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Adjectives and adverbs

Confusing words & expressions

Adjectives and adverbs

'actually', 'in fact' and 'well'

Yukki from Japan writes: Could you please tell me the difference between actually in fact and well! " think all of them can be used to correct the previous utterance# "s there any difference between them! $hey are all very similar but there are also slight differences in use# actually % in fact &oth actually and in fact can be used to modify or contradict a previous statement: I hear that you're a doctor. ~ Well, actually, I'm a dentist. Well, it may sound very straightforward to you, but in fact it's all very complicated. Would you agree with me that teachers should refrain from socialising with their students? ~ Well, actually I think it's a good idea for them to socialise - up to a certain point Actually and in fact can also be used to introduce more detailed information or to make things clearer or more precise: I'm going to take on a bit more responsibility now that !evin's left ~ "ohn, that's wonderful news. ~ #es, well, actually $ in fact I've been promoted to senior sales manager. I got so bored listening to what he was saying that I actually fell asleep $ in fact I fell asleep half way through his presentation. 'ote that we can also use in actual fact or as a matter of fact to clarify matters or to introduce new information: I got so bored with what he was saying that in actual fact $ as a matter of fact I do%ed off before he'd finished speaking. Actually is sometimes used to introduce unwelcome news: &ichard wants to invite us to spend the weekend at his cottage in the 'ake (istrict. Isn't that e)citing? ~ Well, actually, I've already said we can't go.

'ote that when actually is placed at the end of the clause it confirms news that others do not expect: I don't suppose you've posted my letters, have you? ~ I have, actually. (id you en*oy that modern opera at +ovent ,arden? ~ I did, actually. -ery much. well Well is more widely used as a discourse marker than in fact or actually# As we can see from the examples above and below it is very widely used to indicate that we are about to say something# "t is sometimes used to give the speaker more time to think: .o how much do you want for your /000 &enault? ~ Well, I was thinking of 12,344. .o how do you propose to furnish the house? ~ Well, I thought we might invest in some second-hand furniture. Well is also used to introduce a statement which indicates that expectations have not been fulfilled: #ou know I said I thought I might go skiing with "amie this year? Well, I'm not going to now. 5ow was the tennis lesson? ~ Well, in actual fact, we forgot to go. Well can also be used to soften corrections or criticism: #ou live in .outh !ensington, don't you? Well, 6imlico, actually. #ou do like my yellow dress, don't you? ~ Well, yes, it's 7uite nice. 8ut I think the blue one would have suited you more. Why didn't you give 8ob a lift back home? ~ Well, how was I supposed to know he was at the match? I couldn't find my way to the music centre. ~ Well, why didn't you ask me? Well can also serve to introduce important information: #ou know I've been seeing a lot of 9ddie lately? ~ 5mm. ~ Well, we're going to get engaged. Oh well( "f you say oh well you are saying that you accept the situation as it is even though you are not very happy about it: I'm afraid you'll have to pull out of the trip to ,reece. ~ Oh well, it doesn't matter. I'm afraid I forget to save that document and now I've lost it. ~ Oh well, it can't be helped. I'll *ust have to re-type it.

Adjective order " tried to answer latest )ui*net programme on your site of adjective order# " found it a bit tricky and difficult so could you please give me any help of this matter# :nd Belen says; +ay " ask which the correct order in adjectives is! ,i -asan and hello &elen( .hen we use two or more adjectives together to describe a noun the order we put them in is /uite important# 0or example we don1t usually say an old Indian beautiful carpet# "t sounds much better say a beautiful old Indian carpet# As a general rule adjectives are usually placed in this order: opinion 2 si*e 2 /uality 2 age 2 shape 2 colour 2 participle forms 2 origin 2 material type 2 purpose $he phrase a beautiful old Indian carpet follows these guidelines: 1 quality beautiful 4 age old 8 origin "ndian

noun carpet

You don1t have to include an example of every type of adjective but the ones you do use should follow the order# 3o if you wanted to add red and green to the phrase a beautiful old Indian carpet you would put it between old and Indian like this: 1 o inion beautiful 4 age old 6 8 colour origin red and green "ndian

noun carpet

"t sometimes helps to remember the order of adjective if you consider that adjectives whose meaning is closely or permanently connected to the noun are placed nearer to it in the sentence# 3o in this phrase: a large comfortable wooden chair 4 wooden has a very close connection with chair # ! si$e a large " quality comfortable 1# material ty e wooden

noun chair

,ere are some more examples: " % quality artici le noun a new improved recipe 1 " 1# o inion quality ty e an old5fashioned romantic candle5lit

noun dinner for two

3ometimes we can use but between adjectives especially if their meanings seem contradictory# ! si$e small " quality tasty


noun meal

"f we use 6 adjectives that are similar in meaning we usually put the shorter one first: a soft, comfortable cushion. " hope that1s answered your interesting 7nglish /uestions -asan and &elen( &atherine


A grou

a ( anish learners of )nglish have written with the following /uestion*

,ello( .e are 3panish students and we want to find out all we can about adver'ials in 7nglish with explanations and examples# An adver'ial is an adver', adver'ial hrase or adver'ial clause which gives us additional information about e#g# the time, lace, or manner of the action which is described in the rest of the sentence: We have been living here in this house for over twenty years. We were sleeping peacefully in our beds when the earthquake struck.

0rom these examples you can see that the most common position for adverbials is at the end of the sentence -lace adverbials 8here in this house9 come before time adverbials 8for over twenty years9# +anner adverbials 8 eacefully9 come before place adverbials 8in our 'eds9# $hey do not always follow this pattern# $his applies particularly to adverbial clauses# "n the above example we could begin with the adverbial clause if it was important to highlight it at this stage in the discourse: When the earthquake struck, we were sleeping peacefully in our beds.

$hus adverbials answer /uestions such as: Where+ ,ow often+ When+ ,ow long+ ,ow+ ,ow much+ Why+

Where did you arrange to meet him! : " arranged to meet him outside the 'an-#

Why did you arrange to meet him there! (o that he could give me the money# ,ow long did you wait for him! " waited for half an hour but he didn1t arrive# When did you first meet him! .e first met when he 'ecame the manager of the 'an-# ,ow often have you been seeing him since then! Once a wee-, usually. /ore frequently, if his wife was away# 'ote from the above examples that adver's of frequency are often placed in mid0 osition in the sentence as well as at end0 osition# -lacing them 'efore the su'ject is sometimes also possible: I sometimes call on my younger sister when I'm in London I never see my older sister, but occasionally I call my younger sister. #es I see her from time to time. We get together once in a blue moon.

adver'ial clauses A wide variety of different conjunctions are used to initiate adverbial clauses which function as the adverbial part of a main clause# 3ome of the most common are listed below: time: reason: purpose: contrast: comparison: condition: when after before as soon as because since as so that in order to although whereas as if as though if provided 8that9 so long as in case

.e served drinks as soon as our friends arrived# After we had eaten we played cards# We moved to +ornwall because we wanted to live in the countryside. s the winters in the north east can be quite harsh, we decided to move to the south west. I finished work early in order to catch the !."# train. I left work early so that I could catch the !."# train. When I arrived home I went to see "oan although it was very late. Whereas in the $#s and %#s most men worked until they were &# or &', nowadays most retire when they are in their fifties. 5e shook my hand warmly as if ( as though he had known me for years.

#ou can borrow my car on .aturday, provided ( so long as you return it by seven o' clock in the evening. <ake a packed lunch with you, in case you get hungry.

adver's of manner 'ote that not all adverbs of manner which answer the /uestion ,ow1+ end in 0ly# +ost of them do like this: 5ow did they sleep? ~ <hey slept peacefully 5ow well does she dance ~ .he dances sublimely

&ut common exceptions include: hard fast straight late

5e worked hard in order to pass the e)am 5e was driving straight at me and I ran very fast to get out of his way. <here was a power failure earlier today and the trains are all running late now.

'ote also that adjectives that end in 0ly e#g# lively, lovely silly, friendly cannot form the adverb by adding another 0ly as this would be impossible to pronounce# "nstead some other way must be found: 5e behaved in such a silly way I was ashamed of him .urprisingly, they were dancing in a very lively manner at the over =4s disco. ro riate2suita'le and adequate2sufficient2enough

adjectives* a

3osana /endes &am os from &ra*il writes: "n -ortuguese we have one word a ro riado which is used to talk about manners and something that is fitted to a purpose# .e use this word when we refer to social rules and behaviour and when we talk about what one should for example wear under this or when we talk about weather conditions# " understand that in 7nglish you have three different words with different usages namely a ro riate, suita'le and adequate# Could you please explain and illustrate the differences in use of these three words in 7nglish! a ro riate 4 suita'le

A ro riate and suita'le are both /ualitative adjectives 5 i#e# they describe the /uality of something 5 and are very similar in meaning and usage# As you suggest they carry the meaning of 1fitted suited to a purpose#1 $hey are both placed as modifiers before nouns and they are both used as complements after the verb 'e although a ro riate is perhaps more commonly used in this way especially with

the pronoun it# $hey are both used with the preposition for and are often used with negative prefixes# $he adjectival form suita'le 5for6 sometimes crops us in the verb format suited 5to6# 3tudy the following examples: "t is ina ro riate to make jokes at funerals# "t was ina ro riate for her to joke with the )ueen in such a light5hearted manner# $he clothes she was wearing were /uite unsuita'le2ina ro riate for the cold weather# ;oes this dress suit me! : <h yes it does# And it1s very suita'le2a ro riate for formal occasions# "t is a very violent film and is considered unsuita'le2ina ro riate for children to watch# "1m glad you praised him for that# "t was an a ro riate thing to do# ,e is just not suited to2suita'le for this type of work# 3uch small flats are not really suita'le for couples with young children# "t is unsuita'le2ina ro riate accommodation#

adequate 4 sufficient 4 enough Adequate, sufficient and enough are slightly different in meaning# "f something is adequate there is enough of it but only just enough# "f there is sufficient /uantity of something this suggests that there is as much of it as you need# =sage of these adjectives often denotes /uantity rather than /uality whereas a ro riate and suita'le suggest a /ualitative response to something# 3tudy the following examples: $he pay was adequate but it certainly wasn1t generous# $he rate of pay 5 >?#?@ an hour 5 was barely adequate to raise a family on# ,is answer to the /uestion was adequate but it wasn1t developed sufficiently to gain high marks# $he -rime +inister gave an inadequate reply to the journalist1s /uestion# $he action taken to combat the spread of malaria was /uite inadequate# $here were not enough seats for all the guests# $he supply of seats was /uite inadequate# $here was easily enough food for every one# $here was a sufficient amount of food# $here was insufficient evidence to convict him of house5breaking#

ro7imately 2 3oughly 2 A'out 2 8early

;ear 3irs Could you please explain the difference in usage of appro)imately roughly about nearly! +any thanks in advance#5 3amad ,i 3amad# " wonder why you asked this /uestion 4 are you by any chance writing a report!( All of the words you list above are adverbs which describe a /uantity or variation in /uantity# .ell these words are known as degree adverbs and one of the

