you doing anything next weekend?" "Would you be interested in coming to the cinema with me tonight?" "How do you fancy going out for a meal at the weekend?" Accepting
Declining "Would you like to come over for dinner on Saturday?" "That's very kind of you, but actually I'm doing something else on Saturday." "Well, I'd love to, but I'm already going out to the cinema." "I'm really sorry, but I've got something else on." "I really don't think I can - I'm supposed to be doing something else." Speaking Tip It's important to be polite when you decline an invitation. We normally give a reason why we can't do something and either apologise, or use words like "actually" or "really". Making offers English speakers make offers all the time in conversation. They say things like: Can I… ? Shall I… ? Would you like me to… ?
Using these common English phrases - and being able to accept and reject offers - will make you sound polite and helpful. "Can I help you?" "Shall I open the window for you?" "Would you like another coffee?" "Would you like me to answer the phone?" "I'll do the photocopying, if you like." Shall, can and will are followed by the verb without to. Shall is more formal than can. Would you like… is followed either by a noun, or by the verb with to. Responding to offers These English dialogues show you ways to accept or reject offers made to you. "Can I help you?" "Yes please. I'd like to know what time the train leaves." "Can I help you?" "No thanks, I'm just looking." (In a shop.)
"Would you like to…" "I'd love to, thanks." "That's very kind of you, thanks." "That sounds lovely, thanks." Do you fancy coming to the cinema tonight? "What a great idea, thanks."
"Shall I open the window for you?" "Yes please. That would be very kind of you." "Would you like another coffee?" "No thanks." Or, "No thank you." "Would you like another coffee?" "Yes please, that would be lovely." Or, "Yes please, I'd love one." "Would you like me to answer the phone?" "If you wouldn't mind." Or, "If you could." (Don't answer "Yes, I would", as this sounds like you expect someone to do it for you.)
"Next week is going to be very busy, I think." "There won't be a rise in house prices next year." "He isn't going to win the election." Because we also use will to talk about intentions and strong decisions, we often use going to to sound less emotional.
When you ask someone to do something for you, or ask if you can do something, it's important to sound polite. Here are some of the common ways that you can do this.
Asking someone to do something for you "Could you open the door for me, please?" "Would you mind opening the door for me, please?" "Can you open the door for me, please?' Speaking tip: could and can are followed by the verb without to. Would you mind is followed by the verb and -ing. Asking if you can do something "Can I use your computer, please?" "Could I borrow some money from you, please?" "Do you mind if I turn up the heating?" "Would you mind if I turned up the heating?" Speaking tip: Could is more polite that can. Do you mind if…" is followed by the verb in the present tense, but would you mind if… is followed by the verb in the past tense.
"He won't help us" can mean that he has decided not to help us. But "He isn't going to help us" doesn't have this negative implication. It sounds more like a prediction and a simple, "I'll do the photocopying, if you like." non-emotional fact- perhaps he isn't able to "It's OK, I can do it." Or, "Don't worry, I'll do help us. it. Predictions based on what you know now "Or, "Thank you, that would be great." We can make predictions based on what we can English speaking tip see now. To do this, we use going to and the verb (not will). With a little practice, you'll find it easy to use these English expressions. They'll help you For example: sound both natural and confident. "Watch out! You're going to hit that car in Making predictions front." When we want to say what we think will happen in the future in English, we can either use will followed by the verb without to, or going to followed by the verb. "What do you think will happen next year?" "It's going to be a lovely day today - not a cloud in the sky." Making requests
When you're using these two sentences, don't use please. It's already polite enough! Speaking about hopes in English There are a number of expressions you can use to show your hopes and preferences.
Preferences I'd rather have (noun) ("I'd rather have tickets to the opera.") I'd rather you (simple past) ("I'd rather you saved your money.") I'd prefer (noun) ("I'd prefer some money for the new house.") I'd prefer it if you (simple past) ("I'd prefer it if you gave some money to charity.") ….. would be more suitable / would be better If I had a choice, I would go for…
"Why don't you join an English club?" ought to "You ought to read more." If I were you, I'd… "If I were you, I'd watch more television." *All these expressions are followed by a verb, without to. For example: "He should visit the Eiffel Tower." (Not "he should to visit the Eiffel Tower.") suggest and recommend
Hopes I'm hoping for (noun) ("I'm hoping for a new cell phone.") I'm hoping to get… ("I'm hoping to get a new phone.") I would like… I really want… (Using "want" can be impolite unless you are talking to a close friend or family member.) Something I've always wanted is… I'd be delighted / over the moon if… ("I'd be delighted if you gave me a new watch.") What I'd like more than anything else is… On my Christmas wish list is…
Either use a verb + ing If it's all the same to you, …. ("If it's all the same "I suggest visiting the Eiffel Tower." (We should to you, I'd like some book tokens.") all go.) Suggestions in English The following English words and expressions are all used to make suggestions and give advice to people. should "You should try to practise English." "You shouldn't translate too much." Why don't you advice OR use that + a verb without to "I suggest that you visit the Eiffel Tower." (I'm not going.) OR use a noun "I recommend the lasagne." (It's a very good dish to choose in this restaurant.) advise "I advise you to buy a good dictionary."
Advice is an uncountable noun. This means that we can't say an advice. Instead, we say some advice or a piece of advice. "Let me give you some advice." "She gave me a very useful piece of advice: to buy a good dictionary." Speaking tip Many people don't like getting advice if they haven't asked for it! To avoid giving the wrong impression, you can try some of these expressions: "You could always…" "Have you considered…" "Perhaps we could…" "Do you think it's a good idea to…" Talking about fear There are many words and expressions for talking about fear. Words afraid: "Are you afraid of the dark?" frightened: "I’m frightened of spiders." scared: "He’s scared of making mistakes."
feel uneasy: "I felt a bit uneasy when I walked home in the dark." spooked: “My cats are easily spooked before a thunderstorm.” terrified: “She was absolutely terrified when she heard the noise.” petrified: “The building began to shake and we were all petrified.” Expressions a terrifying ordeal send shivers down my spine give me goosebumps (goosebumps are when you skin has little bumps on it) make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up (dogs also do this when they are scared) scare the hell out of me be scared shitless / shit scared (British slang vulgar) be bricking it (British slang - vulgar) frighten the life out of me shake with fear jump out of my skin Examples One of the best horror films I have seen is “The Blair Witch Project”. It tells the story of a terrifying ordeal in the woods of northern USA. Some of the scenes in the film sent shivers down my spine, especially the one when the students run out of the tent in the middle of the night. When they go back, one of the guy’s rucksack has been emptied. When
that same guy goes missing the next day, it gives you goosebumps. There are some fabulous sound effects, especially the ones of the wind blowing and howling. When you hear the crying voices at the end of the film, it will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Perhaps the scariest part of the film is at the end, when you see one of the surviving students literally shake with fear in the corner of the basement. It certainly frightened the life out of the girl when she saw him, and I jumped out of my skin at the end when the camera stopped filming. The film scared the hell out of me for weeks afterwards, and I’m ashamed to say that I wouldn’t go into an empty room in the house unless there was someone there with me. Talking about likes and dislikes in English There's a whole range of English expressions you can use to talk about how much you like or dislike something.
If you love something "I love eating ice-cream." "I adore sun-bathing."
If you like something a lot "She's fond of chocolate." "I like swimming very much." If you like something "He quite likes going to the cinema." "I like cooking." If you neither like nor dislike something "I don't mind doing the housework." If you don't like something "She doesn't like cooking very much." "He's not very fond of doing the gardening." "I dislike wasting time." If you really dislike something "I don't like sport at all." "He can't stand his boss." "She can't bear cooking in a dirty kitchen." "I hate crowded supermarkets."
"He detests being late." "She loathes celery." Things to remember…
Probable bound to = certain: "They are bound to succeed!" sure to = certain: "He is sure to win the championship." likely to = probable: "We are likely to win the contract." definite = sure: "He's a definite frontrunner for the job!" probable: "It's probable that we will be on holiday around then." likely: "An election is likely next year." will definitely happen: "There will definitely be a storm later." will probably happen: "They will probably take on more staff." Possible may: "We may be able to help you." might: "There might be a holiday next month I'm not sure." could: "There could be a bug in the system." … is possible: "Do you think he will resign?" "Yes, that's possible."
Dislike is quite formal. Fond of is normally used to talk about food or people. The 'oa' in loathe rhymes with the 'oa' in boat. Grammar Note To talk about your general likes or dislikes, follow this pattern: like something or like doing something. Common mistake Be careful where you put very much or a lot. These words should go after the thing that you like. For example, "I like reading very much." NOT "I like very much reading." Talking about probability in English There are many ways of saying that something will probably or possibly happen.
It's true! British people often start a conversation with strangers and friends by talking about the weather. As weather is a will possibly: "She'll possibly tell us tomorrow." neutral topic of conversation, it's usually safe to use it to strike up a conversation - at the bus probably won't: "They probably won't hear stop, in a shop, or with a neighbour over the until next week." garden fence. … is unlikely: "It's unlikely that she will move." definitely won't: "I definitely won't go to the party." … is highly unlikely: "It's highly unlikely that the company will expand." Note: Be careful of the word order. "Definitely" and "probably" come after "will" (in positive sentences) and before "won't" in negative sentences. Variations You can add words to alter the strength of probability: highly likely / unlikely (= very likely / unlikely) quite likely / probable / possible (= more likely, probable or possible) could possibly / probably most definitely won't (= even more unlikely) Talking about the weather
"At least my tomatoes will be happy." If the conversation has been about general bad weather, perhaps someone will say: "Well, I've heard it's worse in the west. They've had terrible flooding." Predicting the weather We can make predictions about the weather, using a range of forms - not just the "will" or "going to" form: "I think it'll clear up later." "It's going to rain by the looks of it." "We're in for frost tonight." "They're expecting snow in the north." "I hear that showers are coming our way." Human attributes We also attribute human features to the weather, almost as if the weather can decide what to do: "The sun's trying to come out." "It's been trying to rain all morning."
