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…

Shops and Shopping

Shops and shopping shop assistant: person who works in a shop; also called sales assistant shop window: the window at the front of the shop shopping centre: a place with many shops, outside or indoors window shopping: to look round the shops but not buy anything shopping list: a list of things to buy I…

Idioms connected with problematic situations

Problems and difficulties Idioms related to situations based on get – This has to be done by next week; we must get our act together before it’s too late. [organise ourselves to respond; informal] – We need a proper investigation to get to the bottom of things, [find the true explanation for the state of…

Crime

Make sure you know the difference between the verbs: steal and rob. The object of the verb ‘steal’ is the thing which is taken away, e.g. they stole my bike, whereas the object of the verb ‘rob’ is the person or place from which things are stolen, e.g. I was robbed last night. A masked…

Movement and speed

Move is the basic verb for all movement, but do not forget it also means ‘to move to a new house/flat’, e.g. We’ve moved. Do you want our new address? Particular types of movement – Cars, lorries, etc. travel/drive along roads. – Trains travel along rails. – Boats/ships sail on rivers / across the sea….

Make, do, have, take

There are many common expressions with these verbs, and often they are different in other languages, so you need to learn them. Things we make Things we do Things we have Things we take

Compound Nouns – Combinations of two nouns

A compound noun is a fixed expression which is made up of more than one word and functions as a noun. Such expressions are frequently combinations of two nouns, e.g. address book, human being, science fiction. A number of compound nouns are related to phrasal verbs and these are dealt with in Unit 14. Compound…

Politics and public institutions

Look at the definitions below taken from a dictionary of politics. Make sure you understand not only the words listed but the words used in the definitions too. Types of government – republic: a state governed by representatives and, usually, a president – monarchy: a state ruled by a king or queen – democracy: government…

Health: injuries

Common injuries An injury is damage to part of your body, usually caused by an accident in the home, on the roads, or during a game, e.g. of football. Here are some common injuries: Hospital treatment Look carefully at the key words in these texts. John fell off a chair, hit his head on the…

Daily routines

Sleep During the week I usually wake UP at 6.30 a.m. I sometimes lie in bed for five minutes but then I have to get up (= get out of bed and get dressed). Most evenings, I go to bed at about 11.30 p.m. I’m usually very tired, so I go to sleep / fall…

Global problems

Disasters/tragedies Verbs connected with these words – A volcano has erupted in Indonesia. Hundreds are feared dead. – The flu epidemic spread rapidly throughout the country. – Millions are starving as a result of the famine. – A big earthquake shook the city at noon today. – The area is suffering its worst drought for…

The natural world

Animals Flowers and trees  Specific animals Here are the English names of some more unusual creatures. Names of trees Here are the names of some of the commonest British trees. You are likely to meet these words if you read fiction or poetry in English. Some verbs for talking about the natural world Our apple…

Distances and dimensions

You probably know all the common words for distances and dimensions. In this unit we shall concentrate on derived words and compounds and other connected words/phrases you may not know or be unsure of how to use accurately. Broad and wide and tall and high Wide is more common than broad, e.g. It’s a very…

On the road

Road features An accident Read the text and use the context and the diagram to help you with the key words. There was a serious accident on one of the main roads into Stuttgart this morning. An old lorry (AmEng = truck) broke down in the middle of the road, and the driver couldn’t move…

US English

English in the USA differs considerably from British English. Pronunciation is the most striking difference but there are also a number of differences in vocabulary and spelling as well as slight differences in grammar. On the whole, British people are exposed to a lot of American English on TV, in films and so on and…

Adjectives

‘Scale’ and ‘limit’ adjectives Adjectives ending -ing and -ed There is a large group of adjectives which can have an -ing or -ed ending. The -ing ending is used on adjectives which describe a person or thing or situation; the -ed ending is on adjectives which describe the effect this person, thing or situation has…

Around the home 2

The bedroom I put on my pyjamas, got into bed, set the alarm clock, switched off the light, and went to sleep. The bathroom I didn’t have time for a bath, but I had a wash, cleaned my teeth, and then I went to school. Housework (U) My room is very clean and tidy (=…

Relationships

Types of relationships Here is a scale showing closeness and distance in relationships in different contexts. * ex- can be used with or without (informally) another word: She’s my ex. (girlfriend, etc.) – Mate is a colloquial word for a good friend. It can also be used in compounds to describe a person you share…

Idioms – miscellaneous

Idioms connected with paying, buying and selling – He bought a real pig in a poke when he got that car. [buy something without examining it properly first] – We’ll probably have to pay over the odds for a hotel room during the week of the festival.[pay more than the usual rate] – He did…

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…

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…

English language words

Parts of speech Special terms Uncountable noun: (U) a noun which has no plural form and cannot be used with the indefinite article, e.g. information. Plural noun: (pi) a noun which only has a plural form and cannot be used with the indefinite article, e.g. trousers. Infinitive: the base form of a verb, e.g. (to)…

Describing people – appearance

Hair, face, skin and complexion He used to have black hair but it’s gone grey,almost white. What sort of person would you like to go out with? Blonde, fair, dark or ginger-haired / red-haired? She has such beautiful auburn hair. [red-brown] Fair and dark can be used for hair, complexion or skin. Height and build…

What your body does

This unit deals with some interesting words used to describe things your body does. Note: All the verbs on this page (except shake and bite) are regular verbs; almost all the words have an identical noun form: to yawn/a yawn, to cough/a cough etc. (except for breathe and perspire; the nouns are breath and perspiration)….

Words that only occur in the plural

Tools, instruments, pieces of equipment  Some of these are always plural. Things we wear Some other useful words When I move to London, I’ll have to find lodgings, [e.g. a room] When will the goods be delivered? [articles/items] The architect inspected the foundations before declaring that the premises were safe. The military authorities have established…

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…

Suffixes

Suffixes can change the word-class and the meaning of the word. Common noun suffixes -er is used for the person who does an activity, e.g. writer, worker, shopper, teacher. You can use -er with a wide range of verbs to make them into nouns. Sometimes, the -er suffix is written as -or instead of -er….

Words commonly mispronounced

English spelling is notoriously unphonetic. This page looks at some of the words which cause most pronunciation difficulties for learners of English. The phonetic transcription is provided for some of the words below. If you are not sure of the pronunciation of any of the other words, check in the index at the back of…

Reason, purpose and result

Reason I went home early because/as/since I was feeling a bit tired. Note: With as or since, the reason (in this example ‘feeling tired’) is often known to the listener or reader, so it is less important. It is also common to put as/since at the beginning of the sentence: ‘As/since I was feeling tired,…

Noun suffixes

Verb + suffix Many nouns are formed in this way. Adjective + suffix Nouns are also formed by adding a suffix to an adjective. Two suffixes often added to adjectives to form nouns are -ness and -ity Pronunciation The addition of these suffixes may change the pronunciation. Nouns ending -ion or -ity have the main…