In the living room

Things in the living room: Useful prepositions: The sofa is near the window. Next to the sofa is a small table. The TV is in the corner. The coffee table is in the middle of the room. The bookshelf is against the wall. Where’s the telephone book? Under the small table. Things we do in…

Ages and stages

Growing up Note: For boys, the period between 14-17 approximately (slightly younger for girls) is called adolescence, i.e. you are an adolescent. In law you are an adult at the age of 18, but many people think of you as an adult when you leave school. Childhood and adolescence Sam (on the right) was born…

Irregular verbs

Most verbs in English are regular but some of the most common verbs in English are irregular. The forms here are the infinitive (go, come), the past simple (went, came) and the past participle (gone, come). All forms the same: Two different forms: Three different forms:

Using a dictionary

What dictionaries do I need? If possible, you should buy two dictionaries: a good bilingual dictionary and a good English-English dictionary. The bilingual dictionary is quicker and easier for you to understand; the English-English dictionary may give you more information about a word or phrase, and it is also a good idea for you to…

Parts of the body

Grammar: Usually we use my, your, his, her, etc. with parts of the body. Jane is washing her hair. I have a pain in my leg. [not Jane is washing the- hair. NOT I have a pain in -the leg.]

Problems with pronunciation

Phonetics With many languages you can look at a word and know (more or less) how to pronounce it. With English this is not true: it is often very difficult to know the pronunciation from looking at a word. For example: cough (pronounced like ‘off’) enough (like ‘stuff’) through (like ‘too’) and dough (like ‘so’)…

Countries, languages and people

All the nouns and adjectives in this unit always begin with a capital letter, for example Africa [not africa]. Languages and people: Words for languages are usually the same as the ‘people’ adjective: English, French, Japanese, Thai, Spanish, Chinese, Norwegian (from Norway), etc. There is one exception: Arabic.

Clothes

At this level you probably already know most of the everyday words for clothes. Here are some items of clothing or parts of them which are perhaps less familiar. Notice that most items of clothing covering the legs are plural words only and, if you wish count them, you need to say, e.g. ‘Six pairs…

Learning and revising

Establish a routine A routine means doing certain things regularly in the same way. And if you are using this book for self-study (= to study alone), it helps to have a routine. Decide how much time you can spend on the book each day or each week. If you are studying a unit for…

Formal and Informal English

Most English that you learn can be used in a wide range of situations. But you will also hear or see language that is formal or informal, and sometimes very formal or very informal. You need to be more careful with this language because it may not be suitable in certain situations. (They are marked…

Expressions with do and make

The next seven units deal with phrasal verbs and other expressions based on common verbs. Phrasal verbs are basic verbs which can combine with different prepositions (or particles) to make verbs with completely new – and often unguessable – meanings. Phrasal verbs are used more in speaking than in writing. There is almost always a…

Phrasal verbs

What are phrasal verbs? Phrasal verbs have two parts: a verb + a preposition, get up/on/over I got up at 6.30 this morning. I’m tired now. I hated my sister when I was young but now we get on very well. He soon got over his cold. (= he got better quickly) turn on/off/up/down He…

Suffixes

Suffixes come at the end of words. They help you to understand the meaning of a new word. Here are some common suffixes. He’s a hard worker. He works 12 hours a day. Her tennis is much better now that she has a new instructor She’s a very good swimmer. She was in the Olympic…

Phrasal verbs: form and meaning

Formation A phrasal verb is a verb combined with an adverb or preposition, and occasionally with an adverb and preposition. The price of petrol may go up (= increase) again next week. He fell over (= fell to the ground) when he was running for the bus. She’s promised to find out (= learn/discover) the…

Communications

Letters: Don’t forget to put a stamp on the envelope. Don’t forget to post the letters Telephone and fax: Juan makes a lot of phone calls. He phones his girl friend every day. Jill sent me a fax yesterday. What is your phone/fax number? 330718 (= double three oh seven one eight) A typical phone…

Distance, size and dimension

Distance: The most common way of asking about distance is probably: How far is it? Here are two more common questions, and some expressions often used in the reply. Note: We can use far in a question or negative but not in a positive statement on its own, e.g. we don’t say ‘it’s far’, we…