Some examples of conversation starters "Lovely day, isn't it!" "Bit nippy today." "What strange weather we're having!" "It doesn't look like it's going to stop raining today." Attitude to weather Although British people like to complain about bad weather, they generally put a brave face on it. If someone complains about too much rain, you might hear: "Never mind - it's good for the garden." If someone complains that it's too hot, you could hear:
"It's finally decided to rain." Understanding the forecast Many British people are keen gardeners, and they keep a close eye on the weather forecast. Here are some of the weather features which can worry gardeners: a hard frost blizzard / galeforce conditions hailstones prolonged rain blustery wind a drought
mother or father. Your female child is called your daughter, and your male child is your son. If your aunts or uncles have children, they are your first cousins. (In English, the word cousin is used, whether the cousin is female or male.) Your female cousin is your mother (or father's) niece, while a male cousin is the nephew of your mother and father. In-laws
aunt. If your grandparent has a brother, he is your great-uncle. (And you are either his or her great-niece or great-nephew.) The mother of your grandmother or grandfather is your great-grandmother. The father is your great-grandfather. If you go back another generation, the grandmother of your grandmother / grandfather is your great-greatgrandmother. The grandfather of your grandparent becomes your great-greatgrandfather. Second families If your mother or father remarries, you can acquire a new family and set of relatives. For example, if your father marries a second wife, she becomes your step-mother. Any children she already has become your step-sisters or step-brothers. If your mother or father remarries and has children, they become your half-brothers or half-sisters. You might also hear people talking about their biological brother / sister etc, to mean a brother who is related by blood, rather than by marriage.
When you marry, your husband (or wife's) family become your in-laws. The mother of your spouse (husband or wife) is your motherin-law and his or her father becomes your Here are some more temperate conditions father-in-law. The term in-law is also used to which gardeners like: describe your relationship with the spouses of your siblings. So the husband of your sister mild weather becomes your brother-in-law, while the sister sunny spells of your husband becomes your sister-in-law. If light drizzle you are a woman, you become the daughterin-law of your husband's parents, and if you are Talking about your family a man, you become the son-in-law of your wife's parents. The same term in-law is used for English Vocabulary for talking about your family. all generations. The husband of your aunt is still your mother's brother-in-law, for example. Your family tree Your closest relatives are your parents: your mother and father; and your siblings (brothers or sisters). If your mother or father is not an only child, you also have aunts and / or uncles. An aunt is the sister of your mother or father, while an uncle is the brother of your Grandparents / grandchildren The parents of your parents are your grandparents - grandmother and grandfather. You are their grandchildren either a granddaughter or a grandson. If your grandparent has a sister, she is your great-
Types of family nuclear family = mother, father and children: "The traditional British family unit is a nuclear family." single-parent / one-parent family = a family which only has one parent (because the parents are divorced, or because one of the parents has died): "There are more and more single-parent families in the UK." immediate family = your closest relatives: "Only immediate family members attended the funeral." extended family = your entire family: "The wedding invitations were sent to the entire extended family." close-knit family = a family where the members have close relationships with each other: "They are a close-knit family." dysfunctional family = a family where the members have serious problems with each other: "He comes from a rather dysfunctional family." blood relative = a relative connected to you by "blood" rather than through marriage: "She's not a blood relative, but we're still very close."
Expressions with family family gathering = a meeting / celebration of family members: "There's a small family gathering next week." family resemblance = where members of the family look / act similar: "You can see a distinct family resemblance between the father and the son." to start a family = to start having children: "They want to wait a couple of years before starting a family." to run in the family = a characteristic that is common among family members: "Baldness runs in his family." to bring up / raise a family = to have and look after children: "It's difficult to raise a family on one income." a family car = a car big enough to transport a family: "The Volvo Estate is a popular family car." family-size = large quantity item: "We need to buy family-size packets of biscuits!" family-friendly = a policy that favours families: "This hotel is family-friendly."
family doctor = a doctor who looks after general medical needs: "There are a number of good family doctors in this area." family man = a man who prefers to spend his time with his family: "John is a family man." family values = traditional ideas about what a family should be: "Some political parties often emphasise family values and the importance of marriage." family name = surname: "What's your family name?" Describing family relationships Children often quarrel with each other, and these arguments - or squabbles - are often quickly resolved. In fact, sibling rivalry (the competition between brothers and sisters) is quite common. More seriously, if arguments continue into adulthood, family feuds can develop where both sides can end up hating each other and even trying to hurt or destroy each other.
A person who no longer speaks to a family member is estranged from his / her family. Often estrangement is voluntary. However, if parents decide they no longer want anything to do with their children, they cut them off (= break off communiation), or even disinherit them. (Decide not to leave them anything when they die.)
How to tell your story First of all, your story should be quite short. Try to keep it grammatically simple as well, so that it is easy to follow. Make it easy for the listener to understand by using sequencing and linking words:
Although I had a reservation, I hadn't checked the airport name. I made sure I had an up-to-date passport and I also took along my driving licence. In short, I had made a complete mess of the holiday. Tenses We can use a variety of tenses to tell stories and anecdotes. Jokes are often in the present tense: A man walks into a bar and orders a beer. We also use the present tense to give a dramatic narrative effect: The year is 1066. In medieval England people are worried that the king, Harold, is not strong enough to fight off a Norman invasion. However, we generally use past forms to talk about past events. If you tell your story in chronological order, you can use the past simple: I double checked my reservation. I packed my suitcase, and then I called a taxi. Use the past continuous to describe activities in progress at the time of your story, or to describe the background.
Most people feel loyalty to their family, and will Sequencing words defend family members saying "He / She's These words show the chronological sequence family". There's also a saying "Blood's thicker of events. than water" which means that your family ties are stronger than any other relationships. First of all, I (packed my suitcase) Secondly, I …. (made sure I had all my Telling a story documents) Previously (before that) ….. I changed some A useful skill in English is to be able to tell a money. story or an anecdote. Anecdotes are short Then… I (called a taxi for the airport) stories about something that happened to you Later (on)… (when we were stuck in traffic, I or to someone you know. realised…) But before al that… (I had double checked my How to start reservation) Finally… (I arrived at the wrong check-in desk at the wrong airport for a flight that didn't go until Traditional stories often start with the phrase the next day) "Once upon a time". However, if you are going to tell your story after someone else has already spoken, you can say something like: Linking words Use these words to link your ideas for the listener. Linking words can be used to show That reminds me! reason, result, contrasting information, Funny you should say that. Did I ever tell you additional information, and to summarise. about… Hearing your story reminds me of when… Something similar happened to me…. I booked a flight because…. As a result, I was late…
The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. We were driving along the motorway quite steadily until we suddenly saw in front of us the warning lights to slow down. We were heading towards a huge tailback. Sometimes, you might want to avoid telling your story as one chronological event after the other. You can use the past perfect (simple and continuous) to add more interest to your story by talking about events that happened before the events in your story: I double checked my reservation, which I had made three days previously. I wanted to visit some friends who had been living in France for the last five years. Vocabulary Try to use a wide range of words to make your story more interesting. Remember that you can "exaggerate" when you tell a story, so instead of using words like "nice" or "bad", experiment with more interesting words, such as "beautiful", "fabulous", "wonderful", "horrible", "awful" or "terrible".
anecdotes in the mirror before "going live". Have fun! Visiting the doctor The first time you visit a new doctor, you should talk about your medical history - the illnesses you have had, any operations you have had and so on. Your doctor might want to give you a check-up.
For more serious medical conditions, you can get a referral to a clinic or a hospital. You might need blood tests done, or you might need an X-ray, or you might need to see a specialist. Words that describe behaviour The A-Z of English word and phrases that describe behaviour.
A check-up will include monitoring your blood pressure, as high blood pressure is serious and A can lead to life-threatening conditions. Your doctor will probably also take your pulse to active = always doing something: "She's an check that your heart rate is normal. active person and never wants to stay in." A doctor uses a stethoscope to listen to your breathing - particularly if you have a heart or chest infection, or a condition such as asthma. Of course, you can also visit the doctor for a huge range of other reasons. Children need to have their injections and if you are going abroad on holiday, you might also need to have injections against infectious diseases. In winter, you can also get a flu vaccine so that you won't get the flu. aggressive = being angry or threatening: "He's aggressive and starts arguments." ambitious = wanting to succeed: "He's ambitious and wants to lead the company." argumentative = always arguing with people: "He won't accept what you say - he's argumentative and loves to disagree!" arrogant = thinking you are better than anyone else: "He always behaves as if nobody else's opinion is important - "I find him very arrogant." assertive = being confident, so people can't force you to do things you don't want to do: "It's important to be assertive at work."