differences between the words you mention is their degree of formality which would affect the times you use them# :ppro)imately, about, nearly and roughly are most usually used to modify measurements or /uantities# And "Am going to start with the adverb which is more formal in tone which is appro)imately# Just listen to these examples: :ppro)imately half of the residents in the survey stated that they agreed with the government>s plan to reduce traffic in the city centre. 6olice say that the main suspect charged in the case escaped from custody appro)imately twelve days ago. " think 3amad youAll realise that these examples could be part of an academic paper or an official report# "tAs not impossible to use appro)imately in speech but youAd be far more likely to use roughly, nearly or about in everyday situations and the rest of my explanation will look at the use of these three adverbs# "ane told me that she spends nearly one-third of her salary on rent. I guess there>ll be roughly thirty people going to the party tonight. 8ecause the traffic was bad, it took about four hours to get to my aunt>s house. 8y about five o>clock, the library was deserted. "tAs possible to interchange roughly and about in each of these four sentences with the same meaning# :bout can be confusing for learners when they first see it as a degree adverb because theyAre familiar with its use in prepositional phrases such as 8ooks and newspapers were spread about all over the room# ?early is slightly different to roughly and about because nearly means BalmostA or Bnot /uiteA# 3o if Jane spends nearly one5third of her salary on rent it means that she spends just under one5third# "f we said roughly or about her rent could be slightly more or slightly less than one5third# "f it takes me nearly ten minutes to walk to the station it means it takes me not /uite ten minutes# All of these adverbs could be used in writing too but if youAre writing a report itAd be usual to enter the actual figures or percentages in brackets so: &oughly half @3ABC of the children in the study could not identify the D. on a map of the world. "n conversation we often use about when talking about time: .hall we meet at about seven o>clock? 5e says he>ll be here in about five minutes. And interestingly we often talk about distances in terms of time:

I live about half an hour out of town. It>s about three hours on the train to 'ondon. .ell 3amad thank you for your /uestion " think thatAs about all " have to say about these adverbs(

'As well as' and 'in addition to' 9an Anh from 9ietnam asks: +y /uestion is: what is followed by as well as! 0or example can we say " can swim as well as cook well!

" think it all depends on whether it is used as part of an adverbial phrase when making comparisons in which case the infinitive or simple form of the verb is the norm or whether it is used as a conjunction introducing clauses of comparison and similar in meaning to in addition to in which case the 15ing1 pattern is re/uired# Cet us compare the two usages: as D adj D as D clause%phrase as D adv D as D clause%phrase 0or example: 1" saw as many as three thousand people at the concert#1 1,e was badly injured but " did as much as " could to make him comfortable#1 1" waited for as long as " dared but when it got dark " went home#1 1-lease come as quic-ly as you can# +y father is very ill#1 1$he "rish played as well as the 3cots but didn1t convert as many attempts on goal#1 1Eichardson was as good an actor as Fieldgud 8was9#1

'ote that if an adjective is placed between as and the noun a % an must be placed after the adjective# .hat is interesting in your example Gan Anh is that if you say: 1" can swim as well as cook well1 you are stating that these are two things that you can do whereas if you say: 1" can swim as well as " can cook1 you are stating that you can do both these things to an e/ual degree of proficiency# .hen we use as well as 5 similar in meaning and usage to in addition to 5 as a subordinating conjunction the 15ing1 form in the verb which follows is re/uired: 1As well as playing tennis with 3teve three times during the week " 8also9 play badminton with my wife at the weekend#1


1:n addition to working on his -h#;# dissertation he 8also9 translates articles for $he .eekly Eeview#1

'ote here that the adverb as well is similar in meaning to as well as and is often used as an alternative to too# 'ote that both as well and too must be used at the end of the sentence: 1.e enjoyed a rare night out last night# .e ate at Cuigi1s and went to the cinema as well#1 8 H As well as eating out we 8also9 went to the cinema#9 1.e eat well here in 3ardinia# $he wine is excellent too#1 1+y wife is a chemist and both her parents were chemists as well#1

'ote the special use of as long as which is similar in meaning and use to rovided that# &oth are more emphatic forms of if and are used to introduce conditions: 1As long as you promise to help me " don1t mind cooking for twelve people on 7aster 3unday#1 1"1ll join you on this skiing holiday rovided " can have my own room at the hotel#1

''eside' 2 ''esides' and 'toward' 2 'towards' (anjay ;humar <hola from :ndia asks: " often confuse the difference between 'eside and besides# -lease clear up my confusion# "t is /uite important not to confuse them for they are different in meaning and usage# 'eside <eside is a preposition similar in meaning to 1next to1 1at the side of1 or 1by1: is the apple orchard!1 1"tAs right 'eside the main road# You canAt miss it(1 1.e were lying 'eside the pool when the phone rang# "t was his boss wanting to know why he wasnAt at work#1

"t is often used with verbs such as 1standing1 1sitting1 1lying1# "t is also used in the expression 'eside the oint when referring to something that is not relevant to the subject under discussion: 1+odern art isnAt really art at all(1 1$hatAs 'eside the oint when so many young people respond to it with such interest# $hey regard it as art#1

'esides <esides is a preposition meaning 1in addition to1 1as well as1 or 1apart from1:


1.hat exam subjects are you taking 'esides 7nglish and maths!1 1.ere there any boys at the party 'esides +att and ;illon!1

"t can also introduce a participial phrase: 1<esides bruising his face he cut his lip and bloodied his nose#1

<esides also functions as an adverb meaning 1as well1 1furthermore1 or 1anyway1# "t is often used to introduce an afterthought# Consider these examples: 1"tAs too late to start a round of golf now# .e shall never finish before dark# <esides itAs starting to rain#1 1,e doesnAt have very much money and he doesnAt have very many prospects# <esides heAs far too young to think of getting married#1

toward 0 towards .hat about towards and toward! <ne of my own students was worried that there might be similar pitfalls in store for her when using these prepositions# .ell " can re5assure all of you that these prepositions can be used /uite interchangeably and that there is no difference in meaning# $he only slight difference in usage is that toward is perhaps more characteristic of American 7nglish and towards more usual in &ritish 7nglish# =oward or towards means 1in the direction of1: 1Can you see that light over there!1 1" think itAs coming towards us#1 1$here are always more mos/uitoes in the air toward evening# ,ave you noticed!1

<usy 'with' or 'a'out' >ierre from /alaysia writes: 1.hat are you busy with!1 or 1.hat are you busy about!1 .hich sentence is correct! " have not heard 1.hat are you busy about!1 before and find it unnatural# 1.hat are you busy with!1 as in 1.hat are you busy with this morning!1 is fine as a /uestion but " don1t think you would repeat 'usy with in your reply# "nstead if you were a university lecturer you might say: 1<h "1ve got so much to do# "1ve got essays to mark and reports to write and then "1ve got to go to the ;ean1s reception before lunch(1 You often use 'usy directly with the present participle as in: 1" was busy ironing when Jeremy arrived#1 'o preposition is then re/uired# Adver'2adjective collocations* utterly e7cited+ .hy can1t you say utterly excited! $hank you# utter 0 utterly =tterly doesn1t go with excited because if you are excited about something that is normally a positive emotion and both utter and utterly 8meaning


complete%completely9 have negative meanings and are used only in negative contexts: $o say that we1ll be landing on Jupiter in 6@I@ is utter nonsense# "f you think that then you are a complete and utter fool# $o spend all day window5shopping especially at Christmas is an utter waste of time# $hey had no means of support and were utterly dependent on their parents# $o suggest that there should be a total ban on smoking is utterly ridiculous#

com lete 0 com letely &om lete and com letely are much more neutral and can be used in positive neutral and negative contexts: Jon has sent me ten red roses and that has come as a complete surprise# "1m a pessimist and she1s an optimist so she1s the complete opposite of me# ,e has lied to me so there is a complete breakdown of trust between us# $he -+1s treatment for an irregular heartbeat has been completely successful# .hen " go on holiday next year "1m looking for something completely different# ;o*ens of homes have been completely destroyed in the floods#

,owever despite the flexibility of this adjective%adverb we cannot say com letely e7cited# <ne of the hallmarks of a proficient language learner is knowing which adverbs collocate with which adjectives# 3o which adverbs go best with e7cited! terri'le 0 terri'ly <ne of the most common adverbs used with e7cited is terri'ly# 'ote that the adjective terri'le 8meaning horri'le, dreadful, awful9 can only be used in negative contexts but the adverb terri'ly can describe extreme behaviour in 'oth negative and positive contexts#: .hat1s wrong! You look terrible# : "1m in terrible pain# ,is sudden death came as a terrible shock to the entire family# -rison life is terrible and " have the most terrible nightmares every night# $he children were terribly upset when their pet dalmation puppy died# Children in &ritain get terribly excited on Christmas morning when they come down to open their presents#


awful 0 awfully 'ote that awful and awfully follow a similar pattern# As an adjective awful is used only in negative contexts but as an adverb awfully has 'oth negative and positive meanings: "t1s an awful shame that she1s unable to come back home for the holidays# 3he was late and " was worried that something awful had happened to her# ,e was awfully drunk# "t was an embarrassment to have him there# ,e may get on your nerves but he has always been awfully nice to me# 3he1s awfully pretty don1t you think! $he most striking person in the room( "t1s awfully good of you to find the time to help us with this# awesome 'ote that awesome meaning very im ressive and sometimes a little frightening is a favourite adjective used by young people and people in the media currently: $hierry ,enry1s ability as a footballer is just awesome# "t was an awesome party# .e danced all night and then watched the sun coming up over the sea# 'o better way to welcome in the 'ew Year# adjectives* com aritive and su erlative forms

<a'a- <agheri studying 7nglish in &anada writes: As you know two5syllable adjectives ending in 0y take the suffixes 0ier and 0iest for their comparitive and superlative forms# &ut what do you do when you have hyphenated adjectives! ;oes easy0going become easier0going or more easy0going! And does user0friendly become user0friendlier+

You are /uite right &abek two5syllable adjectives ending in 0y have 0ier and 0iest as their comparative and superlative# $hus:


pretty happy dirty messy

prettier happier dirtier messier

prettiest happiest dirtiest messiest

Yours is the messiest room " have ever seen# 3he was the rettiest and ha iest girl at the party#

'ote that other common two5syllable adjectives ending in an unstressed vowel normally take the 0er%0est patterns: simple clever simpler cleverer simplest cleverest

$he cleverest solution to any problem is usually the sim lest one#

<thers particularly participial adjectives formed with 0ing and 0ed and those ending in 0ious and 0ful form their comparatives and superlatives with more and most: boring worried anxious careful more more more more boring worried anxious careful most most most most boring worried anxious careful

.atching cricket is even more 'oring than playing it# +y wife was certainly more an7ious than " was when -enny failed to return# " bought the wrong type of hair shampoo for Joan# 'ext time " was more careful#

'ote that most sometimes means very: " was most careful to leave the room as tidy as " had found it# " became most an7ious when " heard that there had been a fire at the hospital# " was most im ressed by ;eborahAs performance as Cady +acbeth#

.ith some two5syllable adjectives er%est and more%most are both possible: $he commonest %most common alcoholic drink in -oland is vodka# ,e is more leasant %pleasanter to talk to when he has not been drinking#

$hree or more syllable adjectives take more or most in the comparative and superlative except for two5syllable adjectives ending in 0y and prefixed with un0:


reasonable beautiful untidy unhealthy

more reasonable more beautiful untidier unhealthier

most reasonable most beautiful untidiest unheathiest

John is the unhealthiest person " know but one of the most successful#

,yphenated adjectives which are also known as compound adjectives normally use more and most for the comparative and superlative forms# $his is the general rule# 3ometimes we have to use more%most if for example the adjectival part of the compound ends in 0ed# 3o sun0tanned would have to be more sun0tanned just as tanned would have to be more tanned: YouAre more sun0tanned than " am#

3ometimes it is not so clear5cut so we would say that one form is more likely than the other# "n your examples &abek both are /uite possible it seems to me#

adjectives with 0er20est, more2most, less2least in com arative2su erlative

;im from (outh ;orea writes* "n a &&C article on a business news web page a journalist wrote: E<he emerging markets that investors can easily put money into seem a lot more risky than they did.E 3houldn1t it be ris-ier! Can you explain! $hank you in advance# 0er 20est or more2most with one2three0sylla'le adjectives+ "t is clear that adjectives of one sylla'le normally end in 0er and 0est in their comparative and superlative forms whilst the comparative and superlative of adjectives with three or more sylla'les are formed with more and most: <he water in the pool was colder than I e)pected it to be on what was the hottest day of the year. <hey always go to the most e)pensive restaurants where you can see the most glamorous people in the world. <he work I do is now more satisfying because the conditions under which I work are more satisfactory.

