Speaking

The verbs in the table below describe how loudly or quietly a person is speaking and also, often, indicate mood. These verbs are all followed by clauses beginning with ‘that’. The following verbs all indicate something about how the speaker feels. What they usually indicate is given in the feeling column. (Note: s.b. = somebody…

Belief and opinion

Verbs connected with beliefs and opinions – You probably already know think and believe; here are more. – I’m convinced we’ve met before, [very strong feeling that you’re right] – I’ve always held that compulsory education is a waste of time, [used for very firm beliefs; maintain could be used here] – She maintains that…

Texture, brightness, weight and density

Texture – how something feels when you touch it Your hair has a silky feel. This cotton is very smooth to the touch. The table had a beautiful polished surface. The ground was rough underfoot. Brightness – some adjectives – You wear such dull colours: why not get some brighter clothes? – This torch is…

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….

The environment

There are many different words referring to features of the environment. Here are some arranged on small to large scales. brook —> stream —> river hillock —> hill —> mountain cove —> bay —> gulf copse —> wood —> forest puddle —> pond —> lake footpath —> lane —> road You have to be careful…

Education

Stages in a person’s education Here are some names that are used to describe the different types of education in Britain. Note: Comprehensive schools in the UK are for all abilities, but grammar schools are usually by competitive entry. Public schools in the UK are very famous private schools. Polytechnics are similar to universities, but…

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…

Concession and contrast

Concession means accepting one part of a state of affairs but putting another argument or fact against it. Although they were poor, they were independent. He is a bit stupid. He’s very kind, nevertheless. Verbs of concession example paraphrase and comments I acknowledge/accept that he has -> I agree but… worked hard but it isn’t…

Condition

As well as if, there are a number of other words and phrases for expressing condition. 1. You can’t come in unless you have a ticket. 2. You can borrow the bike on condition that you return it by five o’clock. 3. In case of fire, dial 333. [usually seen on notices ; it means…

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…

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…

Words with interesting origins – from other languages

English has taken over words from most of the other languages with which it has had contact. It has taken many expressions from the ancient languages, Latin and Greek, and these borrowings usually have academic or literary associations. From French, English has taken lots of words to do with cooking, the arts, and a more…

Compound Nouns – verb + preposition

A large number of compound nouns (see Unit 13) are based on phrasal verbs. In Sections B to E you will see a number of examples of such nouns in context. The meaning of the compound noun is indicated in brackets at the end of the sentence. To form the plural, ‘s’ is added to…

Abstract Nouns

An abstract noun is one which is used to mean an idea, experience or quality rather than an object. Thus happiness, intention and shock are abstract nouns whereas, for example, pen, bed and trousers are not. There are a number of suffixes which are used particularly frequently in the formation of abstract nouns. Some of…

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….