Finally - remember that you are telling a story If you need medication, a doctor will write you a not giving a lecture. Look at the people prescription. You can get your prescription listening, and try to "involve" them in the story filled at a chemist. or anecdote. Keep eye contact, use the right intonation and try to make your face expressive. You might also want to try practising a few
B bad-tempered = in a bad mood: "What's got into him lately? He's so bad-tempered." big-headed = thinking you're very important or clever: "I've never met anyone so bigheaded!" bossy = telling people what to do all the time: "He's so bossy - he never lets me do things the way I want to do them." C careless = not taking care: "He's a careless driver - "I'm sure he'll have an accident." caring = wanting to help people: "My boss is caring and often asks me how things are going." catty = saying nasty or spiteful things about other people: "I know you don't like her, but calling her names is a bit catty." cautious = being careful, so that you avoid mistakes: "He's cautious about investing money in the stock market." charming = pleasant and likeable: "What a charming man!" cheeky = being rude or disrespectful: "It was a bit cheeky of him to ask for more money."
clever = intelligent: "She's a clever student and docile = quiet and submissive: "She's a docile picks things up quickly." child and always does what she's told." conceited = thinking you're very clever, or better than others: "He's so conceited - he thinks everyone should admire him." conscientious = doing something carefully, because you want to do it well: "She's a conscientious student and always does her homework." considerate = thinking and caring about others: "My neighbour brought me flowers when I was in hospital - he's very considerate." ("That was considerate of him.") coy = pretending to be shy so that you don't have to give information: "He's very coy about his qualifications - maybe he doesn't have any." creative = someone who can make or design things, or can think of solutions to a problem: "She's creative and artistic." curious = wanting to know things: "I'm curious to find out what you think of the situation." D deceitful = trying to make people think something, so that you get what you want: "He lied to get this job - he's so deceitful." dogmatic = wanting others to accept your ideas without discussion: "He's a dogmatic politician and always thinks he's right." domineering = trying to control other people: "He's loud and domineering in the office - it's difficult to get him to listen to us." E enthusiastic = having a lot of interest in something: "He's an enthusiastic supporter of equal rights." excitable = someone who easily gets excited: "He gets very excitable about politics - it's one of his passions in life." extroverted = outgoing and lively: "She's extroverted and loves going out with people." F faithful = being loyal to someone or something: "She's a faithful friend." fickle = changing your mind and being unpredictable: "Politicians can be fickle when it suits them!"
flaky = slightly unstable and unreliable: "She's inconsiderate = not considering other people a little flaky at times, but otherwise she's a good or their feelings: "It was a little inconsiderate of worker." him not to give you a get-well card."
loyal = someone who is faithful and stands by you: "His colleagues were loyal to him when he was having problems with his boss."
full of himself = acting proud of yourself: "He introverted = opposite of extroverted: "He was M was full of himself after he got the promotion - it introverted as a teenager, but became more got annoying after a while." confident as he got older." manic = behaving in a slightly crazy way: "We're a bit manic at the moment - we're funny = making other people laugh: "He can be inventive = able to think up new ideas: "As rushing to finish the work before our deadline." extremely funny when he's in the mood." head of Marketing, he can often think of inventive ways to keep his customers happy." manipulative = trying to get people to do what fussy = only liking certain things: "She's fussy you want, by influencing or deceiving them: about what she wears." irritating = annoying others: "He can be very "She's very manipulative when she wants irritating to work with." something." G J moody = having unpredictable moods: "Some people think he's moody - you never know if good-natured = kind and thoughtful: "She's he's happy or grumpy." good-natured and always tries to help." jokey = making jokes: "You're in a jokey mood today, but we've got work to do!" N grumpy = someone who tends to be in a bad mood: "He's always grumpy in the morning and jolly = happy and cheerful: "It was the weekend never says 'hello'." and everyone was in a jolly mood." nervous = uncomfortable with a situation: "I'm always nervous before an exam." H K O happy-go-lucky = not worrying about what kind = thoughtful and caring: "My neighbour is might happen in the future: "He's a bit happykind - she looked after my cat when I was on old-fashioned = behaving or thinking in a way go-lucky and doesn't think about the future." holiday." that isn't modern: "He's a bit old-fashioned and thinks women shouldn't work." I L opinionated = having strong opinions: "He's opinionated and dogmatic - the last person you impulsive = doing things without thinking first: loud-mouthed = someone who talks a lot and want to negotiate with." "If he sees something he likes, he just buys it often says offensive things: "Don't worry about he can be so impulsive at times!" what he said - he's loud-mouthed at times."
P passive = not assertive - doing what other people want you to do without arguing: "He's passive at work, but domineering at home." perfectionnist = someone who wants perfection: "Her boss is a perfectionnist - no spelling mistakes are allowed." persuasive = being able to persuade people to do things or to accept your ideas: "He's a persuasive talker." picky = only liking certain things or people: "She's picky about her friends." playful = someone who likes to play and have fun: "You're in a playful mood today!" pleasant = nice and polite: "The bank manager was pleasant to me today."
R reserved = keeping your ideas and thoughts to yourself: "He's reserved, but polite." rude = impolite: "He's very rude and never says 'please' or 'thank you'." S scatter-brained / scatty = someone who often forgets things: "Don't you remember where you put your wallet? You're so scatterbrained!" serious = not light-hearted: "He's a serious student and always does his homework." shy = quiet, because you are not very confident: "He's so shy and hates saying anything to people he doesn't know."
sly = doing things in a secretive way: "You never know what he's up to - he's sly and manipulative." spiteful = trying to hurt other people because you didn't get what you wanted: "If she doesn't get what she wants, she can be quite spiteful." T thoughtful = someone who thinks a lot: "He's a thoughtful person and won't do anything unless he has considered the consequences." thoughtless = not thinking about people or the consequences of your actions: "I'm sure he didn't mean to be rude - he can be thoughtless at times." trustworthy = someone you can trust: "My accountant is really trustworthy." V volatile quickly changing moods: "He's easily excitable and pretty volatile." W witty = being able to make other people laugh by what you say: "He's witty and charming - the perfect person to invite to a party."
sincere = saying what you believe (opposite of polite = showing good manners: "She's polite insincere): "He's sincere in his beliefs." and never forgets to say 'please' or 'thank you'." slapdash = doing your work quickly and pragmatic = being practical and aware of your carelessly: "He's got a very slapdash attitude - I limitations: "She's pragmatic at work and only doubt he'll ever become a lawyer." does what she can." slimy = trying to get what you want by being Q over-friendly: "That man is so slimy - he makes me feel sick!" quick-tempered = getting angry quickly: "He was quick-tempered when he was young, but he's more relaxed now."
Personalities A. = Adjective ADV. = Adverb IDM. = Idiom N. = Noun V. = Verb A. seeing little or no good in other people, believing that people are only interested in themselves and are not sincere. Cynical suggests a disbelief in the sincerity of human motives A. having strange, unusual or abnormal habits or tastes This term is less insulting than strange, weird or bizarre.
Rephrasing Sometimes we say things that other people don't understand, or we give the wrong impression. This is an example conversation where one person says something that the other person thinks is strange. LUIZ: "English is a very easy language to learn." IRENE: "What do you mean?" LUIZ: "Well, what I meant to say was that it is easy if you practise every day." IRENE: "Oh, right." Rephrasing expressions "What I meant to say was…" "Let me rephrase that…" "Let me put this another way…" "Perhaps I'm not making myself clear…"
Back to the beginning If you're explaining something, and you realise that the other person doesn't understand, you can use the following phrases: "If we go back to the beginning…" "The basic idea is…" "One way of looking at it is…" "Another way of looking at it is…" If you forget the English word If you forget the word you want to use, you can say: "I can't find the word I'm looking for…" "I'm not sure that this is the right word, but…" "What I want to say is…" Speaking Tip Don't be afraid to repeat what you're saying, especially if you can do it in a slightly different way. Giving advice in English
A. thinking too highly of oneself, egotistica considering oneself better than l others. imaginati A. creative, having much ve imagination indecisive picky sensible sensitive A. unable to decide quickly, not knowing what choice to make A. hard to please, too careful in choosing something A. practical, reasonable, something that makes sense A. easily feels emotion, easily hurt emotionally can be positive or negative
sophistica A. representing high culture, very ted experienced in life thoughtfu A. often doing things to make other l people feel good
There are many ways of giving advice in English. Here are some of the more common expressions. "If I were you, I would…" "Have you thought about…" "You really ought to…" ('ought' is pronounced 'ort') "Why don't you…" "In your position, I would…" "You should perhaps…"
"In your position, I would try and practise speaking English." "You should perhaps look at the english-athome.com website." "You could always get a penpal." Giving your opinions There are many ways to give your opinions when speaking English. The exact English expression you use depends on how strong your opinion is.
Giving a strong opinion "I'm absolutely convinced that…" "I'm sure that…" "I strongly believe that…" "I have no doubt that…" English expressions for asking someone's opinion "What do you think?" "What's your view?" "How do you see the situation?" Speaking Tip Try to practise using these expressions, so that your speech sounds more varied! How to ask for things in English Asking for things in English doesn't need to be stressful. Just remember some key phrases, and you'll be able to deal with most situations smoothly and confidently!
Giving your opinion neutrally "You could always…" "I think…" Examples "I feel that…" If someone says "I'm having problems learning English", you could say: "If I were you, I'd sign up for an English course." "Have you thought about going to the UK for a couple of weeks?" "You really ought to watch English television." "Why don't you read more English books?" "In my opinion…" "As far as I'm concerned…" "As I see it…" "In my view…" "I tend to think that…"
Asking clerks or at help desks (Hello.) Can / Could I have ….. please? (Falling intonation) (Good morning.) Can / Could you give / get me ….. please? (Good evening.) A table for two, please. Interrupting people to ask them for something Excuse me… …. Do you know if…? …. Do you have…? …. Do you accept …. (credit cards)? …. Is this the right way for…. (the Post Office)? …. Could you tell me if …. (there's a Post Office near here)? In more formal situations Excuse me… …. Would you mind …. (keeping an eye on my luggage?) …. I wonder if you could …. (move your suitcase a little.)
