Human feelings and actions

Feelings Note: • Pride has different meanings, but the most common is the feeling of satisfaction you have because you (or people you are connected with) have done something well. He was very proud when his wife became the first President of the organisation. • Jealousy is a feeling of anger and unhappiness you may…

Time

One thing before another : – Before I went to work I fed the cat. [or, more commonly in written English: Before going to work…] – I had written to her prior to meeting the committee, [formal/written style] – It was nice to be in Venice. Previously I’d only been to Rome, [fairly formal, more…

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…

Pleasant and unpleasant feelings

Happiness and unhappiness You feel: ecstatic when you are madly in love or are spiritually uplifted for some reason. content(ed) when you are peaceful and satisfied with what you have. Notice that content is not used before a noun. You can say ‘She is content’ or ‘She is contented’ but only ‘a contented person’, cheerful…

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…

Weather

Weather conditions Look at this list of common weather words. Notice that it is very common to form adjectives by adding ‘-y’. Note: When it rains for a short period of time, we call it a shower, e.g. We had several showers yesterday afternoon. When it is raining a lot we often say it’s pouring…

Discourse markers

Discourse markers are small words and phrases whose job it is to organise, comment on or in some way frame what we are saying or writing. A common everyday example is the use of well in speech: – A: So you live in Boston? B: Well, near Boston. Well here shows that the speaker is…

Homonyms

Homonyms can be subdivided into homographs and homophones. Homographs are words which are written in the same way but have different meanings. Compare bow in ‘He took a bow /bau/ at the end of the concert’ and ‘He was wearing a bow /bau/ tie’. Homophones are words which are pronounced in the same way but…

Compound nouns

Formation A compound noun is formed from two nouns, or an adjective and a noun. Here are some common examples. One word or two? Compound nouns are usually written as two words (e.g. credit card), but sometimes they are joined by a hyphen (e.g. baby-sitter), or written as one word (e.g. sunglasses). Unfortunately there is…

Get uses and expressions

Meanings Get is an informal word, so it is more common in spoken English than written English. It has many meanings. Here are some of the basic ones. ‘Get’ + past participle We sometimes use the more informal ‘get’ + past participle: Common collocations Get is so common with certain words (often describing a change…

Prefixes

Prefixes are often used to give adjectives a negative meaning. The opposite of ‘comfortable’ is ‘uncomfortable’, the opposite of ‘convenient’ is ‘inconvenient’ and the opposite of ‘similar’ is ‘dissimilar’. Other examples are ‘unjust’, ‘inedible’, ‘disloyal’. Unfortunately, there is no easy way of knowing which prefix any adjective will use to form its opposite. When you…

Like, dislike and desire

Words and expressions relating to liking I quite liked Tom when we first met. However, although lots of my friends said they found him attractive, I didn’t fancy him at all. He invited me out and I must admit that I was more tempted by his sports car than by him at first. However, I…

Work duties conditions and pay

What do you do? People may ask you about your job. They can ask and you can answer in different ways: What do you do? I’m (+ job) e.g. a banker / an engineer / a teacher / a builder What’s your job? I work in (+ place or general area) e.g. a bank /…

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…

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…

Other Englishes

US or American English (see Unit 93) is not the only special variety of English. Each area of the English-speaking world has developed its own special characteristics. This is usually mainly a matter of vocabulary and pronunciation. This unit just gives you a small taste of some of the different varieties of English by drawing…

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…

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…

Obligation, need, possibility and probability

Obligation Must is an instruction or command; that is why we see it on notices, e.g.Dogs must be kept on a lead. Cars must not be parked here. Have (got) to says that circumstances oblige you to do something. Often, the two meanings overlap and there will be a choice of how to express the…

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…

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…

Health and medicine

What are your symptoms? I’ve got a cold / a cough / a sore throat / a temperature / a stomach ache / chest pains / earache / a pain in my side / a rash on my chest / spots / a bruise on my leg / a black eye / a lump on…

Business and finance

Banks and businesses Most businesses need to borrow money to finance (= pay for) investments (= things they need to buy in order to help the company, e.g. machines). The money they borrow from the bank is called a loan, and on this loan they have to pay interest, e.g. if you borrow £1,000 and…

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…

Cooking and restaurants

Ways of cooking food boil: in water, e.g. carrots fry: in oil or butter above the heat, e.g. sausages grill: under the heat, e.g. toast or meat roast: in the oven using oil, e.g. meat bake: in the oven without oil, e.g. cakes Note: Food which is not cooked is raw. Cooking steak If you…

Expressions With come and go

Here are some phrasal verbs based on come. – Did the meeting you were planning ever come off? [take place] – I don’t think his jokes ever quite come off. [succeed] – When do the exam results come out? [be published, made public] – The mark on the carpet won’t come out. [be removed] –…

Apologies, excuses, and thanks

Apologies (= saying sorry) We can apologise (= say sorry) in different ways in different situations: Note: In formal situations (especially in writing), we often use apologise and apology: I must apologise for (being late). I would like to apologise for (the delay. Unfortunately, …) Please accept our apologies for the mistakes in your order….

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…

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…

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…