Addition and contrast

In addition, moreover, etc. (X and Y) When you add a second piece of information in a sentence to support the first piece of information, you often use and, e.g.The food is excellent and very good value. When you put this information in two sentences, these link words and phrases are common: The food is…

Expressions With get

Get seems to be used all the time in spoken English. It has the following basic meanings: • receive, obtain or buy something, e.g. Please get me a newspaper when you’re in town; I got a letter from John today; She got top marks in her exam. • show a change in position – move…

Describing people – character

Intellectual ability – Ability: intelligent bright clever smart shrewd able gifted talented brainy (colloquial) – Lacking ability: stupid foolish half-witted simple silly brainless daft dumb dim (the last four are predominantly colloquial words) – Clever, in a negative way, using brains to trick or deceive: cunning crafty sly Attitudes towards life – Looking on either…

The body and what it does

Parts of the body Physical actions You can breathe through your nose or your mouth. Most people breathe about 12-15 times a minute. People smile when they’re happy, or to be polite; they laugh when people say something funny; they may cry when they’re sad; they yawn when they’re tired, or bored. Many people nod…

Idioms describing feelings or mood

Positive feelings, moods and states – Jo’s as happy as the day is long, [extremely content] – Mary seems to be on cloud nine these days, [extremely pleased/happy] – Everyone seemed to be in high spirits, [lively, enjoying things] – She seems to be keeping her chin up. [happy despite bad things] Negative feelings, moods…

The family

Paul is Anne’s husband and Sarah and Jack’s father. Anne is Paul’s wife and Sarah and Jack’s mother. Anne and Paul are Sarah and Jack’s parents. Sarah is Anne and Paul’s daughter. Jack is their son. Sarah is Jack’s sister. Jack is Sarah’s brother. Henry is Sarah and Jack’s grandfather. Diana is their grandmother. Henry…

Shapes, Colours and Patterns

Shapes: a square box, a round table, a pointed end, a rectangular field, an oval shape. Note: We can also form adjectives to describe shapes in this way: The ball was egg-shaped; a heart-shaped wedding cake; a diamond-shaped bag. Colours: You will already know most of the common colours. Here are some that are less…

Food

vegetables: cabbage cauliflower broccoli spinach cucumber courgettes (Am. Eng: zucchini) aubergines (Am. Eng: egg plants) leeks meat: venison liver kidneys veal fish: cod hake plaice whiting mackerel herring sardine trout salmon /’sasman/ seafood: prawns shrimps crab lobster crayfish squid cockles mussels oysters herbs: parsley rosemary thyme chives oregano tarragon sage spices: curry cinnamon ginger nutmeg…

SYNONYMS

LIST OF SYNONYMS (A & B ) Word Synonym Word Synonym Abroad Overseas Away Absent Admit Confess Awful Terrible Agree Consent Baby Infant Alike Same Backbone Spine Allow Permit Beautiful Pretty Almost Nearly Begin Start Amount Quantity Behave Act Angry Mad Belly Stomach Annoy Irritate Big Large Answer Reply Blank Empty Appear Seem Brave Bold…

Describing people’s appearance

General Positive: beautiful is generally used to describe women; handsome is used to describe men; good-looking is used for both; pretty is another positive word to describe a woman (often a girl) meaning ‘attractive and nice to look at’. Negative: ugly is the most negative word to describe someone; plain is more polite. Height and…

Numbers

Cardinal numbers: Note: There is no plural ‘s’ after hundred, thousand, million and billion when they are part of a number. On their own, they can be plural, e.g. thousands of people; millions of insects. Ordinal numbers and dates: One of the problems with dates is that we write them and say them in a…

Verb or adjective + preposition

Verb (+ preposition) Here are some common examples of verbs which are usually followed by a particular preposition. You will probably know most of these verbs, but do you always get the preposition right? Pay special attention to any that are different in your language. I often listen to the radio. My brother never agrees…

Verbs + -ing form or infinitive

Verb + -ing form Some verbs are followed by an -ing form if the next word is a verb: enjoy finish imagine (don’t) mind can’t stand (= hate) feel like (= want/desire infml) give up (= stop doing something for the last time) avoid (If you avoid something, you keep away from it; if you…

Text-referring words

Text-referring words are ones that pick up their content from the surrounding text. This sentence in isolation does not mean much: We decided to look at the problem again and try to find a solution. What problem? We need to refer to some other sentence or to the context to find out. Problem and solution…