Responding to questions You ask for something, then the person you have asked needs more information. He or she asks you a question. If you haven't expected this, you can "play for time" - say something to give you time to think. Say something like "Oh", "Ah", "Um", or "Er" to give you a second or two to formulate an answer. Remember, complete silence makes the other person feel uneasy! You: "Two tickets to Glasgow, please." Clerk: "Single or return?" You: "Um, return please. We're coming back tomorrow." (You are at the bureau de change) Clerk: How would you like your money? You: Oh, er, three tens and a five, please. You: "Hello. Can I have a leaflet about London museums, please." Clerk: "Sure. Anything else?" You: "Um, do you have any information about musicals?" Tips When you ask someone for something, or you ask them to do something for you, it is essential to be as polite as possible. Here are some ways that you can be polite. Say hello
A "hello" and a smile go a long way! Say "hello" at the beginning of your request. "Hello. (I'd like) a travel card, please." In more formal situations, you can say "Good morning", "Good afternoon" or "Good evening". (Remember, we only say "Good night" if we're saying "Good bye" at the end of the day.) "Good evening. We've booked a table for four." Remember "please" and "thank you" "Please" normally goes at the end of the sentence: "Two tickets please." "Can you give me directions to Oxford Street, please." Say "thank you" after you have received something: "Here's your change." "Thank you." You can use "Yes, please" or "No, thank you" in response to a question: "Would you like salad with your pizza?" "Yes, please" or "No, thank you." Say "excuse me"
If you ask someone who is doing something else, remember to say "excuse me": "Excuse me, do yo have this dress in a smaller size?" (In a shop) "Excuse me, do you know where the nearest bank is?" (On the street) Structure of an example conversation 1. Clerk greets you (Good morning.) How can I help you? What can I do for you? 2. You ask for something Hello. I'd like some information about… Can I have…. Three stamps for Europe, please. 3. Clerk asks you a question Single or return? Air-mail or surface mail? 4. You answer Oh, er, single thanks. Um, let me see. Air-mail please. 5. Clerk asks you if you need anything else
Will that be all? (Is there) anything else? 6. You answer Ah, actually I'd also like… No, that's it thanks / thank you. How to express shock in English It is sometimes difficult to say how you feel in unexpected situations, such as natural disasters, especially when you feel sad. Here's a list of some common expressions to help you express shock and disbelief.
terrible devastation etc) There's no way it could have happened. Saying how bad something is It's so awful. It's terrible / What terrible news. It's a tragedy. It's a catastrophe (pronounced "ca - tas - tra fee" with the stress on "-tas") This is the worst thing that could have happened. How to keep the conversation going What can you say when you want to encourage people to keep talking to you?
Shock I was shocked to hear… The news came as a complete shock. We're all in complete shock. Everyone's reeling from the shock of… It happened out of the blue. Who could have predicted it? I (just) can't get over …. We were completely taken aback by… I was just stunned by… Disbelief I just can't believe… It's unbelievable. I / You just can't imagine… Words can't describe… (how I feel about / the
Try making a comment or asking a question - it shows the other person you're interested in what they are saying. Here are some examples of what you can say: Making comments "No!" - to show surprise. "I don't believe it!" - to show surprise. "Wow!" - to show admiration or surprise. "That's incredible / amazing / unbelievable" - to show great interest in the subject of conversation.
"How awful / terrible" - to show sympathy with someone else's bad news. Asking questions "Really?" - to show surprise. "And you?" - when someone asks you how you are. "Did you?" - can be used to encourage someone to tell their story. For example, "I saw her last night", "Did you?" "Yes, she was with one of her friends, and she…." How to make a booking in English Making a booking in English does not have to be complicated. In fact, if you keep the information concise, you will find it easy!
…. book a flight (from London to Paris on Tuesday 10 November) …. book seats (tonight for "Phantom of the Opera") You can also reserve a room, a table or seats. Responding to questions How many people is the booking for? … It's for two people. How would you like to pay? … Can I pay by credit card? Can you spell your surname? … Yes, it's B - R - O - W - N. Can you give me your credit card number and expiry date? …Yes, it's ……. Travel bookings What time do you want to leave / arrive / checkout? … I'd like to arrive in London by 6 pm. Would you like to take advantage of our special insurance / extra facilities?
… No thank you / Could you give me extra information? Asking for more information Does this price include all taxes? (for hotels and flights) Is there a booking fee? (for flights, theatre tickets) How much is the baggage allowance? (for flights) Could you confirm my booking? What time should I arrive? (for theatres, restaurants) What time do I have to check in / do I have to check out? (for flights, hotels) Is there an ensuite bathroom? (for hotels)
Starting the conversation I'd like to….. …. book a double room (for two nights from Monday 2 August to…) …. book a table (for two at 9 pm tomorrow night)
Tips Remember the essential information: - how many nights (at a hotel) - how many people (at a restaurant or the theatre) - what time (for a flight or at a restaurant) - how much does it cost (for a flight, theatre tickets or a hotel room)
Research the vocabulary you need before you make a call: - what type of theatre seat you need - what type of hotel room you want - where you want to sit on the plane Remember to pronounce numbers and letters clearly. When you spell something or give a number, speak slowly and emphasise the important information. How to respond appropriately in special situations Certain situations need special vocabulary…
Birthdays The most usual ways of referring to someone's birthday are by saying Happy Birthday! or more formally, Many happy returns! Cultural note: Some birthdays are more special than others in Britain. Your 18th birthday is special as you then become an official adult. In the past, 21 was the age of adulthood, and some people still celebrate it in a special way by giving silver keys, which represent the key to the door. Before an exam or something difficult Wish someone good luck before something difficult, by saying Good luck! But if people are superstitious and believe that saying "Good luck" will have the opposite effect, you could also hear Break a leg! If someone has failed at something, you can say Bad luck! Toasting
Groom". Please raise your glasses to… Writing to someone who has passed an exam If you are writing a card or a letter to someone who has passed an exam, you can use the following expressions: Well done! It's a fantastic result. Congratulations on passing! You deserve it after so much hard work. Writing wedding cards Here are a couple of standard phrases to write on wedding cards: Congratulations! Wishing you many happy years together. Wishing you the best of luck in your future together. Writing in sad situations In difficult situations you can write I was so sorry to hear that …. If you are writing to the relatives of someone who has died, you can also write
Congratulations! You can say Congratulations in many circumstances, such as for weddings, promotions, passing exams, or to the parents and family of a new baby. Well done! You can say this to someone who has passed an exam or achieved something difficult like a promotion.
At parties and gatherings, you might be asked to drink a toast to celebrate a happy event. Here's to … Let's drink to… Ladies and Gentlemen, "The Bride and
I was deeply saddened to hear… or Please accept my deepest condolences on the death of… (You can replace "I" with "We", such as "We were very sad to hear that…") How to say what's important
"In terms of priorities, I am most interested in getting results. In addition, I would like to develop my marketing skills." "As far as my priorities go, getting results is the most important." "At the top of my list of priorities is feeling appreciated."
"I'm not sleeping very well at the moment." "I feel a little faint." "I've got a nagging pain in my shoulder." (nagging = a pain that won't go away) "I've got a splitting headache - I hope it's not a migraine." Sympathetic responses "I'm sorry to hear that." "You don't look very well." "You look a little pale." "Maybe you're going down with something. There's a bug going around." "Maybe you should go home and get some rest." "Why don't you go home and have a lie-down." Mild illness "I have a bit of a stomach bug." "I think I've got a bit of a temperature." "I have a touch of flu." (Flu = influenza)
Sometimes you need to say how important "The least important thing is salary." things are to you. These are all common ways of telling someone what your priorities are. How to talk about illness In a job interview "The most important thing for me is that the job is challenging." "What's really important to me is being able to learn something new." "The most crucial thing for me is to be valued by my colleagues." "The most vital thing is knowing that I am doing a good job." "What really motivates me is learning about new ways of doing something." "I'm extremely interested in learning more about the market." Sometimes you don't feel very well, but you're not really ill. Here are some common expressions that you can use to describe general "aches and pains" and some useful "sympathetic" responses.
General aches and pains "I feel a bit under the weather." "I'm not feeling very well." "I think I'm going down with a cold. I've got a sore throat." "I've got a slight headache." (Or toothache / stomach ache / backache) Pronounced "ake" as in "cake".
"I've got a nasty cough." (pronounced "coff") Learn English with television Television is great for learning English. The pictures make it easier to understand than radio and because you can see who's talking, you get a better idea of what people mean. Just watch their "body language"! Watch programmes that you find enjoyable and entertaining - whatever you watch will help you to improve your English. Here's the english@home guide to learning as much as possible while watching English television: Only watch programmes you find interesting. Learning English should be fun not something you have to force yourself to do. If you have a passion for football, watch matches or the sports news. Keep a notebook near to your television, so that you can jot down any new words or expressions that you hear. This is especially useful if the programme you are watching has been subtitled into your language. Try to watch English television regularly. Even if you can only watch 15 minutes a day, you'll be amazed how much you learn.
Don't worry if you don't understand everything - English television is normally aimed at native English language speakers. Programmes often include difficult words and expressions. If the programme you're watching is full of unknown words, just concentrate on understanding the general meaning. Even cartoons and children's programmes are useful when learning English and quiz shows are useful for learning how to ask and answer questions in English. Keep a note of television programmes and presenters that you find easy to understand and try to watch them regularly. Doing this will increase your confidence and give you a sense of achievement. Making appointments Useful phrases for making and changing appointments.
"Would Friday suit you?" "Is next Tuesday convenient for you?" "What about sometime next week?" Agreeing on a date "Yes, Thursday is fine." "Thursday suits me." "Thursday would be perfect." Suggesting a different date "I'm afraid I can't on the 3rd. What about the 6th?" "I'm sorry, I won't be able to make it on Monday. Could we meet on Tuesday instead?" "Ah, Wednesday is going to be a little difficult. I'd much prefer Friday, if that's alright with you." "I really don't think I can on the 17th. Can we meet up on the 19th?" Setting a time "What sort of time would suit you?" "Is 3pm a good time for you?" "If possible, I'd like to meet in the morning."
