Expressions with Look

This diagram illustrates some of the most useful phrasal verbs formed with look. The meaning of the phrasal verb is given in brackets. Here are a few more useful phrasal verbs based on look. All of them are illustrated below in a business context but they can also, of course, be used in other situations….

Notices and Warnings

Informative notices: Some notices give you information: Do this! Some notices tell you to do certain things: Don’t do this! Some notices tell you not to do certain things: Watch out! Some notices are warnings – they tell you to be careful because something bad may happen:

Holidays

Holiday (noun) We had a wonderful holiday in Egypt in 1996. I’m not working next week. I’m on holiday. Are you going on holiday this summer? Types of holidays We are going on a package holiday to Hong Kong, (everything is included, flights, hotel, etc.) We’re going to have a winter holiday this year, (often…

Countries, nationalities and languages

Using ‘the’ Most names of countries are used without ‘the’, but some countries and other names have ‘the’ before them, e.g. The USA, The United Kingdom / UK, The Commonwealth. Some countries may be referred to with or without ‘the’ (the) Lebanon, (the) Gambia, (the) Ukraine, (the) Sudan. Adjectives referring to countries and languages With-ish:…

Science and technology

You are probably familiar with the traditional branches of science e.g. chemistry, physics, botany and zoology. But what about these newer fields? – genetic engineering: the study of the artificial manipulation of the make-up of living things – molecular biology: the study of the structure and function of the organic molecules associated with living organisms…

Describing character

Opposites Many positive words describing character have clear opposites with a negative meaning. Jane is very tense at the moment because of her exams, but she’s usually quite relaxed and easy-going about most things. I think the weather influences me a lot: when it’s sunny I feel more cheerful and optimistic; but when it’s cold…

Travel

Look at the table of some basic travel vocabulary. Highlight any of the words that you are not sure about and look them up in your dictionary. Words at sea Traditionally sailors use different words at sea – a bedroom is a cabin, a bed is a bunk, the kitchen on a ship is a…

Prefixes

With the meaning‘not’ Prefixes (un-, in-, il-, ir-, and dis-) are often used to give adjectives (and some verbs and nouns) a negative meaning. Here are common examples: happy unhappy like (v) dislike (v) possible impossible legal illegal (= against the law) correct incorrect regular irregular, e.g. irregular verbs un- is used with many different…

Sound and light

General words to describe sound – I could hear the sound of voices/music coming from the next room, [neutral] – Our neighbours had a party last night. The noise went on till 3 a.m. [loud, unpleasant sounds] – I tried hard to hear what she was saying above the din of the traffic, [very loud,…

Money

Notes and coins Here are some examples of British money. The currency (= the type of money used in a country) is called sterling. Common verbs Notice how these common verbs are used. Adjectives Important words and phrases I can’t afford (= don’t have enough money) to go on holiday this year. How much is…

Vague Language

Vague means ‘not clear or precise or exact’. For example, we can say: I have a vague idea where it is. (= I know the general area but I don’t know exactly where) I have a vague memory of the game. (= I can remember bits of it but not very clearly) In spoken F’nglish…

Success, failure and difficulty

Succeeding I managed to contact him just before he left his office. I don’t think I can manage the whole walk. I think I’ll turn back, [manage, but not succeed, may have a direct object in this meaning] We succeeded in persuading a lot of people to join our protest, [in + -ing] We’ve achieved/accomplished…

The hidden secrets that will help you learn English in a weekend

Since you can read English, you could strive to perfect it in one weekend. It will not be easy to learn everything there is to learn in a weekend but if you work hard enough, it can be done. However, implement what you learn is probably the hardest part. Speak English daily Do not slip up and…

Crime

Crimes, people who do them, and verbs: There was a burglary at the school last night. John West murdered his wife. There are a lot of muggings in the city centre. A robber robs a person or a place. That bank was robbed yesterday. My sister was robbed in the city centre. A thief steals…

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…

Idioms connected with praise and criticism

Idioms connected with praise Saying people/things are better than the rest – Mary is head and shoulders above the rest of the girls, or She’s miles better than the other girls. [used usually of people] – When it comes to technology, Japan is streets ahead of most other countries. [can be used of people or…

Idioms describing people

A Positive and negative qualities Note also: – He’s such an awkward customer, [difficult person to deal with] – She’s a pain in the neck. Nobody likes her. [nuisance, difficult] – He gets on everyone’s nerves, [irritates everybody] B People’s ‘fast’ and ‘slow’ qualities How people relate to the social norm – She’s a bit…

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…

Adjective suffixes

Suffixes change word class, e.g. from verb to noun or noun to adjective, but they can also change meaning (see sections B and C below). Noun or verb + suffix Note: Sometimes there is a spelling change. Here are common examples: double the consonant, e.g. sun/sunny, fog/foggy leave out the final ‘e’, e.g. create/creative, fame/famous…

Give, keep, break, catch, see

These common verbs have many different meanings (some of them in other parts of this book). This unit looks at some important meanings of these verbs, and in some cases they combine with specific nouns, e.g. give someone a ring, break the law, etc. You can learn these as expressions. Give I’ll give you a…

Follow a Course that Uses All These Principles to Maximize Your Speed of Progress

“A good teacher knows how to bring out the best in his or her students.” – Charles KuraltEnglish can be best learned alone. Especially if you are at higher levels of the language. However, it can be very effective to follow an appropriate English course. But such courses are rare. Any course you follow should…

Hobbies

Hobbies are activities that we do in our spare time (= free time) Things people play Note: People join clubs (= become members of clubs) where they can play cards and chess. Things people collect Outdoor activities With these hobbies we can use two different verbs, go and do: We often go camping in the…

Phrasal verbs: grammar and style

Grammar: intransitive verbs Some phrasal verbs are intransitive and do not need a direct object. The children are growing up. (= getting older and more mature) The doctor told me to lie down on the bed. Don’t wait out there. Please come in. (= enter) I’m going to stay in (= stay at home) this…

Common adjectives: people

In this unit, * * = normal, * * * * = stronger Saying positive (+)/good things about people Nice is the most common word used for people who we like / who are good. Mary’s very nice. Richard’s a nice man. If we want to make nice stronger, we can use wonderful, nice (**)->…

Collocation (word partners)

What is collocation? If you want to use a word naturally, you need to learn the other words that often go with it (word partners). These can be very different from language to language. For example, in English we say: I missed the bus (= I didn’t catch the bus) [NOT I lost the bus]…

Abbreviations

Some abbreviations are read as individual letters: – WHO (W-H-O) World Health Organisation IRA Irish Republican Army – PLO Palestine Liberation Organisation UN United Nations – BBC British Broadcasting Corporation PM Prime Minister – ANC African National Congress MP Member of Parliament In the following three cases, the name of each country and the name…

Sport I: games, people, and places

In English you normally play a game but do a lot of / a bit of sport: In the winter I do quite a lot of skiing; in the summer I play tennis and cricket. Ball games and equipment For most ball games you need boots or training shoes (trainers). For tennis, squash and badminton…

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…

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…

Air Travel

Departures: This is the usual sequence of activities when you get to the airport. First you go to the check-in desk where they weigh your luggage. Usually you are permitted 20 kilos, but if your bags weigh more, you may have to pay excess baggage (= you pay extra). The airline representative checks your ticket…