0er 20est or more2most with two0sylla'le adjectives+ .hen it comes to two5syllable adjectives the case is less clear cut# .ith some two5 syllable adjectives 0er20est and more2most are both possible: <he water here is shallower ( more shallow than it is further up the beach.


<he grey s7uirrel is one of the most common ( commonest rodents that you will see in 9ngland.

<thers with particular endings tend to folllow either one or the other pattern: 0y ? 0ier $wo5syllable adjectives which end with consonant D 5y nearly always form their comparatives and superlatives with 0ier and 0iest: #ou are one of the messiest people I know. 9ven "ane is tidier than you are. I'm busier than I used to be so I have to get up even earlier than before.

"t would be unusual " think for the comparative or superlative to be formed with more or most in these examples# ,owever in your example Jim with risky both patterns appear possible# "t may be the case that more ris-y works well here because it is combined with a modifying phrase such as a lot# Compare also the following: Walking along this mountain path is much more risky in winter than it is in summer.

,owever as a general rule stick to 0ier 2 0iest with two5syllable adjectives which end with consoant @ y 0ful 2 0less 2 0ing 2 0ed 2 0ous 'ote that two5syllable adjectives with these endings always form their comparatives and superlatives with more and most: 5aving a tooth e)tracted was more painful than I e)pected it to be. <he situation is even more hopeless than I thought. .he will never recover. *he most boring part of the weekend was listening to "ane's *okes. I'm more worried than you are about <om and I've only known him for two days. <he two brothers are both well-known internationally, but I would say that ,iles is the more famous.

less 2 least 'ote that when we are making the not5so5much comparison less and least are the only options open to us unless we use the construction not asKas: I'm not as hungry today as I was yesterday. I am less hungry today than I was yesterday. I was angriest with "ohn about the spoilt weekend. I'm less angry with you. 8ut I'm still angry, nevertheless.


Why don't you sit here? <his is the least uncomfortable of our chairs. 'ote that we tend not to use less and least to form comparatives % superlatives with one syllable adjectives as short adjectives often have other words as their opposites# Compare the following:

#our cooking is less bland than Fary's. - #our cooking is spicier than Fary's. It's less warm today, don't you think? - It's cooler today, don't you think?

as ... as and as ,ello( " hope you are in the best of health# .ould you kindly tell me what parts of speech as### as are# " know that we use adjectives or adverbs between them but " don not know what they are themselves# Jind regards# as### as as adver' % Cook at this example: ,e came as quic-ly as he could# re osition

$his structure is used to measure and compare things that are of similar proportion# "n this construction the first as functions as an adver' modifying the following adjective or adver'# $he second as functions as a re osition when it relates to the following noun or ronoun# 8"t can also function as a conjunction when it relates to the following clause#9 Compare the following: $he meal was as good as the conversation: spicy and invigorating( 3he spoke as slowly as she could ,as everybody eaten as much as they want! " hope you will agree that " am as imaginative a coo- as my wife 8is9(

'ote from the above example that if there is an adjective and a noun after the first as a % an must go between them# 'ote also that if we want to make a negative statement we can use so1as instead of as1as: ,e is not so % as intelligent as his sister is# $he cafeteria was not so % as crowded as it was earlier#

$here are a large number of idiomatic expressions or fixed phrases which we use in informal 7nglish when we are making comparisons like this# ,ere are a few of them in context: ,e went as white as a sheet when he saw the ghost# +y maths teacher is as deaf as a ost and should have retired years ago# 3he sat there as quiet as a mouse and wouldnAt say anything# 7lectricity will be restored to our homes as soon as ossi'le#


All the children were as good as gold when they came to visit me# $hese stories are as old as the hills and have been passed down from generation to generation#

Eemember that when we are measuring or comparing things that are of une/ual proportion we need to use the structure com arative @ than: Cet me finish the report# " can type much faster than you 8can9# ,e played the piece of music more slowly than " had ever heard it played before#

as as su'ordinating conjunction 'ote that as by itself is used as a subordinating conjunction in a variety of different ways# as H when 8for clauses of time9 .e may use as as an alternative to when when we are comparing two short actions or events that happened or happen at the same period of time# .e often combine it with just: 3he left the house 8just9 as the sun was rising# $he telephone rang 8just9 as " was climbing into my bath#

as H 'ecause 8for clauses of reason9 .e may use as as an alternative to 'ecause when the reason is already known or self5evident to the reader of listener# As 5 clauses are often placed at the beginning of sentences# <ecause puts more emphasis on the reason or introduces new information# Compare the following: As +ary was the eldest child she had to look after her younger brothers and sisters# As it had started to rain we had to abandon the picnic# "Ave decided to end our relationship 'ecause my boyfriend has been cheating on me# ro ortion

as for clauses of

,ere as means over the same period of time as: " think you become more tolerant of other people as you get older# As prices rose the demand for higher salaries became more intense#

as as preposition 0inally note that as can also be used as a preposition when we want to avoid using the verb to be# Compare the following:


As his father it is your duty to ensure that he goes to school every day# As you are his father it is your duty to ensure that he goes to school every day# As a social historian " am always interested in peopleAs life styles# <eing a social historian " am always interested in peopleAs life styles# ,e established his reputation as a freedom fighter through many heroic acts# $he police described him as a dangerous criminal# $he police considered him to 'e a dangerous criminal

=omo-je, studying )nglish in =he 8etherlands, writes* 3ometimes when " read 7nglish newspapers or books " see some words with hyphens between them for example densely0 o ulated# " do not know what they are called sometimes " do not know exactly what they mean# 0inally " would like to make them up by myself but " don1t know how# Could you please help me! .ords like densely0 o ulated are com ound adjectives and they are made up of two or more words normally with hyphens between them# 3omething that is dense contains a lot of things or people in a small area# $hus a densely0 o ulated town or city is one with a high population count within the city boundaries# A densely0 wooded hill would be one that is difficult to get through because the trees are so close together# adj 2 adv @ ast artici le

Adjective or adverb plus past participle is one of the most common patterns for forming compound adjectives# 3ome common examples would include: cold-blooded brightly-lit kind-hearted deeply-rooted old-fashioned densely-populated open-minded well-behaved

Fost animals are warm+blooded but all reptiles are cold+blooded. 5e was a cold+blooded murderer and showed no emotion of any kind. .he lived in an old+fashioned house, but was kind+hearted and open+ minded. ?evertheless, she held deeply+rooted beliefs about the sanctity of marriage. <he dimly+ ( brightly+lit streets in our town encourage $ discourage burglars.

'ote that adverb % past participle combinations when they are used with a copular verb like 'e or seem and come after the noun they modify are not hyphenated:


<he streets in our town are dimly ( brightly lit and encourage $ discourage burglars.

$here are sometimes many possible combinations e#g# 'road0minded, narrow0 minded, a'sent0minded, strong0minded as well as o en0minded# "t is partly a matter of knowing which adjectives or adverbs collocate or go with which participles and nouns# .e have 'rightly0lit streets but also 'rightly0coloured dresses or swimsuits or sweets# Compound adjectives are regarded as roductive features of 7nglish which means that use is not so restricted as it is in many categories of grammar# 8ew com'inations are always ossi'le so if you think something may work try it out with your 7nglish5speaking friends $okmokje and see if it is meaningful# 0or example 'rightly0 atterned curtains illustrates the productive nature of this combination as would 'rightly0shining stars and here we come to a new pattern which is also very common: Adj 2 adv 2 noun @ resent artici le

,ere are some common examples: good-looking far-reaching labour-saving hard-wearing long-lasting mouth-watering free-standing never-ending record-breaking

<he good+looking chef was dressed in hard+wearing clothing and sitting in front of a free+standing cooker. *he dishes he had prepared with all the labour+saving devices at his disposal were all mouth+watering. We signed a long+lasting agreement for his services which we hoped would be never+ending.

<ther common patterns for compound adjectives include: noun D past participle: shop-soiled, tongue-tied, sun-dried noun D adjective: trouble-free, lead-free, world-famous, adj D noun: deep-sea, full-length, last-minute, number D noun: two-door, twenty-page, forty-mile. When they refused to e)change the shop+soiled item, I was tongue+tied and didn't know what to say. If you want trouble+free motoring, make sure you use only lead+free petrol. <he sun+dried tomatoes that we sell are world+famous. .he was wearing a full+length dress, 7uite unsuitable for deep+sea diving.


<he forty+mile ,ourney in the two+door- open+top convertible was ill+ advised in such inclement weather.