Asking to meet "Are you available on the 17th?" "Can we meet on the 16th?" "How does the 3rd sound to you?" "Are you free next week?"
"How does 2pm sound to you?" Changing the arrangement "You know we were going to meet next Friday? Well, I'm very sorry, but something urgent has come up." "I'm afraid that I'm not going to be able to meet you after all. Can we fix another time?" "Something has just cropped up and I won't be able to meet you this afternoon. Can we make another time?" VOCABULARY
The birth itself was uncomplicated. She went into labour at midnight, and the baby was born at 7 a.m. She didn't feel too much pain and didn't need an epidural. Instead, she was on drips to make the contractions come a little quicker. Her midwife (special nurse who follows a woman throughout pregnancy) was with her during the birth, just to make sure that everything went well. Luckily, it was a normal delivery and she didn't need a Caesarean section (operation). The doctor cut the cord and put the baby on her stomach. He said "Congratulations! It's a healthy baby girl!" She and her husband prepared their house before she went into hospital. They decorated the nursery. They also had to buy some baby equipment, such as a baby bath, a changing mat (on which they will change the baby's nappies), a carry cot (so they can carry the baby around), a cot (for the baby to sleep in), a mobile (to hang over the cot so that the baby can see moving shapes) and more teddy bears than any baby can surely need. Friends have bought them baby clothes already, so they are as ready as they can be for their new baby. Medical vocabulary English words and phrases connected with injury. Boil = infected swelling with liquid inside it: "You'll need to go to the doctor to have that boil lanced." (lance - puncture and clean)
Lump = swelling: "I have a strange lump on my arm. I wonder what caused it." Rash = allergic reaction which makes your skin go red: "When she used the soap her skin came out in a rash." Scab = dry skin that forms over a cut: "Don't pick at your scab - you might make it bleed." Spot = red mark on the skin (much smaller than a boil): "When he was a teenager he had a lot of spots." Swelling = an irritation or infection that makes the skin rise: "After the wasp stung her, she had a swelling on her leg for days." These words can be used as nouns and verbs Bruise = when the skin goes blue and yellow: "She fell down the stairs and bruised her arm." "He has a bruise just under his eye." Bump = when you hit yourself and get a slight swelling: "Ow! I bumped my head on the desk!" "It's only a little bump - nothing serious." Cut = when something sharp breaks your skin and you bleed: "He cut himself badly on the bread knife." "Fortunately, nobody was seriously injured in the accident. There were only a few cuts and bruises."
Baby vocabulary How to talk about pregnancy and babies. My friend got pregnant / conceived in April and her baby was born in January. She waited until the second trimester (after three months) to tell people, as by then there is less risk of losing the baby / having a miscarriage. During the pregnancy she had terrible morning sickness and she also had cravings (a strong desire to eat something) for cheese and pickle sandwiches.
"She got a nasty cut on her hand while she was diving." Gash = deep cut: "He gashed his hand badly on a piece of broken glass." "That's a nasty gash. You might need stitches." Graze = slight cut - not enough to bleed much: "When she was little, she was always grazing her knee." "I got a small graze on my hand when I fell onto some gravel." Itch = when a part of your body makes you want to scratch it: "My eyes are itching - this atmosphere is too smoky for me." "I've got a terrible itch where the mosquito bit me. " Scratch = like a graze, but more painful: "The cat scratched me - it stings a little." "He was picking berries and got a couple of scratches from the thorns."
chemists also fill prescriptions (given to you You can also buy face and body creams, by your doctor) and some even develop films for moisturiser (cream to prevent your skin from you. going dry), soap and deodorant. Other items you can find in this section of the chemist are Baby care razors, to shave hair from your body, shaving Many people buy nappies (diapers) for their foam; and feminine hygiene products, such babies at chemists. Along with the nappies are as tampons and sanitary towels. other products for babies, such as nappy cream, cotton wool buds (lengths of plastic Make up tipped with soft cotton to clean a baby's ears, If you are looking for cosmetics or make-up, you for example), baby wipes (to help clean a can find eye-liner (or kohl), mascara (for your baby) and so on. eyelashes) and eye-shadow, which is coloured powder to put on your eyelids. You can also buy Hair care foundation (a cream to put on your face to Chemists also stock a range of hair products. give an even surface), blusher (to add colour to You can buy shampoo and conditioner (to your cheeks), lipstick (which adds colour to wash your hair) and products to colour hair. For your lips), and lip-gloss which adds shine to styling your hair you can buy gel or mousse, your lips. To colour your nails you can use nail which act a bit like glue to keep your hair in a polish, also known as nail varnish. particular style. You can also buy hair brushes or combs, to make your hair neat, and hair Driving vocabulary grips and hair slides, which are plastic objects that keep your hair in place. Here are some words and phrases you'll find helpful when driving in an English-speaking country.
Personal hygiene Sprain = twist a part of your body: "She There's normally a wide selection of personal sprained her ankle when she slipped on the ice." hygiene products. Many English people like to "My ankle looks swollen, but it's only a minor soak in a long, hot bath, and so there's a huge sprain." market in bath oils, bath salts or bubble bath - all ways to add nice smells to your bath! Chemist vocabulary You can also buy nail scissors and emery boards (to file your nails) and pumice stone, to rub away dry skin from your feet. For oral In England, high-street chemists stock a huge hygiene, you can buy toothbrushes, range of toiletries (items for personal toothpaste and dental floss, which is like hygiene), baby products, cosmetics, string that you use to clean between your teeth. perfumes and medicines. Dispensing
Regulations In England, you must drive on the left (unless road signs tell you otherwise or if you are overtaking - passing another car). The driver's seat is on the right hand side of the car, and the passenger's seat is on the left. The gearstick is to the left of the driver.
Drivers and passengers have to wear a seatbelt, except if they have certain medical conditions, and seatbelts should also be worn in the back seat. If you "drink drive" (drive after drinking alcohol), the penalties can be serious. Most people will advise you not to drink alcohol at all before driving. Be especially careful to respect the speed limits on the roads. A sign tells you what the maximum speed limit is, and if you break the speed limit, you may get a fine or points on your licence. There are many hidden speed cameras in operation, so watch out! Indicators You should use your indicators to show if you are turning left or right. You should also use your mirrors (wing mirrors on the side of the car) and rearview mirror (to see behind you) before you set off, make a turning, slow down or overtake. Drivers should also turn round to look over their right shoulder so that they can see what is happening in their blind spot - the place behind you that you cannot see - even with mirrors. Road junctions
traffic. If there is a Give Way sign (also shown as a triangle), you must give priority to traffic on the main road. There are also box junctions, where there are yellow lines painted in a box on the road. You can only go into a box if your exit is clear. Some junctions are controlled by traffic lights, and here the same rules apply as for traffic lights on other roads. A red light means "stop", and you can only start moving when the light changes to green. After green, the light changes to amber (orange) and you can only continue if your car has already crossed the line and when stopping could cause an accident. Roundabouts At roundabouts, you go round in a clockwise direction. You have to give priority to traffic coming from the right. You should get in lane according to which exit you need. (If you are leaving at the first exit, get into the left hand lane; if you are leaving at the middle exits, get in the middle lane(s); and get into the right hand lane if you are leaving at the last exit.) Signal left to leave the roundabout after you have passed the exit previous to yours. Pedestrian crossings
pedestrians. You can't park on either type of crossing, and you should give way to pedestrians. Motorway driving There are special rules for driving on motorways. In short, learner drivers (those who haven't yet passed their driving tests) cannot drive on motorways. The speed limit is higher than on other roads, and there are at least three lanes of traffic. You have to take extra care when overtaking, joining or leaving the motorway. If you break down, you should stay in the hard shoulder (a narrow lane on the left) and wait for assistance. English bedroom vocabulary English words connected with the bedroom. Bedrooms come in all shapes and sizes. You can find bedrooms which contain just a single bed, or those which have a double bed (bed which is big enough for two people), or even twin beds (two single beds side by side). Some people choose to sleep in a futon (a Japanese bed which is low on the ground) and some people who like luxury might have a fourposter (a bed which has four posts - one in each corner - and from which you can hang curtains or mosquito nets). When children share a bedroom, they might sleep in bunk beds, where there is one bed on top of the other. The upper bunk is reached by a small ladder.
At road junctions, check to see that no pedestrians are crossing the road into which you are turning, as they have priority and you will have to wait. If there is a Stop sign at the junction, you must stop your car behind the white line and wait until there is a gap in the
There are two main types of pedestrian crossings. There are zebra crossings (which are marked by white stripes in the road) and there are pelican crossings, where a red flashing light means you have to stop for
On your bed, you'll have at least one sheet (normally in cotton, but in a variety of colours or patterns), and you normally lie on top of this sheet. Some people also have a sheet over them, with blankets (made from wool) to keep them warm. Alternatively, you can replace the top sheet and blankets with a duvet (a warm, but lightweight quilt). You're likely to sleep with your head on a pillow, which is often filled with feathers. Pillows are normally put inside a cotton pillow case, and the duvet is also put inside a cotton duvet cover. If it gets really cold, you can also have a quilt or eiderdown over your blankets. Some people also have an electric blanket that they use to warm up the bed. In England, many people use a hot water bottle (a flat rubber bag that you fill with hot water then seal) to put into the bed to warm it up. As well as a bed, you're likely to have other furniture in your bedroom, such as a chest of drawers (a piece of furniture with several drawers to put clothes in); a wardrobe, which is a piece of furniture with doors where you can hang shirts, trousers, or skirts and dresses on clothes hangers; and a bedside table, which is a small table next to the bed. On the bedside table, you might have a bedside light and an alarm clock. Some people also have a dressing table, which is a small table that you sit in front of, with a mirror to see your reflection in when you do your hair or make-up, and a couple of drawers. Other people might have their mirror on their chest of drawers, as well a hair brush and even a clothes brush (a
special brush that you use to clean jackets and shirts). English idioms of emotion Here are some emotional idioms to tell people whether you're happy, sad or angry.
down in the dumps: "When she left him, he was down in the dumps for a couple of weeks." feel blue: "She felt a little blue when she lost her job." beside yourself (with grief, worry): "When her son went missing, she was beside herself with worry." Annoyed because you have missed an opportunity sick as a parrot: "He was as sick as a parrot when he realised he had thrown away his lottery ticket." :-V These idioms mean that you are very angry.
:-) All these idioms mean that you are absolutely delighted! over the moon: "He was over the moon when he heard the news." thrilled to bits: "She was thrilled to bits with her new bicycle." in seventh heaven: "They were in seventh heaven when they learned they'd won a cruise." on cloud nine: "When I got the job, I was on cloud nine for several weeks." jump for joy: "We jumped for joy when we got the mortgage." :-( These idioms mean you are feeling sad. cheesed off: "I was really cheesed off when I lost the competition."
see red: "Don't talk to him about his boss - it just makes him see red!" hopping mad: "She was hopping mad when she found out her daughter had disobeyed her." in a black mood: "Be careful what you say she's in a black mood today." Less angry idioms.
to not be on speaking terms: "They're not on speaking terms at the moment after their row." To be off someone's Christmas card list: "Oh dear. I think I'm off her Christmas card list after insulting her husband!" have a downer on someone: "What's John done? You seem to have a real downer on him." rub someone up the wrong way: "Those two are always arguing. They just seem to rub each other up the wrong way." In desperation These idioms mean you don't know what to do. at the end of your tether: "I just can't cope. I'm at the end of my tether with all these bills and debts." at your wits' end: "He's at his wits' end. He's tried everything to solve the problem, but nothing has worked." English vocabulary for the kitchen
In a kitchen you are likely to find cupboards (or cabinets), either at floor level, or at eye level. In the eye level cupboards you will probably find dry goods (such as flour, sugar, rice, pasta, spices) and maybe glasses and crockery (plates, bowls etc). In the floor level cupboards you might find pots and pans: saucepans for cooking pasta etc; frying pans for frying food; baking tins and roasting tins for cooking food in the oven; and serving dishes made from glass or china. You could also find other kitchen implements such as a blender (= food processor) and kitchen scales (for measuring and weighing food). Often the top part of a floor level cupboard has a drawer, where various items are kept, such as cutlery (knives, forks and spoons); aluminium foil (metal paper), cling film (thin plastic wrap), freezer bags, and other kitchen items such as a bread knife, tin opener, corkscrew (to open bottles of wine), potato peeler (to take the skin off potatoes), a rolling pin (to roll out pastry) and so on. On the top of the floor level cupboards you often find a worktop or work surface, where you can prepare food. These surfaces are sometimes made of marble, or hard wood, and they can be easily cleaned. Some people keep a toaster or microwave on the work surfaces, along with things they need frequently, such as oil, salt, or various sauces.
separate from the rings), a fridge-freezer, and perhaps a dishwasher or even a washing machine. You'll probably find a kitchen sink, where you wash the plates and dishes, and larger kitchens also contain a kitchen table and chairs, so you can eat in the same room. English words for emotions The A-Z of English words that describe emotions.
A angry: "She was angry with her boss for criticising her work." annoyed: "I'm very annoyed with him. He hasn't returned any of my calls." "She was annoyed by his comments." appalled = very shocked: "They were appalled to hear that they would lose their jobs." apprehensive = slightly worried: "I felt a little apprehensive before my interview." ashamed: "How could you say such a thing? You should be ashamed of yourself!" at the end of your tether = completely fed up: "The children have been misbehaving all day - I'm at the end of my tether."
Some people have a fitted kitchen, where all the kitchen units have been bought together, and they are assembled according to a plan. Other people have a kitchen where the units are free-standing: not necessarily bought together Most kitchens also contain a cooker with an oven and four rings, (although some modern at one time. cookers are split level, where the oven is
B bewildered = very confused: "He was bewildered by the choice of computers in the shop." betrayed = when someone breaks the trust you have in them: "He betrayed my trust when he repeated my secret to everyone." C confused: "I'm sorry I forgot your birthday - I was confused about the dates." confident = sure of your abilities: "I'm confident that we can find a solution to this problem." cheated = when you don't get something that you think you deserve: "Of course I feel cheated - I should have won that competition." cross = quite angry: "I was cross with him for not helping me, as he said he would." D depressed = very sad: "After he failed his English exam, he was depressed for a week." delighted = very happy: "I'm delighted that I got the job. It's just what I always wanted."
down in the dumps = sad and fed up: "What's G the matter with him? He's so down in the dumps these days." great = very good: "I feel great today!" disappointed: "She was disappointed by her son's poor results at school." E ecstatic = extremely happy: "When he asked her to marry him she was ecstatic." excited: "I'm excited by the new opportunities that the internet brings." emotional = you have strong feelings (happy or sad) and you cry: "When he heard the news, he became quite emotional." envious = when you want something that someone else has: "I'm very envious of her happiness - I wish I was happy too." embarrassed = slightly ashamed: "I felt so embarrassed that I went bright red." F furious =very angry: "I was furious with him for breaking my favourite vase." frightened: "As a child she was frightened of the dark." H happy: "She was happy to hear the good news." horrified = very shocked: "I'm horrified by the amount of violence on television today." I irritated = annoyed: "I get so irritated when he changes TV channels without asking me first." intrigued = being so interested in something you have to find out more: "I'm intrigued to hear about your safari in Kenya." J jealous = envious: "She was jealous of her sister's new toy." jaded = tired and having no interest: "After 10 years at this company, I just feel jaded." K keen: "I'm keen to see your new house - I've heard lots about it."
"I'm keen on keeping fit." L
overwhelmed by the offer of promotion at work."
scared = frightened: "Are you scared of heights?" stressed = being worried or anxious about something so you can't relax: "I feel really stressed at work - I need a break." "He was stressed out by all the travelling in his job." T terrific = fantastic: "I feel terrific today!"
over the moon = delighted: "She was over the lazy: "I can't be bothered to do anything today - moon with her new bicycle and rode it every day for a whole year." I feel really lazy!" lucky: "I'm going to play the lottery - I feel lucky today!" let down = disappointed: "When you didn't turn up to the meeting, I felt really let down." M maternal = feeling like a mother: "Looking at my sister's new baby made me feel really maternal." N P positive = opposite of negative - seeing the good side of something: "She's a very positive person and never lets anything get her down." positive = very sure: "Are you sure that's what you want? Yes - I'm positive." R relaxed: "I was completely relaxed after I came back from holiday."
terrible = ill or tired: "I've got a blinding headache and I feel terrible." terrified = very scared: "She's terrified of spiders and screams whenever she sees one." tense = not relaxed: "You look a bit tense. Did you have a bad day at work?" U upset = angry or unhappy: "I'm sorry you're upset - I didn't mean to be rude."
nonplussed = so surprised that you don't know reluctant = when you don't want to do something: "I'm reluctant to buy a new car - the what to do next: "I was so nonplussed by his one we have is fine." announcement that I couldn't say anything." negative = when you can only see the disadvantages: "I feel very negative about my job - the pay is awful." O overwhelmed = so much emotion that you don't know what to say or do: "I was S
seething = extremely angry, but hiding it: "She was seething after her boss criticised her." unhappy = sad: "I was unhappy to hear that I hadn't got the job." sad: "It makes me sad to see all those animals in cages at the zoo."
V victimised = to feel you are the victim of someone or something: "My boss kept criticising me and not the others, so I felt quite victimised." W wonderful = great: "I felt wonderful after such a relaxing weekend." Entertainment What do you like doing in your spare time? Do you go somewhere with your friends or your family? Here is some useful vocabulary for talking about entertainment. The cinema Many people regularly go to the cinema (or the pictures). Most towns have a multiplex (= multi-screen) cinema which show a wide range of films, from feature films to family films. Films are classified in Britain, with U suitable for all ages, PG (parental guidance) suitable for everyone over the age of 8, 12 (where no children can watch unless they are with an adult), 15 (where no one under the age of 15 can watch) and 18 (only suitable for adults).
The theatre Large towns as well as the major cities have theatres, where you can see plays, musicals or pantomimes (a comedy play performed over Christmas). You can choose to go in the afternoon, for the matinee (pronounced "mat in - ay") performance, or in the evening. Generally, the more you pay, the better seat you get. The stalls are the seats at ground level in front of the stage, and these have the best views. Then there are the seats in the Dress Circle (or Royal Circle), which are in the first balcony. They also have good views of the stage. Then there are the seats in the Upper Circle, which are in the second balcony. Above this are cheaper seats in the Balcony or the Gallery, which are so high up that it's often difficult to see the actors. There are also seats in the Boxes, which are private rooms built into the side walls of the theatre. Live music Large cities can offer you a huge range of musical performances, from opera to classical concerts to jazz, folk, rock and pop gigs (= concerts). In summer there are often music festivals, with Glastonbury Festival being one of the most popular.
Family entertainment Bank holidays and weekends are favourite times to go out with your family. Some things, such as circuses, zoos and water parks can be quite expensive. But other events, such as fun-days, parades and carnivals are much cheaper. Children often like to go by themselves to funfairs, where they can go on the rides and eat candyfloss. A cheap night out There are also plenty of cheap activities available in towns and cities. Bingo is popular, and in London, people still go to the dogs, to see and bet on dog racing. You can often find a leisure centre in towns, which offer sport facilities. In Britain, many people go to their local (= pub) where they can play darts or pool (= a type of snooker), as well as have a drink with friends. At the weekend, younger people often go clubbing (= night clubs) or to a disco with their friends. Food vocabulary Words and phrases to help you talk about food in English.