$ry out other combinations of these patterns for yourselves e.g. four0door saloon, five0 age document well0advised, etc. +ake a note of compound adjectives that you come across in your reading and note the way they are used with particular nouns#

concern, concerned, concerning )unice &heung from ,ong ;ong writes* " would like to ask about the differences in meaning and use between concern and its related forms concerned and concerning# $hanks a lot#

You are /uite correct 7unice to suggest that concern and its related forms are used in a variety of different ways# ,ere are some of the most important# concerned 5adj6 A worried 'ote the different ways in which the adjectival form is used: .hy do you keep ringing me! : .ell "1m concerned about you# Are you all right! " was very concerned that my daughter might not have proper clothing for the skiing trip# " was concerned for her safety as well# $here have been a lot of avalanches recently# $here was a concerned e7 ression on his face# " knew something awful had happened#

it concerns me A it worries me 'ote that when concern is employed as a verb in this way it cannot be used in the first or second person and it is normally used with the re aratory su'ject it# 'ote also that concern is not normally used with progressive forms# .e need to indicate the idea of progression in some other way# Compare the following: :t concerns me that she1ll be in Condon for a whole week on her own# Eather than: $hat she1ll be in Condon for a whole week on her own concerns me9#


Boesn't it concern you+ 3he1s only nineteen# $he pollution problem in that part of the river is 'eginning to concern all the local anglers#

concern 5noun6 A worry .hen concern is used as a noun it expresses worry about a situation: $here is growing concern that the climbers may have lost their lives# ,e expressed dee held# concern about the way in which the elections had been

concern 5ver'6 2 concerning 5 re 6 A a'out .hen you use concern or concerning in this way you are indicating what a /uestion or a topic is about# &oncerning and relating to are the formal e/uivalents of the much more informal a'out# Compare the following: .hy are you arguing! What's it all a'out+ What does it concern! : :t's a'out the long lunch breaks enjoyed by the senior executives# : :t concerns the long lunch breaks enjoyed by the senior executives# 0or information concerning 2 relating to opening hours during the summer months contact the club secretary# "f you want to know a'out opening hours in the summer months give Joan a ring# A number of /uestions had been tabled relating to 2 concerning the dangers of the new vaccine# .e had a lot of /uestions about people1s concerns a'out the new vaccine# ast artici le A involved 2 affected

concerned as

$he participle modifies the noun or pronoun in these examples and can be used instead of a participle clause: $here was a brawl outside the nightclub# =hose concerned were held in custody overnight# % $he youths 5who were6 involved were held in custody overnight# +any have lost their savings# =he ensioners concerned will receive substantial compensation % =he ensioners who are affected 'y this will receive compensation#


as far as :'m concerned A in my o inion .hen you want to express an opinion you can use this formula as an alternative to in my view or in my o inion: As far as :'m concerned 2 :n my view 2 :n my o inion, the 7nglish football supporters should not be held responsible for starting the fight#

as far as 7 is concerned A concerning 7 You can use these expressions to introduce the topic that you wish to talk about or the issue you want to refer back to 5 i#e# it may have been raised once already and you as the current speaker want to return to that topic# As far as 7 is concerned is a bit less formal than concerning 7: As far as foreign languages are concerned " think they should be taught in primary schools# &oncerning foreign languages in my view it is appropriate to teach them at primary school level#

'effect' 'affect' and 'efficient' 'effective' Warda Camal from >a-istan asks: " always get confused in the usage of effect and affect# -lease give examples of their use in sentences# ;isy ;esh from Duadalou e writes: "Am IL and "Ave been studying 7nglish for a few years now# "Ad like to know the difference between efficient and effective and the way to use them# affect E effect Affect and effect are often confused .arda even by native speakers of 7nglish# $he most important thing to remember is that affect is used as a verb and effect is normally used as a noun# .hen they are used in this way they are similar in meaning signifying BinfluenceA BimpactA or BchangeA# Compare the following: 1$he really hot weather affected everybodyAs ability to work#1 1" know my neighbours play loud music late at night but that doesnAt affect me#" can sleep through anything#1 1$he number of tourists travelling to &ritain this year has not been affected by the strength of the pound#1 1$he tablets which he took every four hours had no noticeable effect on his headache#1 1+y words of comfort had little effect# 3he just went on crying and wouldnAt stop#1


'ote: we talk about someone or something having an effect on something or someone# "f we use effect as a verb it means to Bcarry outA or to Bcause something to happenA but it is used only in very formal 7nglish# Consider the following: 1Eepairs could not be effected because the machines were very old#1

efficient E effective $hese two /ualitative adjectives are often confused Jisy# "f somebody or something is efficient then he she or it works in a well5organised way without wasting time or energy# Consider the following examples: 13he was efficient in everything she did and was fre/uently commended for exemplary service to the organisation#1 1,e hasnAt made very efficient use of his time in revising for these exams: he has made no notes and his concentration spans appear to last for no longer than ten minutes#1 1$his engine is really efficient it can run for M@ km on only I litre of fuel#1

"f something is effective it works well and produces the results that were intended# Consider the following examples: 1$hese tablets really are effective# +y headacheAs much better now#1 1$he only effective way to avoid hay fever at this time of the year if you are a sufferer is to stay indoors#1 rominent

)minent 2

-lease " could not understand the difference between eminent and prominentK 5 Javed Ahmed# ,ello Javed( 9minent and prominent are both adjectives and they can both be used to talk about people who are very well5known and successful in their profession# ,ere are some example sentences: <he proposal for the research centre has the backing of .ir (avid "ones, one of the world's most eminent statisticians. :s a prominent local businessman, Fr "ohnson served on many committees and was elected to be the chair of the board of governors. 9minent contains the idea of respected# 0or example if a doctor is very well /ualified has had a lot of success in his or her career and is often asked to give advice to other doctors because he or she is known to be so good at the job we can describe them as eminent# 6rominent has the idea of being well5known and important# &ill Fates is a prominent figure in the world of computers for example# 'ow it1s possible to be a prominent person without being eminent since eminence depends on respect which is earned through skill education public recognition# 0or


example a pop star might be prominent but they probably wouldn1t be described as eminent# And prominent has a couple of other meanings as well# "t can mean 1easy to see or notice1# 0or example we could say: 5is arm was badly cut in the accident and he has been left with a prominent scar. And a further meaning of prominent is 1sticking out1 for example: <he builders did a really bad *ob. <he floor was very uneven and there was a prominent bump in one of the walls. 3o letAs summarise# 6rominent means well5known noticeable and important# 9minent means highly /ualified successful and respected# Eight " hope that answers your /uestion Javed and " hope that you become both prominent and eminent one day(

em hasi$ing adver's Aydyn =Fr- from =ur-ey writes: " have been learning 7nglish for eight months but some adjectives and adverbs are still a problem for me especially adverbs such as a'solutely definitely certainly e7actly etc# $hese mean almost the same thing in $urkish and " donAt know when to use them in 7nglish or which one to use# "f you gave me some examples that would help me# 5 $hanks a lot# a'solutely2definitely2certainly2e7actly $here is not very much difference in meaning or in use when these emphasi*ing adjectives are used to express strong agreement with a statement /uestion or suggestion# A'solutely is perhaps the strongest# "f you use e7actly you are emphasi*ing that what someone has said is I@@N correct# Compare the following: ;oesnAt 3andra look stunning in that hat! <h a'solutely( " couldnAt agree more# Feoffrey is a complete and utter fool# A'solutely( % Befinitely( % )7actly( .ill you come shopping with me on 3aturday! Befinitely( % &ertainly( "f we canAt find those tickets we shanAt be able to get into the show# )7actly( Are you going to $urkey again this summer! Befinitely( .ithout a doubt(


a'solutely2sim ly2utterly2totally2com letely2 erfectly $hese emphasi*ing adverbs are normally used with adjectives that are in themselves already /uite absolute# $hey give even greater emphasis to what is said# Compare the following: Your advice was invaluable 4 a'solutely invaluable( " was sim ly ama*ed when she said that she was going to marry ,enry# "t was erfectly clear that she was serious and " was totally powerless to stop her# " felt that she was com letely wrong to even think about it and " am utterly exhausted by it all#

com letely or quite 'ote that quite can mean very much or com letely# "t can also mean fairly or to some e7tent# Compare the following: Are "Am Are 'o you quite certain that JackAs in -aris! &om letely sure! absolutely sure# you coming to the pub! "Am quite tired a bit sleepy# " think "All go to bed#

certainly or surely .hen it is used in response to a re/uest or suggestion surely means certainly and they can be used interchangeably# Compare the following: Can you give me a hand washing up! (urely( % &ertainly( % 'o problem( .ould you join us for supper tonight! (urely( .here are you eating!

,owever surely can also be used to express the speakerAs surprise that something is happening# &ertainly CA''<$ be used in this way# 3tudy the following and as you say them to yourselves give surely fairly heavy stress: YouAre surely not going out again tonight are you! You went out last night# (urely that canAt be 0elicity standing over there! " thought she was in Australia# " canAt get any reply but thereAs surely somebody at home# $hey canAt all be out#


(urely youAre not suggesting she poisoned him on purpose! " canAt believe you could think that(

enough2sufficient2adequate " would like to know the differences in meaning and use of enough sufficient and ade/uate# enough E sufficient )nough 8where the second syllable is pronounced as in puff or stuff9 and sufficient are very similar semantically meaning as much as is needed: " donAt have enough time to finish reading this report before the meeting# &ut " have sufficient information to know what the outcome should be# .e have sufficient evidence to convict him for the crimes he has committed# adequate Adequate is also close in meaning to enough and sufficient# "t suggests that something is good enough or large enough for a articular ur ose: $his country will never maintain an ade/uate supply of trained teachers if so many leave the profession after four or five years# $his little car is perfectly ade/uate for any driving you need to do in town# ,is computer skills were ade/uate for the type of work re/uired of him# inadequate E insufficient 'ote that the negative of sufficient and adequate can be formed with the prefix in0# 0or the negative of enough we have to use not: $he level of funding available for the training of teachers is inade/uate# " have insufficient resources to be able to deal effectively with this problem# .e donAt have enough milk if everybody wants cappuccino# enough as an adver' )nough can also be used as an adver' to modify an adjective an adver' or a ver'# .hen it is used in this way it comes after the adjective adverb or verb: "n this climate itAs not warm enough to go out without a jumper in the evening# YouAve missed him "Am afraid# You didnAt get up early enough# " didnAt work hard enough so " was unsuccessful in the exam# " didnAt revise enough so " didnAt pass the exam# +odifying adverbs of course are normally placed before the adjectives or adverbs that they modify so if we want to use the less common sufficiently in these examples instead of enough they will look like this:


"n this climate itAs not sufficiently warm to go out without a jumper at night# YouAve missed him "Am afraid# You didnAt get up sufficiently early# " didnAt work sufficiently hard so " was unsuccessful in the exam# " didnAt revise sufficiently so " didnAt pass the exam# enough as a ronoun

)nough can also be used alone without a noun when the meaning is clear: "Ave only saved up >6?@# .ill that be enough for this type of holiday! 3ome more dressing on your salad! : <h no " have /uite enough thanks# )nough of @ determiner 2 ronoun

&efore determiners 8this, the etc9 and pronouns we use enough of: "Ave had /uite enough of this fruit salad thanks# "tAs a bit too sweet for my liking# " didnAt read it all but " read enough of the report to get the main idea# " answered all the /uestions but " didnAt get enough of them right to pass the driving test# As you can see Celine enough is commonly used in a wider variety of contexts than sufficient or adequate# " havenAt mentioned all of them but that is enough for today( 7nough is enough( as we say when we want to indicate that we wish to bring something to an end#

)s ecially G s ecially 2 continuously G continually /ar- <rown in (outh ;orea writes* "s there really any difference between the following: es ecially G s ecially continuously G continually "f there is a difference has common usage overwhelmed the distinction! $he American ,eritage ;ictionary and Congman1s ;ictionary don1t think so#

)s ecially and s ecially " don1t think the distinction has been completely neutralised either# "t is certainly the case that in usage these two adverbs are often confused and can sometimes be used with the same meaning#


s ecially 0 for a


ur ose

,owever when s ecially is used to mean for a particular purpose this form of the adverb is the norm: <his shower gel is specially designed for people with sensitive skins. <his computer programme is specially for children with learning difficulties. Fy father made this model aeroplane specially for me. articularly 2 a'ove all articularly or a'ove all:

es ecially 0

.e tend to use es ecially for emphasis meaning

<hese butterflies are particularly noticeable in :pril and Fay, especially in these meadows. #ou'll en*oy playing tennis at our local club, especially on weekdays when it's not so busy. articularly, es ecially is more usual:

&efore adjectives meaning

<he road between +airo and :le)andria is especially dangerous at night. It is a bit nippy, but it's not especially cold for this time of year.

s ecial 0 es ecial 'ote that the adjective es ecial is rarely used nowadays# "ts use is confined to particular contexts where it collocates with particular nouns e#g# especial interest, es ecial value when we want to emphasise the e7ce tional nature of this interest or value: <he police took especial interest in his activities and watched the house continuously. <he !oh-i-noor diamond, now among the 8ritish crown *ewels, has especial value as its history dates back to the /Gth +entury.