How food is cooked boiled - cooked in boiling water steamed - cooked over a saucepan of boiling water fried / sauteed - cooked in oil in a frying pan stir-fried - fried fast in hot oil pan-fried - fried in a frying pan roasted - cooked in oil in the oven grilled - cooked under a grill baked - cooked in the oven stewed - cooked for a long time on a low heat casseroled - cooked slowly in juices Types of food meat = lamb, pork or beef poultry = chicken, turkey, goose, duck game = rabbit, hare, partridge, pheasant fish = salt water fish / sea fish, fresh water fish
seafood = prawns, shrimps, lobster, scallops, mussels, crab vegetables fruit Dishes starter / hors d'oeuvre / appetiser main course dessert / pudding House and home vocabulary People in Britain often talk about their homes: their mortgages, the interest rates, and rising property prices. Here's a guide to some of the words and phrases you might come across.
have available in your budget range and in your area. If you see something you like, the estate agent will arrange for you to view the property, so that you can see the house or flat for yourself. If you see something that takes your eye, you put in an offer. The vendor (seller) can accept or decline this offer, and if the vendor accepts it, you can move forward with the sale. However, as you don't pay any money at this point, the offer isn't legally binding, and in theory, you can pull out of the offer at any time that you like. Your next step will probably be to get a structural survey done. A qualified surveyor will inspect the house and write a report that illustrates any structural problems, like damp or drainage problems. If you still want to go ahead with the sale, you need to appoint a solicitor (a lawyer) to do the conveyancing (= the legal paperwork.) If you already own a house, you might also be busy trying to sell it. Many house owners prefer to sell to first time buyers (those people who don't already own a home), as they are not in a chain (=waiting for other people to buy their house before they can buy their next house). Finally, once the contracts are signed and exchanged, you complete on your house. You get the keys and you can move in whenever you want. Then you might want to throw a housewarming party. Congratulations!
Your dream home It's a good idea in the UK to arrange a mortgage with a bank before you start looking. This is when the bank tells you how much money they will lend you so you have a good idea of how much you can afford. The next step is to go to an estate agent (= a company which represents buyers and sellers of properties) to see what sort of properties they
House vocabulary Unless you live in a block of flats or a bungalow (one-storey house with or without an attic), British houses normally have two or three floors or stories. On the ground floor you're likely to find the living room, kitchen and dining room, while on the first floor you'll probably find bedrooms and a bathroom. On the second or top floor is the attic, or loft. On the roof of many houses you can still see a chimney and chimney pot - even if the house now benefits from central heating. The floors of a house are connected by stairs, with a landing (area) on the upper floor which leads to the upstairs rooms. Most British houses are made of brick and cement. In a row of terrace houses (houses joined together), the interconnecting walls are cavity walls: they have a space between them to allow air to circulate. On the interiors, the walls are covered in plaster, and then either painted or decorated with wallpaper. The internal walls of a house fall into two categories: load-bearing walls (those that are structural and support the weight of the floors) and partition walls (those walls that divide rooms, but can be knocked down.) Floors and roofs are supported by strong>beams, which are long, heavy pieces of wood or metal. Floors can be covered in a variety of materials, such as parquet (wooden squares), laminate
flooring (a type of thin wooden plank), or tiles (either ceramic or vinyl). In living rooms and bedrooms, the floors are generally covered with carpets. Houses are normally connected to local utilities, such as mains water, electricity and gas supply. In the countryside, not everyone is connected to mains gas, and some houses have gas tanks in their gardens. The vast majority of people are connected to the local sewage system (for waste water), but some people have their own septic tanks in their gardens to treat waste water. Houses that are connected to utilities have separate meters to show how much they consume. Representatives of these utility companies visit houses regularly to take meter readings - with which they can then bill their customers.
Some building work can be done without supervision. Many people enjoy doing DIY, such as putting up shelves, fitting cupboards and doors, assembling furniture and so on. However, for the big jobs, such as loft conversions and building extensions, you need to first apply for and obtain planning and building permission (from the local authorities) then employ a firm of builders.
In Britain, damp winter weather causes many problems to houses. For example, some houses can suffer from damp (humidity) or dry rot, caused by water seeping into walls and timber (wood). For this reason, houses have gutters (tubes attached just under the roof that run along the length of the house to catch rain water) and some may need regular damp proof treatment (special chemicals to prevent damp from spreading). Window sills (the piece of the wall - internal or external - in which the Some electrical jobs (such as wiring or window is set) and window frames (the wood rewiring = installing the electrical cables) should only be done by professional electricians, that goes around the window) should be made waterproof (so that water cannot get in), and although you can still change a plug, or most people have central heating via radiators change a socket (the hole in the wall where to keep the air inside warm and dry. Special you put the plug in to connect to the electricity thermostats set on the wall help to regulate supply). For safety reasons, the wiring in the the temperature in the room. In addition, most house is on more than one circuit: lighting usually is on one circuit, and the sockets are on people have insulation in the loft to keep warm air in, and cold air out. another circuit. Some plumbing (water piping) jobs should also Going back to school be done by professional plumbers. For example, although you can change taps, you should get a After the long relaxing summer holidays, professional to install a gas boiler. September means a return to school. Those long summer days are over, and instead, school
children have to get up early and sit in classrooms for most of the day. In Britain, pupils wear a school uniform. As well as a particular skirt or pair of trousers, with a specific shirt and jumper, they also have a school PE kit (clothes that they wear to play sports at school). Some children walk to school, and some parents drive their children to school. But others come to school by a school bus - particularly if they live outside the town. Most children go to state-run primary and secondary schools. Schools are mostly mixed (girls and boys sit in the same classes), although there are some single-sex schools (schools for girls or boys only) and a few schools are private, where parents pay school fees. Schools try to have clear rules for acceptable behaviour. For example, pupils (school children) have to show respect to their teachers. Often they have to stand up when their teacher comes into the classroom and say "Good morning". If pupils break the rules, they can expect to be sent to the headmaster or headmistress, or to do detention, when they stay behind after the other pupils go home.
school prepares. These "school dinners" vary in quality, and there has recently been a lot of media interest in providing healthy school dinners for pupils.
a church. (There are other ceremonies for different religions.) If the couple chooses a church service, the planning can become quite complex. The church must be booked, the service has to be chosen, flowers arranged and so on. Other arrangements (for both traditional Pupils can expect to get homework for most and civil) are to draw up a guest list, send out subjects, and there are regular tests to check progress. At the end of each of the three school invitations, book a reception venue (for after the ceremony), choose bridesmaids (the girls terms, teachers give each pupil a report. who traditionally accompany the bride in the Schools also have a parents' evening each church) and the best man (the bridegroom's year, when the parents can meet the teachers friend who accompanies him to the ceremony), to discuss their child's progress. buy the wedding dress, arrange a honeymoon (the holiday after the wedding), compile a School isn't just lessons and homework though. Most schools arrange a sports day once a year, wedding list (a list of presents that guests can choose to buy the couple) and of course, to as well as school trips to places of interest. select the wedding ring(s). Marriage and wedding vocabulary It all starts with a proposal. Traditionally the man goes down on one knee to pop the question. If he receives a "yes", the couple are engaged. It is customary for the man to buy his fiancee an engagement ring, most commonly a diamond ring. Engagements can last for years, and if neither of the couple breaks off the engagement, the next step is marriage. The big day The groom and best man arrive at the church first, and then the guests arrive. Last to arrive is the bride, normally dressed in a long white wedding dress with a train (material from the dress that covers the floor behind her), her face covered in a veil, carrying a bouquet of flowers, and accompanied by a couple of bridesmaids in matching dresses. Usually the bride's father walks her down the aisle until they reach the priest / vicar at the altar. The church organ plays the Wedding March, and the guests rise to their feet to watch the procession. Once they reach the altar, the bride stands with the groom, and the service begins. The service lasts for about half an hour, and contains readings (extracts from the Bible) and a couple of hymns
Planning the wedding Most schools have lessons in the morning and in the afternoon. Pupils can go home for lunch, or Most weddings in the UK take the form of either have their lunch in school. Some have a packed a civil ceremony (conducted at the Registry lunch (where they bring lunch from home, such Office) or a traditional white wedding, held in as sandwiches, fruit etc) and some eat what the
(religious songs). The priest always asks if there are any objections to the marriage (someone can speak or forever hold their peace = never have the opportunity again to object), and at the end of the service, the couple exchange rings and are proclaimed "man and wife". At that point, the groom is allowed to kiss his wife. The guests leave and the couple then sign the marriage register. When they come out of the church, the guests often throw confetti(small pieces of coloured paper), and the photographer takes various formal photographs. Next in the big day is the reception, which is often a formal lunch in a hotel. After lunch there are various speeches. The bride's father normally gives a speech, then the best man gives a speech (which is often a funny speech designed to embarrass the groom), and the bridegroom and / or the bride give a short speech to thank their guests. Some couples also arrange an evening reception, and hire a disco or band to play music for their friends. At the end of the day, the happy couple traditionally leave on honeymoon. Other wedding vocabulary pre-wedding nerves = when you are nervous before the wedding
wedding bells = the traditional tune that the church bells play as the couple leave the church wedding vows = the promises that the bride and groom make to each other during the ceremony. Some of these vows could be to love each other "until death do us part" and to love "for richer or poorer, for better or worse, in sickness and in good health". wedding cake = a traditional cake with three "tiers" eaten at the end of the wedding meal Money idioms Idioms used in English that involve money.