"n all other cases and contexts when it means im ortant or different from normal, s ecial is preferred: .ou're a very special person in my life - never forget that. On special occasions we have wine with our meal, but certainly not every day. In special cases, prisoners are allowed out on day release twice a week. 5e has such ability, I think he'll be the ne)t special adviser to the 6resident. <he special effects in the 'ord of the &ings films are 7uite mind-blowing. <he grapes at the supermarket are on special offer - less than half price.

&ontinual 0 continuous &oth adjectival forms continual and continuous mean without sto without a 'rea-# $hey are often used interchangeably: ing or


<his refectory has been in continual (continuous use since the /3th +entury. <he continual ( continuous croaking of the frogs prevented any sleep that night.

"n certain contexts only continuous is possible because continual here would imply that breaks are possible# "n these examples there are clearly no breaks so continuous is preferred: continuous line of people stretched as far as the eye could see. <hey e)ecuted the dance in one continuous movement. <he progress of pupils was measured though continuous assessment and not through e)aminations

.hen we want to describe things that happen re eatedly, continual is preferred: 5is continual drinking was bound to lead to liver failure one day. 5e refused to give up despite the continual warnings of his family.

continually 0 continuously $he adverbial forms continually and continuously are often interchangeable# .he sniffed continually ( continuously all the way through the film and disturbed everyone around her.

&ut when the meaning is clearly very often rather than without a 'reacontinually is preferred: I've got a very bad stomach upset and I'm continually running to the loo.

,ere continually is behaving as an adver' of frequency cf# always, all the time constantly# "f we arranged such adverbs along a continuum of fre/uency starting with least often and ending with most often it would read: never H rarely H occasionally H sometimes H often Hgenerally H nearly always H constantly$continually

Hormation and use of adjectives

$hree /uestions this week on the formation and use of adjectives# 9ivian from =aiwan asks: Can the word fun be used as an adjective! Ima from Dermany writes: Could you please enlighten me by explaining how adjectives work in 7nglish!


/. A. ;haliel from (audia Ara'ia writes: -lease let me know how to use adjectives and their formation# Hun is sometimes used as an adjective in the following contexts: "t was a fun thing to do# "t was a fun place to go to# 3he is a fun person to be with#

instead of: 3he is fun to be with# "t was fun to go there# "t was fun to do that#

Hun here means pleasant and enjoyable# "t%she made you feel happy# ,owever funny is the normal adjective and fun is normally used as a noun# 'ote that when funny is used as an adjective in this way it will have one of two /uite different meanings# Consider the following: 3he is a funny person# 3he is a funny person# 3he makes me laugh# ,er behaviour is really strange#

Adjectives describe the /ualities of people things and places# $hey are one of the largest word classes in 7nglish# $hey are normally placed before a noun but as we saw above they can also come after the verb to 'e and also after other linking verbs such as stay loo- seem a ear 'ecome etc# 3tudy the following: A tall young man and a petite middle5aged woman were walking along the narrow road# $asty fresh white 0rench bread is always best served with 3tilton cheese and red wine# $he fine sunny weather is set to continue# "t will stay fine for the next few days# 'ew ideas are always interesting and exciting#

'ote that if we have more than one adjective before a noun the order in which they appear is not always fixed although it tends to be in this order: /uality si*e age colour class# Check to see to what extent this is true in the above examples# 'ote also that we often use adverbs of degree to modify the meanings of the adjectives we use# Among the most common are very too quite rather much more and most# Consider the following: "t was very noisy in the garden but much /uieter in the house# " would have said he was rather tall# &ut my mother described him as e7ceedingly tall# 3he is a very gifted child# ,er teacher says that she is too intelligent for her class#


adjectival endings +any of the most common adjectives have no special endings# Consider these pairs which are opposite in meaning: light 5 dark % heavy sad 5 happy cool 5 warm rough 5 smooth difficult 5 easy % simple cruel 5 kind

,owever many common adjectives can be recognised as such by their endings# ,ere are some of the most common: 0al* 0ant* 0ent* 0ous* 0ic* 0y* 0ive* 0a'le* 0i'le* 0ful* 0less* 0ed* 0ing* typical special international industrial mental physical general pleasant significant tolerant deviant conversant variant valiant different violent patient sufficient convenient excellent fre/uent serious anxious nervous dangerous obvious famous conscious terrific horrific democratic domestic scientific platonic sympathetic basic filthy dirty dusty messy noisy sandy stony rocky healthy hungry angry active passive secretive attractive expensive sensitive native comfortable regrettable probable enjoyable fashionable possible horrible terrible sensible susceptible useful careful beautiful skilful grateful faithful useless careless pointless breathless tireless toothless interested bored tired surprised worried confused excited interesting boring tiring surprising worrying confusing exciting

'good' and 'well' (ven Wagner from (weden asks: .hy do you use good instead of well in the following phrase!: 1.e eat good and drink well#1 8An 7nglish colleague put it that way#9 good H adjective well H adverb $herefore it has to be we eat well as we are describing how we eat and drink# "t might be said that adverbs answer the /uestion ,ow1+ whilst adjectives answer the /uestion What sort of1+ 3tudy the following: 13he speaks good Japanese#1


13he speaks Japanese well#1 13he speaks Japanese 'etter than " do#1

'ote that better is the comparative form of both good and well# "n 7nglish we often play around with basic language whether consciously or unconsciously for effect# 3o whilst 1we eat well and drink well1 would be grammatically correct 1we eat good and drink well1 may be more effective in terms of impact because it breaks the grammatical rule# " would not recommend it however if you are taking an exam but it will sound good over a drink with friends#

.hy not sound well in this particular example! "t is because when we use verbs such as 'e seem a ear sound loo- feel smell taste they are followed by adjectives rather than adverbs as we are describing the subject of the sentence rather than the action of the verb# 3o we have: 13he loo-s really good in those clothes#1 1$he food at the reception tasted really good 5 'etter than the food we had last year#1 1$here1s no way he1ll get a distinction but the work he1s done appears good enough for a pass#1 1" felt really good when she congratulated me on winning the essay pri*e#1

0or similar reasons we would talk about: A good0loo-ing woman# A good0natured boy# 8good describes his nature9 &ut we would also say: A well0dressed woman# 8well tells us how she dresses9 A well0'ehaved boy# 8well tells us how he behaves9

Cook up good and well in your dictionaries to see if you can find further examples of adjectives formed in this way# $he only time when well can be used as an adjective by itself is when we are talking about someone1s health# ,ere well means in good health# Compare the following: 1,ow are you today!1 10ine# Gery well thanks# % 'ot very well actually#1 1" often feel unwell when "1m on a boat but as soon as " get off "1m fine#

'ote that the expression well and good is used to indicate that you find a particular situation satisfactory or acceptable# $hus we might say: 1"f you can do the job in less time and leave early " don1t mind# $hat1s 8all very9 well and good#1 1"f you want to stay here on your own over Christmas well and good#


"ncidentally there is now a trend among young people particularly in the IO 5 6? age range to use well instead of very in expressions like: 1" am well ha y with that#1 1" was well tired last night# 13he was well leased with her birthday present#1

Again it breaks the rule and is effective in the impact it makes# Well used in this way often refers to exceptional circumstances or is used as a summary statement# " wonder if this creative use of the 7nglish language has reached you yet in your part of the world!

hardly2scarcely...neither2nor....so2too Olga :vanova from I$'e-istan writes: "f my friend says to me: : hardly -now this author and if " hardly know her should " answer: 8either do : <E (o do :! Are both answers possible here!

hardly....neither2nor <nly 8either do : or 8or do : is possible here <lga# $his is because hardly has a negative meaning# "t means almost not at all# 3o if you wish to agree with what is being said you will also need a negative adverb and use neither or nor in response# 'ote that scarcely has the same negative meaning as hardly and that either of them can be used here# Compare the following: " can hardly % scarcely believe you1re twenty years old now# : 8or % 8either can "( $hey1re hardly % scarcely ever at home# : 8either % 8or are we( ,e1s dead now but " hardly % scarcely knew him# : 8either % 8or did "#

'ote that neither%nor always come at the beginning of the response clause and that inversion of subject and verb are needed with the tense form agreeing with that of the first clause#


not either As an alternative to neither%nor you can also use not either which has the same meaning but normal word order: 3he had changed so much# " could hardly %scarcely recognise her# : " couldn't either# "1ve got hardly %scarcely any money left# .hat about you! : " haven't either#

neither1nor 8eitherKnor are used together when we want to link two negative ideas: .hen " spoke to him he neither smiled nor looked at me# 8either the chairman nor the treasurer was % were able to attend the meeting# ;on1t bother preparing dessert because neither Jane nor Julie eat % eats anything sweet#

'ote that when singular subjects are connected with neitherKnor the verb which follows can be either singular or plural#

so 2 too .hen the fre/uency of occurrence increases from never or hardly ever to occasionally or sometimes these adverbs give a positive rather than a negative meaning to what is being said# "f we wish to agree with statements in a positive way this is our opportunity to use so or too# Compare the following: " would never work as a shop assistant in a large department store# : 8either would "# " could hardly % scarcely understand a word he was saying : 8or could your parents# 8either ,enry nor ,arry is % are coming to 7dward1s party# : "1m not either# $hey occasionally eat lunch at 1$he &lue -arrot1# : (o does $om# % $om does too# " sometimes have to work at weekends to get everything done : (o do we# % .e do too# " go to the cinema quite often 5 twice a week usually# : /e too# % (o do "# 3he always uses olive oil in her cooking : (o do my 3panish friends % +y 3panish friends do too#


'ote that the expressions /e too and /e neither both of which are used in very informal speech can only be used with first person singular agreement: Cook it1s already two o1 clock and " haven1t done any work today# : /e neither# "1m so tired " could sleep for twelve hours# : /e too#

hardly, hardly ever, hardly any >ual from =hailand writes: "1ve learned that the words hardly and rarely have the same meaning and that moreover we can use these words interchangeably in any sentence# "s this right or wrong! $hey are not /uite interchangeable as they stand but need some modification first of all# "f we add ever to hardly to arrive at hardly ever then this is synonymous with rarely and also with seldom# hardly ever $hese adverbs describe how fre/uently or regularly something happens# $hus along a spectrum of fre/uency starting with most fre/uent and ending with least fre/uent we might find the following: .ell doctorK# " always have two meat rolls for breakfast# .ithout fail# 7very day# " usually have poached eggs on toast at the weekend# 'ot every weekend# &ut most weekends# " often 2 frequently have two chocolate biscuits or a pastry with my morning coffee# 'ot every day# &ut most days " have to confess# And " sometimes have a brandy with my coffee after lunch# After a particularly good lunch# " hardly ever 2 rarely 2 seldom eat a full 7nglish breakfast# <nce every two months perhaps# " never drink coffee after P p#m# Always tea# 3o what do you think is causing the high blood pressure!

'ote that hardly ever rarely and seldom e/uate with occasionally or very occasionally in terms of fre/uency but that when you use hardly ever etc you are putting a negative gloss on what you are saying# Occasionally sounds much more positive# Compare the following: " occasionally see my daughter when "1m up in Condon# "f she1s free around lunchtime# " hardly ever see my daughter# 3he1s far too busy to find time for me#


hardly ,ardly as an adverb by itself means only just and e/uates with 'arely and scarcely# Jonathan could hardly walk but already knew how to swim# " 'arely % hardly % scarcely knew Jack although " know he was a great friend of John1s# .e had 'arely % hardly % scarcely finished dinner when they arrived#

hardly @ any 5@ 0one20thing6 ,ardly any means very little or very few and is the opposite of lenty of or collo/uially loads of# 'ote again the negative tone in which it is used: "1ve got lenty of friends but hardly any money# " knew hardly any'ody at the party but Jatie knew loads of people nearly everybody in fact# "t1s worth hardly anything 5 practically nothing( Just a few pounds perhaps# ,e1s hardly said anything to anybody since the accident# ,e1s said hardly anything to anybody since the accident#

':ncredi'le' and 'un'elieva'le' :rene &ordo'a from <ra$il asks: " recently found the Cearning 7nglish section of the &&C webpage 8which was such a delight for me because " really love the language9 and " was wondering if you could tell me the difference between incredi'le and un'elieva'le and the right uses of each of them# $hese two adjectives incredi'le and un'elieva'le are /uite interchangeable and to these two you could add a third: unimagina'le# $hey all describe things or events which are so ama*ing that they cannot be imagined or believed# Adverbial forms are incredi'ly un'elieva'ly and unimagina'ly# You can substitute any of these adjectives or adverbs under discussion as you wish: 1.hen she died Aunt "sobel left me an incredible amount of money 4 so much " didnAt know what to do with it(1 1" intend to work incredibly hard over the summer so that " pass my exams in 3eptember#1


1+y performance at the Christmas concert was unbelievably bad#1 1$he weather on the mountain yesterday was unbelievable# $here was no chance of us getting to the top#1 1$he operation was performed under almost unimaginable conditions# "t is unbelievable that he survived#1 1$he new computer game was unimaginably difficult# 'either +ike nor " could work out how to progress from level I to level 6#1

:nversion after negative e7 ressions and 'only...' Cana from =he &$ech 3e u'lic asks: " have tried to learn 7nglish via the &&C which is great( " like your )ui*net but " need an explanation for the fifth item of )ui* $hree: ?# Choose the correct answer: <nly at night ##### the safety of their cave bats leave bats will leave leave bats do bats leave .hy is it not possible to use 1bats leave1! " would like to ac/uire this grammatical rule# )uite often in 7nglish certain expressions with a restrictive or negative meaning are placed at the beginning of a sentence# $he reason for doing so is to emphasi*e the point that you want to make# "t is striking original or surprising in some way# And whenever you make such a statement inversion is necessary# 3o it has to be: 1<nly at night do bats leave their cave#1 1<nly after " had returned home did " reali*e that " had left my watch in 7mma1s bathroom#1

"nversion is also used after the not only ### but also construction: 1'ot only did we visit Cuba1s capital ,avana 8but9 we also spent three days exploring the Falapagos "slands off the coast of 7cuador#1

"nversion is also found in expressions containing the word 1no1 when placed at the beginning of the sentence: 1=nder no circumstances are you 8allowed9 to walk home from school alone#1 1"n no way will " agree to sharing an office with &en#

$he same rule operates for 1seldom1 1hardly1 1scarcely1 1rarely1 1never1 1never before1 and 1no sooner1:


1'ever before had " seen such realistic dinosaurs as there were in the &&C television series#1 8$his is a reference to a recent &&C series# "f you want to know more have a look at the web site 5 .alking with ;inosaurs#9 1'o sooner had " arrived at the station than the train came in#1 1Earely do we see such brightly5coloured birds#1 13eldom do we walk on such green grass#1 13carcely had we finished lunch when the bell rang for afternoon classes#1

Eemember you are registering surprise or something similar when you do this# "f it is inappropriate to be so emphatic you would say: 1.e had scarcely finished lunch when the bell rang for afternoon classes#1

:nversion after negative e7 ressions, so, and in conditionals+ Atefe studying 7nglish in &anada writes: "1m getting ready for the $<70C exam and this part of the website has been really useful for me# " need an explanation for all kinds of inversion and " want to know if it is an obligation to use inversion patterns# /artine =al'ourdet from Hrance writes: " would like to know if you really use expressions like (o do :, (o can :, (o must :# ;o you use them or are they formal!

(o do :, etc $hese expressions are /uite informal +artine and are readily used in short answers in spoken 7nglish to express agreement with what has been said in the first statement# (o is here followed by inverted word order: auxiliary verb D subject: "udy can run /44 m in // seconds. ~ .o can 5enry I've got a blister on my big toe. ~ .o have I. I'm going to get it seen to by the club doctor. ~ .o am I. I like to eat really hot food on cold days and so do all my friends.

(o is occasionally followed by normal word order in short answers to express sur rised agreement: If you don't believe me, *ust look out of the window. It's snowing ~ .o it is #ou've given me tea and I asked for coffee ~ .o I have I'm sorry.

8either 2 nor would :, etc


$hese expressions are used in a similar way to 3o would " etc to express agreement with negative statements: I can't swim very well and neither can my sister. I wouldn't dream of going into the water if the temperature is below 24I + and nor would any southerner.

inversion after negative e7 ressions .e can use inversion in statements for the purpose of em hasis if we decide to start the statement with a negative expression# Compare the following: /nder no circumstances would I wear a mini-skirt. I wouldn't wear a mini-skirt under any circumstances.

"n this example the first statement is more emphatic than the second one# .e can use this approach with a wide variety of adverbial negative expressions although it makes them sound rather formal# Compare the following: t no time would he allow his team mates to argue with the referee. 0arely ( 1eldom have I seen such an e)citing game of football. 2ardly had I taken my seat before two goals were scored. I had to show him my press pass and only then did he let me in. Only when the players had changed into smart clothes after the match were they allowed to talk to the <- reporters.

:nversion in conditional sentences .e can use inversion in certain types of conditional sentences when the if5clause begins with had, were or should. 3entences with inversion sometimes sound more formal than those with the more conventional if5construction# Compare the following: 5ad he not resigned, we would have been obliged to give him the sack. If he had not resigned, we would have been forced to sack him. Were she to find out that he was seeing some one else, she'd go berserk. If she were to find out that he was cheating on her, she would go mad. .hould you decide to cancel the contract, please let me know by Jriday. If you decide to withdraw from the agreement, please phone me by Jriday.

+y /uestion is about Bno soonerA and BthanA re/uiring the semi5inversion# +ost of those sentences sound like 1no sooner came John to the station than the train arrived1# And my /uestion is how can " make two sentences of this one sentence in order to understand better the way it functions! >rof /ichael (wan answers* <J yeah thatAs a good and interesting /uestion# And letAs make it clear first of all what order things happen in# "f " say Qno sooner had " arrived at the station than the train came inR we need to be clear what happened first# ;oes it mean the train came in and then me or " came in and right after me the train! .ell my experience


is actually that " arrive at the station and then the train doesnAt come in for hours# &ut to answer your /uestion if " say Qno sooner had " arrived at the station than the train came inR it means " came in and right after me the train# " got there firstK just( "All give you another couple of examples: Q'o sooner had " put the phone down than it rang againR# Q'o sooner had " finished the meal than " started feeling hungry againR# "tAs actually a rather literary construction# "Ad expect to read it maybe write it but " probably wouldnAt say it# "nstead " think "Ad say something like this: Q$he train came in just after " got to the stationR or Q had only just got to the station when the train came inRKor something like that# ,ardly and scarcely $hereAs two similar structures also rather literary that have got the same meaning with BhardlyA and BscarcelyA# You could say Qhardly had " arrived at the station when the train came inR or Qscarcely had " arrived at the station when the train came inR# 3ame meaning: " got there just before the train# "tAs a slightly different structure to the one with Bno soonerA because with no sooner we use BthanA 4 after a comparative sooner 4 with BhardlyA and BscarcelyA we say QwhenR: Qhardly had " arrived when the train came inR# $rains are actually a bit unreliable in &ritain today as "Ave suggested# " was on one recently on the way to Condon we were moving extremely slowly and the driver made an announcement over the loudspeaker saying Qwe apologise for the slow running of the train but we have been moved onto a branch line because of engineering works and we are likely to stay there for the foreseeable future(R# " was pretty upset because it was my birthday and " really didnAt want to spend it on a train between <xford and Condon( ,owever no sooner had he made the announcement than we started going faster again 4 so " had my birthday at home after all# 3o thanks for your /uestion +ichael(

:rregular adjectives and adver's (yed Aqil (hah from >a-istan writes "1m confused about adjectives and adver's like e7 ensive, dear, costly, dearly etc# Can you please explain them to me!

)7 ensive 2 dear 2 costly $hese adjectives are all synonyms though they are used in slightly different ways and in different collocations# "t is also the case that dear as an adjective has two


meanings it means both e7 ensive and well0li-ed as well as featuring in expressions such as Oh dear( or in letters as in Bear (ir# $he problem with costly may be that it looks like an adverb as it ends in 0ly# $his is confusing as most adver's end in 0ly but costly is an e7ce tion and is an adjective# Compare the following uses and collocations in these examples: It was an e)pensive suit, but if you want to work for this firm, you have to dress well. <hese are very nice. ~ <hey're a bit too dear ( e)pensive, I'm afraid. 5aven't you got anything cheaper? :gatha is a dear friend of mine. .he is so kind and gentle in everything she does. Oh dear I've forgotten to bring my I( and I shan't be allowed to take the I9'<. test. It was a costly mistake and it meant I wouldn't have another chance until the autumn#

Bearly Bearly can only be used as an adverb and normally collocates with the verbs love 2 li-e and in this sense means a lot or very much: 5e's such a nice man. I love him dearly. I would dearly like $ love to be in your shoes and to have the whole summer free to travel around 9urope.