To be rich to be loaded: "He works in the City and he's loaded!" to be sitting on a small fortune / goldmine: "She will inherit everything. She's sitting on a goldmine!" to have money to burn: "I've just received a bonus and I have money to burn!" To be poor to not have a bean to rub together: "Those two don't earn enough money. They don't have a bean to rub together." to be as poor as church mice: "His family have always been as poor as church mice." to be skint = British slang that means having no money: "Can you lend me some money until next Friday? I'm skint!" to be broke: "She's always broke at the end of the month." to scrimp and save = to make as many economies as you can to save money: "His parents scrimped and saved to send him to university."
To cost a lot of money to break the bank: "I can't afford a skiing holiday this winter - it would break the bank." to cost an arm and a leg: "It costs an arm and a leg to buy all these Christmas presents." to pay through the nose: "They had to pay through the nose to get their son insured to drive." to splash out on something = to pay a lot for an important event: "They're splashing out on their anniversary this year."
To not want to spend money a scrooge = Scrooge was a Dickens character, famous for being mean: "Why don't you want to buy her a leaving present? You're such a scrooge." a skinflint = someone who doesn't want to spend money: "She reuses tea bags - she's such a skinflint!" tight-fisted: "One reason he has so much money is that he's so tight-fisted!" Other idioms to have more money than sense = to have a lot of money which you waste rather than spend carefully: "He just bought another camera - he has more money than sense." to burn a hole in your pocket = to not be able to stop spending money: "He can't just go out window-shopping. Money burns a hole in his pocket." Money for old rope = an easy source of income: "He sells bunches of flowers he has grown himself. It's money for old rope." make a fast buck = to make money quickly and sometimes dishonestly: "He made a fast buck selling those shares. I wonder if he had insider knowledge."
Ten a penny = very common: "These scarves are ten a penny in the markets here." Office vocabulary Words to help you describe objects in an office.
cardboard boxes and this is called masking tape. Or you could use glue - a sticky liquid that comes out of a bottle to stick things together. You can attach paper with a paperclip, which is made of metal or plastic. A paperclip is the icon you can see in your email program when you want to send an attachment. If you want to attach paper more permanently, you can use a stapler (which contains staples) to staple the pieces together. A staple is a small, sharp metal bar which has two ends that curl through the bottom sheet of paper to hold all the pieces together. How you cut things You can use a pair of scissors to cut paper. If you want to make two holes in the left hand margin of paper so that you can put the paper in a file, you can use a hole-punch. Line up the hole-punch on the paper, push down and you will get two circular holes in the paper.
Where you store things Perhaps you have a tall metal cupboard in your office with three or four drawers to put files and correspondence. This is a filing cabinet. Other people have drawers in their desk or portable drawers (drawers on wheels) in their offices. In your filing cabinets you usually have hanging files, where you can put loose correspondence. If you want to put correspondence together, you can use folders or plastic wallets. You can also put papers in a folder and put the folder on a bookshelf.
You can also store small things on your desk. For example, perhaps you put pens in a pen holder or in a container. You might even have a desk tidy with different components for pens, If you want to cut something thicker than paper, you will probably need a knife. If you want to rubber bands, erasers and so on. cut many pieces of paper together, you can also use a guillotine. This is a flat piece of metal How you attach things with a sharp blade along one side. You lift the blade then bring it down onto the paper. (It's To stick things together, you can use one-sided named after the implement used in the French sticky tape, known in England as 'sellotape' Revolution.) but not as 'Scotch', which is a type of whisky! You can use a stronger type of sellotape for
You probably have access to a printer (which needs ink cartridges), a photocopier (which needs toner), a fax machine and maybe even I have / You have / He has / She has (got)… an overhead projector, also known as an OHP. An OHP is useful if you want to present • blue / green / grey / brown eyes information and project text or images onto a • freckles screen at the front of a room. • a beard • a full beard You might also have a whiteboard (to write on • a moustache using whiteboard markers) or a flipchart. A • a goatee flipchart is a stand with very large pieces of • a stubbly beard paper which you can write on, then flip over, to • blond hair get the next piece of blank paper. • red hair • brown hair You might have a place in the office where you can leave messages and notices for other • black hair people. This is called a notice board and you • dyed hair need to use drawing pins to attach your notice • blond highlights to the board. • short hair • long hair Personal Description • straight hair • curly hair / curls Appearance • a bald head • a square / round / triangular / oval face I am / You are / He is / She is… • a big / small / long nose • big / small ears • tall • small Clothing and Accessories • overweight, fat • slim I wear / You wear / He wears / She wears… • young • old • glasses • … years old.
• • •
beautiful / pretty, handsome sun-tanned pale
I am wearing / You are wearing / He/She is wearing… • • • • • • • earrings a necklace a wristband a bracelet a cap a red scarf a tie
Character I am / You are / He is / She is … • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • shy quiet lively active easygoing outgoing nice friendly funny happy annoying sad aggressive a pain in the neck a little chatter box
Head idioms Idioms that use parts of the head. head to head = in a race, when two contestants are doing as well as each other: "They are head to head in the polls." off the top of your head = when you give an answer to something without having the time to reflect: "What's our market strategy?" "Well, off the top of my head, I can suggest…" have a good head for = be good at something: "He's an accountant and he has a good head for figures." have your head in the clouds = dream: "He's always got his head in the clouds - he makes all these impossible plans." go over your head = not understand something: "The lesson went over my head - I didn't understand a word of it." accept allow ask believe borrow break bring buy can/be able cancel change
keep your head = stay calm: "He always keeps his head in a crisis." be head over heels in love = be completely in love: "You can see that he's head over heels in love with her." keep your head above water = manage to survive financially: "Despite the recession, they kept their heads above water." use your head = think about something to solve a problem: "It's quite simple - just use your head!" English idioms using 'mind' keep / bear something in mind = remember something for future use: "I need a job in computers." "I'll bear it in mind - we often have vacancies for people with your skills." make up your mind = decide: "I can't make up my mind about the job offer." clean comb complain cough count cut dance draw drink drive eat
be in two minds about something = unable to decide: "I'm in two minds about buying a new car." be out of your mind = be really worried: "Where have you been? I've been out of my mind with worry." have a mind of your own = not be influenced by other people: "Don't tell me what to do! I've got a mind of my own, you know." give someone a piece of your mind = tell someone how angry you are with them: "I'm going to give him a piece of my mind. He knows I cooked dinner for him and now he's an hour late." The 100 most commonly used verbs in the English Language
explain fall fill find finish fit fix fly forget give go
have hear hurt know learn leave listen live look lose make/do need open close/shut organise pay play put rain read reply run say see sell send sign sing sit sleep smoke speak spell spend stand start/begin study
succeed swim take talk teach tell think translate travel try turn off turn on type understand use wait wake up want watch work worry write
The 500 Most Commonly Used Words in the English Language
Based on the combined results of British English, American English and Australian English surveys of contemporary sources in English: newspapers, magazines, books, TV, radio and real life conversations - the language as it is written and spoken today. Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Word the of to and a in is it you that he was for on are with as I his they Rank 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 Word name very through just form much great think say help low line before turn cause same mean differ move right
21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55
be at one have this from or had by hot but some what there we can out other were all your when up use word how said an each she which do their time if
146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180
boy old too does tell sentence set three want air well also play small end put home read hand port large spell add even land here must big high such follow act why ask men
56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90
will way about many then them would write like so these her long make thing see him two has look more day could go come did my sound no most number who over know water
181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215
change went light kind off need house picture try us again animal point mother world near build self earth father head stand own page should country found answer school grow study still learn plant cover
91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125
than call first people may down side been now find any new work part take get place made live where after back little only round man year came show every good me give our under
216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250
food sun four thought let keep eye never last door between city tree cross since hard start might story saw far sea draw left late run don't while press close night real life few stop
251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259 260 261 262 263 264 265 266 267 268 269 270 271 272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 280 281 282 283 284 285
open seem together next white children begin got walk example ease paper often always music those both mark book letter until mile river car feet care second group carry took rain eat room friend began
376 377 378 379 380 381 382 383 384 385 386 387 388 389 390 391 392 393 394 395 396 397 398 399 400 401 402 403 404 405 406 407 408 409 410
ten simple several vowel toward war lay against pattern slow center love person money serve appear road map science rule govern pull cold notice voice fall power town fine certain fly unit lead cry dark
286 287 288 289 290 291 292 293 294 295 296 297 298 299 300 301 302 303 304 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 316 317 318 319 320
idea fish mountain north once base hear horse cut sure watch color face wood main enough plain girl usual young ready above ever red list though feel talk bird soon body dog family direct pose
411 412 413 414 415 416 417 418 419 420 421 422 423 424 425 426 427 428 429 430 431 432 433 434 435 436 437 438 439 440 441 442 443 444 445
machine note wait plan figure star box noun field rest correct able pound done beauty drive stood contain front teach week final gave green oh quick develop sleep warm free minute strong special mind behind
321 322 323 324 325 326 327 328 329 330 331 332 333 334 335 336 337 338 339 340 341 342 343 344 345 346 347 348 349 350 351 352 353 354 355
leave song measure state product black short numeral class wind question happen complete ship area half rock order fire south problem piece told knew pass farm top whole king size heard best hour better true .
446 447 448 449 450 451 452 453 454 455 456 457 458 459 460 461 462 463 464 465 466 467 468 469 470 471 472 473 474 475 476 477 478 479 480
clear tail produce fact street inch lot nothing course stay wheel full force blue object decide surface deep moon island foot yet busy test record boat common gold possible plane age dry wonder laugh thousand
356 357 358 359 360 361 362 363 364 365 366 367 368 369 370 371 372 373 374 375
during hundred am remember step early hold west ground interest reach fast five sing listen six table travel less morning
481 482 483 484 485 486 487 488 489 490 491 492 493 494 495 496 497 498 499 500
ago ran check game shape yes hot miss brought heat snow bed bring sit perhaps fill east weight language among
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