&ommon adjectives ending in 0ly $here are not very many but other common adjectives apart from costly ending in 0 ly include: friendly, lively, lovely, silly, ugly, unli-ely: It was a lively party and there were lots of very friendly people there. 2e was really 7uite ugly and unlikely to succeed in the blind date competition.

Adver's formed 'y adding 0ly As you no doubt know most adverbs are formed by adding 0ly to the adjective: 5e is a slow and careful driver. 5e drives slowly and carefully.


I'm going to give a house a thorough clean. I'm going to thoroughly clean the house.

&ut note that we cannot form adverbs in this way when the adjective ends in 0ly# .e cannot say: friendlily or uglily or sillily# .e have to find some other way of modifying the verb e#g#: <hey greeted us in a very friendly ( silly manner.

Adjective and adver' with the same form A number of adverbs have the same form as adjectives# $he most common include: hard, fast, straight, early: I know he has a fast car, but he doesn't need to drive so fast. It's hard work, but if you work hard and really concentrate, you'll finish it by bedtime. I caught the early bus to be sure of arriving early. <he :urelian Way is a very straight 0oman road which goes straight from &ome to 6isa.

Adver's with two forms 3ome adverbs have two forms# 3ometimes there is a difference in meaning# 3ometimes there is not very much difference# Compare the following: I haven't seen very much of you lately @lately K recentlyC. #ou always seem to come home late from work.@late K arriving after the e)pected timeC Fary can ,ump really high on the trampoline.@high K vertical distanceC #esterday she ,umped right off it. It was highly amusing. @highly K veryC :lfonso can eat free in the restaurant where he works. @free K without payingC #ou can speak freely. ?obody can hear us. @freely K without feeling restrictedC +an you please be waiting for me outside at nine o' clock sharp? @sharp K punctuallyC I thought she spoke to him rather sharply. @sharply K in a harsh toneC


(on't talk so loud. 9verybody in the room can hear you. @loud K informal usageC "onathan spoke loudly and convincingly about the advantages of leasing rather than buying cars. @loudly K more formal usageC

Ji-ely 2 li-ely that 2 li-ely to 3einhard ,offman from Dermany writes* " would like to ask you about the meaning and grammatical construction of the phrase li-ely to 'e hard ressed to in the following sentence: Kthis region is one of the least developed in China and the authorities are li-ely to 'e hard ressed to respond to the disaster#

li-ely Ji-ely is most often used as an adjective meaning ro'a'le 8opposites unli-ely 2 im ro'a'le9# "f something is likely it is probably going to happen: <he most likely cause of the fire in the stadium was an une)tinguished cigarette <he most likely outcome to the investigation is that the stadium will have to be rebuilt.

.ith the modifiers most, quite or very, li-ely is also sometimes used as an adverb meaning most ro'a'ly: <hey'll quite likely invite you out to eat in a restaurant when you're staying with them.

it's li-ely that @ clause Ji-ely is /uite often used with it as a preparatory subject: It's unlikely that this afternoon's session will last very long. It should be over by five o' clock. It's more than likely that I shall see +hris in +ambridge. I am almost certain to bump into him, in fact.

'e li-ely to @ infinitive


As an alternative we can use the 'e unli-ely to @ infinitive construction with a normal subject but ro'a'le cannot be used in this way: <his afternoon's session is unlikely to last very long. I'm unlikely to be back late from the meeting. :re you likely to be staying in when you get back?

"t is this realisation of li-ely that is used in your example Eeinhard: <he authorities are likely to be hard pressed to respond to the disaster.

'ote that if we wanted to use ro'a'ly as an alternative in these examples it would need to re5phrase them as follows: hard <his afternoon's session will probably finish 7uite early. I shall probably be back 7uite early from the meeting. Will you probably stay in when you get back? <he authorities will probably be hard pressed to respond to the disaster. ressed 2 ushed

"f you are hard ressed or hard ushed to do something you experience great difficulty in doing it# &eing ressed suggests being under ressure: It seems to me that the 'abour government will be hard pressed to win the ne)t election. We were hard pushed to complete all the preparations before the guests arrived.

=se of the adverb hard here suggests a lot of force being used against you# 'ote that hard also sometimes suggests physical force: <his door is inclined to stick, but if you push it hard, it will open. ressed for time 2 money 2 etc >ressed also collocates with time and money and other ideas in a similar way to hard ressed suggesting difficulty: :re you pressed for time? If not, I suggest we have some lunch. <his one's worn out. Why don't you buy a new one? ~ I'm a bit pressed for cash at the moment. It's not really her sub*ect, but she says she could teach beginners .panish if we're really pressed.

artici les as adjectives


" am confused as to when " can use participles as adjectives# Cet me give you an example# " can say: " saw a barking dog# ,ere the present participle barking is used as an adjective# &ut " can1t say: " saw a barked dog using the past participle as an adjective# .hy not! $hanks# 'ar-ing dogs K yes L 'ar-ed dogs K no L $here are not very many adjectives formed from verb participles $utul that can be used in both 0ed and 0ing forms# You can often get a sense of what works and what doesn1t by transforming the participial adjective into a participial clause# "f it doesn1t make sense as a participle in a clause it is unlikely to make sense as a participle adjective# Consider the following: $he barking dogs kept me awake all night# $he dogs that were barking kept me awake all night# $he barked dogs kept me awake all night# $he dogs that had been barked kept me awake all night# <ar-ing works in the first pair of examples because 0ing forms when used as adjectives have similar meanings to active verbs# <ar-ed doesn1t work in the second pair of examples because most past participles have assive meanings when they are used as adjectives# ;ogs can be washed dried combed brushed fed and walked but they can1t be barked# $hat is something they do themselves# a'andoning child K no L a'andoned child K yes L A'andon 8meaning to leave someone when you should stay with them9 is commonly used in passive structures# 0or this reason a'andoned works as an adjective but a'andoning does not# Compare the following: $he abandoned child cried for three days without stopping# $he child that had been abandoned cried for three days# $he abandoning child was so unhappy she cried for three days# $he child which was abandoning was so upset she cried for three days# A'andoning doesn1t work because children cannot abandon themselves though the unfortunate ones are sometimes abandoned by their parents# $here are a few participial adjectives that can be used in both 0ing and 0ed forms but note the differences in meaning depending on active or passive use in these examples below#


'ro-en hearts K yes L 'rea-ing waves K yes L 3he is suffering from a broken heart ,er heart has been broken by his cruel behaviour# $he breaking waves pushed the surfboard further out to sea# ,uge waves breaking on the beach pushed the surtboard out to sea# alarmed houses K yes L alarming re orts K yes L Alarmed houses afford some protection against burglary# ,ouses which are alarmed afford some protection against burglary# Alarming reports are coming in that refugees are being racially abused# Eeports are coming in that refugees are being racially abused# $his alarms me# A small number of verbs have ast artici les that can be used as adjectives before nouns with active meanings. 'ote with these examples there may not be so much change in meaning between the 0ing and 0ed forms: falling2fallen K yes L advanced2advancing K yes L develo ing2develo ed K yes L $he falling leaves covered the path and made it /uite slippery# $he leaves that were falling covered the path and made it slippery# $he fallen trees blocked the road and only pedestrians could get through# $he trees that had fallen blocked the road and made it /uite impassable# .hen we think of countries that are still develo ing and countries that have develo ed it is true to say that: a9 develo ing countries need as much help as they can get# b9 it is the develo ed nations which should provide it# $his class is appropriate only for advanced students# "t is suitable for students who have advanced beyond level five# $he advancing army surrounded the city and cut off all its supply lines# $he army, which was advancing rapidly had cut off the city by nightfall#


)d and 0ing as adjectives* >atri$ia 3a ali from :taly writes: "1m "talian but "1m working in "reland now# "t sounds as if they say :'m finished or Are you finished+ to state or to ask if you have concluded your work# .hy do they use to 'e instead of to have! 3houldn1t they say: :'ve finished and ,ave you finished!! " don1t understand# $hank you for your answer# $he confusion arises because finished operates both as an adjective and as the ast tense and ast artici le of the verb to finish# 3o if your colleagues say 1.e1re finished for today1 they are using it as an adjective# "f they say 1.e1ve finished work for today1 they are using it as the ast artici le of the verb to finish# 8$his would be more normal in standard )nglish9# 0ed as an adjective .hen we use it as an adjective we can talk about things 'eing finished as well as eo le 'eing finished with something: $heir marriage is finished# "t was a disaster from the beginning so it1s good it1s over# 3he1s not ready to leave# (he won't 'e finished for at least another hour and a half# (heila wasn't finished with -aul yet# $hey still had a lot to talk about#

$here are of course a wide range of adjectives ending in 0ed which follow the verb to 'e and other linking verbs such as seem a ear loo- and 'ecome# ,ere are a few of the most common: " 'ecame interested in the tennis as soon as " heard that ticket prices would be reduced# " was 'ored with the performance and decided to leave as soon as the interval arrived# 3he seemed sur rised 5 even ama*ed 5 to see me# 3he thought " was in the 3tates# $hey were /uite satisfied with the arrangement# 3haring the cost suited them both# 'ed was frightened of Cucie# ,e was also worried that they might be late back#

'ote that all of these adjectives ending in 0ed describe people1s feelings mental states or emotional reactions to something# $here are many more# Check those


you don1t know in a dictionary to see how they are used and which prepositions they can be used with: amused appalled confused delighted disappointed excited pleased pu**led shocked tired concerned convinced determined prepared thrilled 0ing as an adjective $here are also a large number of adjectives ending in 0ing which relate to ver' forms and are used in the same way as 0ed adjectives# 'ote that these adjectives usually descri'e things rather than people directly although they also describe the effect that something has on your ideas and feelings: $he meeting was very satisfying for all concerned as everybody got what they wanted# $he play was /uite interesting and commented on many aspects of contemporary life# $hese results $om are disa ointing and must be very worrying for your parents# " don1t want to go to the seaside again this year# :t's 'oring# ,is answers were misleading# "n fact everyone thought he was lying#

,ere are some more which can be used in the same way# All of these 0ing adjectives listed here have their 0ed counterparts: alarming amusing annoying astonishing charming confusing convincing depressing disgusting embarrassing encouraging entertaining humiliating inspiring intriguing refreshing rewarding tempting terrifying thrilling Eemember: $he storm was terrifying# " was terrified by it# ,is offer 5 three weeks in the Caribbean with nothing to pay( 5 is tem ting and : am tem ted to accept it#

0ed adjectives Jeung Waiteng from ,ong ;ong writes* " am confused by the way adjectives are formed from verbs with just an 0ed added e#g# 5ave you finished your homework? :re you finished with your homework?


$he same thing happens with com lete 5ver'6 and com leted 5adjective6# "s there any difference in meaning between the two sentences! .hich one is more appropriate in spoken 7nglish!

$here is no real difference in meaning or use between finish 5ver'6 and finished 5adj6 or between com lete 5ver'6 and com leted 5adj6# &oth sound very natural in spoken 7nglish: Is your work finished for the day or do you still have some to do? 2ave you finished your work for the day or do you still have some to do? Can " read the manuscript of your latest novel! : 'o sorry it's not com leted yet# Can " read the manuscript of your latest novel! : 8o, sorry, : haven't com leted it yet#

'ote however that com lete as an adjective with the slightly different meaning of whole or entire is more fre/uently used than com leted as an adjective meaning finished: ?o house is complete without carpets on the floors and pictures on the walls. If you think I can handle all this work on my own, that shows a complete lack of understanding on your part. With only one hand on the steering wheel he was not in complete control of the car he was driving .

Adjectives ending in 0ed A large number of adjectives in 7nglish end in 0ed# +any of them have the same form as the past participle of the verb: #our behaviour this evening has disappointed me. I am disappointed with your behaviour this evening.

$hey indicate that something has happened or is happening to the person referred to# $hus a child who is s oilt is a child who has 'een s oilt 'y something# ,ere are some more common adjectives which have a similar meaning to the related verb: amused astonished confused delighted depressed


distressed satisfied

embarrassed shocked

excited surprised

frightened tired

interested worried

It worries me that "ack stays out so late every night. I am a very worried mum. I would be interested to know if you are planning to visit ,reece this summer. *hat interests me because I shall be there throughout :ugust and .eptember. .ou will embarrass your father if you dare to wear clothes like that. .he came down the stairs wearing *eans with holes in them and I have never been so embarrassed.

<ccasionally the adjectival form has a meaning which is different from that of its related verb# Compare the following: I spotted her through the crowded room. .he was wearing a spotted dress. We advanced through the ,ungle as 7uickly as we could as we needed to reach the clearing by nightfall. *he cancer was quite advanced and he had only a few weeks to live.

0ed 2 0ing adjective or ver'+

Ale7 from :srael writes* ,i Eoger# "1d like to ask a very simple /uestion# ,ow do " say: It's very interesting to me. It's very interesting for me. It's very interesting me# .hich one is best! $hank you in advance# <f the three only the middle one is a possibility# &ut even here it sounds slightly awkward# " think most people would say simply: <hat's very interesting. <E; It's very interesting. <E;


I find that very interesting.

"f you want to use interest as a ver' rather than interesting as an adjective you would need to say: <hat interests me a lot. <hat doesn't interest me very much.

0ing adjective or 0ed adjective+ Eemember: people might be interested in something and it is the thing itself that people find interesting# <ther adjectives describing emotions follow a similar pattern: confusing % confused shocking % shocked ama*ing % ama*ed Compare the following: 5is e)planation was confusing. Fost students were confused by it. I was disappointed not to get the promotion I deserved. : disappointing day, yesterday. I'm starting a new *ob and I'm 7uite e)cited about it. I think it will be 7uite e)citing. <he news was shocking. We were shocked when we heard that everyone had drowned. 9verybody was surprised when "enny came top of the class. It was really ama3ing It was a tiring day. I was dead tired after all that shopping. eo le can also 'e adjective 0ing if they awaken this emotion in others: disappointing % disappointed surprising % surprised annoying % annoyed exciting % excited tiring % tired boring % bored

'ote that

A: 0rank is such a 'oring person isn1t he! " find his conversation really 'oring# <: ,e may be 'oring but at least he1s not as annoying as &en who sniffs all the time# A: -aul1s an ama$ing guy isn1t he! ,e ama$es me# ,e can always see the funny side of things# <: "1m /uite ama$ed by all the things -aul gets up to " must say(

interested 2 disa

ointed 2 sur rised 2

leased @ infinitive clause


'ote that some of these adjectives are often followed by an infinitive clause: I shall be interested to hear about how you get on in +airo. We were most surprised to see !evin and 5enry holding hands at the bus stop. I must say we were disappointed to learn that he had abandoned his *ob. I shall be pleased $ delighted to accompany you to the e)hibition on <hursday.

:nterested in 2 sur rised 'y 2

leased with 2 etc

'ote that if you are using a prepositional structure with these adjectives it will normally be either with or 'y sometimes both are possible# :nterested however is usually followed by in# Compare the following: We were pleased $ delighted with all the wedding presents we received. We were surprised by his rudeness at the family gathering. Luite disgusting I was 7uite disappointed with $ by the film. 5e's normally such an e)citing director. I would be interested in working in 8ritain if I could get a work permit.

:nterest 2 sur rise 2

lease 2 etc as ver's

'ote that the verb forms of these adjectives describe an emotional state not an action and are thus rarely used with continuous tenses: .he wanted to please him, but disappointed him when he discovered that she had spent so much money. @?M<; N was disappointing himNC It surprises me to see you making so many basic errors in this game. @?M<; It is surprising meNC <he novel interested me because it seemed to reflect real life so accurately. It amused me so much that I kept bursting out with laughter.



,ow can " use the word pitiful in a sentence! 4 3andro ,ello 3andro# .ell thatAs an interesting /uestion# 'ow pitiful is an adjective and it comes from the word pity. 'ow pity is a feeling that people have of kind of kind5 hearted sympathy or sorrow or compassionK when you see a person or an animal thatAs suffering in some way maybe hungry cold not looked after# And these feelings of pity will often lead you to help the person or animal thatAs suffering# 3o if something is described as pitiful itAs suffering in a way which makes you feel sorry for it and you recognise that it needs help# And hereAs some examples: <he horses were in a pitiful condition. <hey hadn>t been fed for weeks, and they had sore and infected patches all over their skin. <he children had made pitiful attempts to look after their mother but it was clear that the family could not manage. You can use words like sorry and pathetic as synonyms for pitiful. 'ow these words pitiful sorry and pathetic can also have /uite a negative meaning# $hey can be used to mean a feeling of pity but mixed with contempt or disgust for the lack of skill or care or attention thatAs caused the situation# ,ereAs an example: :fter years of mismanagement, his finances were in a pitiful state. And another one: 5e made a couple of pitiful e)cuses about why he hadn>t finished his work, but they were not accepted. And here are some synonyms for this second meaning of pitiful. $hey are: deplorable, woeful, disgraceful and contemptible. $hanks for your /uestion 3andro(

,wang +insu from Jorea writes: .hat is the difference in meaning between im ossi'le mission and mission im ossi'le! "n 7nglish many adjectives including past participles can come before or after nouns# &ut in many cases " donAt know what the difference is between an adjective placed before the noun and after the noun# adjectives 'efore nouns Adjectives are normally placed before nouns and this is known as the modifier or attributive position# $hus we would normally say: Fetting all the way round &ra*il in five working days proved an im ossi'le mission#


,e asked me a number of difficult questions# " was sitting next to the o en window which " couldnAt close#

/ission im ossi'le if " remember correctly was originally the name of an American television series which was later made into a film which you have probably seen# $here is in fact no reason for putting the adjective after the noun here other than for effect# "t sounds original and therefore your attention is drawn to it# e7ce tions to the general rule* adjectives after nouns Attributive adjectives can be placed after the verb to 'e 8and other copular verbs9# $hen we would have: $he mission was im ossi'le# All the questions he asked were difficult# $he window remained o en#

Copular verbs which join adjectives to their subjects describe the state of something or someone or a change of state# $hey include: 'e seem a ear loosound smell taste feel get 'ecome stay remain -ee grow go turn: $he olicemen 'ecame angry# $he sus ects remained calm although " could see that they were anxious# $he sou loo-ed smelt and tasted good#

Also attributive adjectives with their own complement e#g# ca a'le of achieving first0class degrees usually re/uire the whole expression to come after the noun rather than before it: .e are recruiting students ca a'le of achieving first0class degrees# '<$: .e are recruiting capable of achieving first class degree students# &=$: 3he was a ca a'le student# " used to live in a house ne7t to the 3oyal O era ,ouse# '<$: " used to live in a next to the Eoyal <pera ,ouse house# &=$: " live /uite near you# "n the ne7t street in fact#

"n a similar way participles are placed after the nouns which they define: $he eo le questioned about the incident gave very vivid accounts of what had happened# $he issues discussed at the meeting all had some bearing on world peace#

"n all of these last four examples however it is perhaps more normal to use a relative clause: .e are recruiting students who are capable of achieving first5class degrees#


" used to live in a house which was next to the Eoyal <pera ,ouse# $he people who were questioned about the incident gave vivid accounts of what had happened# $he issues that were discussed at the meeting all had some bearing on world peace#

0inally adjectives come after most measurement nouns and after some5 any5 and no5 words: $he fence around the estate was three metres high thirty5five -ilometres long and one hundred and twenty years old# $his lace doesnAt look very romising but letAs try and find somewhere nice for dinner# " couldnAt find anything interesting on the television so " had an early night# $hereAs some'ody outside who wants to speak to you# 3hall " let him in! 8o'ody resent at the meeting was able to offer me any useful advice#

Cang0Coon Jee from ;orea writes* " studied 7nglish for more than twenty years in school# &ut " still don1t know the exact position of an adverb# :s there any rule regarding the osition of adver's+ $hanks a lot#

$here are three normal ositions for adverbs in a sentence: 16 initial osition 8before the subject9 !6 mid osition 8between the subject and the verb or immediately after 'e as a main verb9 or "6 end osition 8at the end of the clause9# ;ifferent types of adverbs favour different positions and " describe these trends below# $here are sometimes exceptions to the general rule so please regard this as a basic guide#



Jin-ing adverbs which join a clause to what was said before always come here# =ime adverbs can come here when we want to show a contrast with a previous reference to time# &omment and view oint adverbs 8e#g# luc-ily, officially, resuma'ly9 can also come here when we want to highlight what we are about to say# Compare the following: <wo of the workers were sacked, and, as a result, everybody went on strike. We invited all the family. 2owever, not everyone could come.


<he weather will stay fine today, but tomorrow it will rain. Initially, his condition remained stable, but over the last few weeks it has deteriorated. Fargaret ran the office, although, officially, <revor was the manager. I haven't made any plans yet, but presumably you'll want to show her around 'ondon osition


Hocusing adverbs 8e#g# just, even9 adverbs of indefinite frequency 8e#g# often, always, never9 and adverbs of certainty and degree 8e#g ro'a'ly, o'viously, clearly, com letely, quite, almost9 all favour this position# 'ote that when auxiliary verbs 8e#g# is has will was9 are used they normally go between the auxiliary verb and the main verb: .he's been everywhere - she's even been to <ibet and ?epal. <om won't be back yet, but I'll ,ust see if 8renda's home. I'll give her a ring. Fy boss often travels to Falaysia and .ingapore but I've never been there. 5ave you finished yet? I haven't quite finished. I've almost finished. .he's obviously a very bossy woman. ~ I completely agree

adver'0adjective .hen adverbs modify adjectives they are placed immediately before them: We had some really interesting news last night. "ohn's been offered a *ob in :ustralia. 5e's absolutely delighted. I bought an incredibly e)pensive dress last week which fits me perfectly. 8ut "ohn says I shouldn't wear it. 5e says it's too tight.

An exception to this rule is enough which is placed after the adjective or adverb that it modifies: I got up 7uite early but not early enough to eat a good breakfast.

e7 ressing


erha s2may'e, may2might


;atin-a 3au enstein from Dermany writes: ,i( "1d like to know when you should use maybe and when you should use erha s# "1m not sure buy maybe perhaps was used only in former times# "n any case "1ve never heard erha s on the radio# All the G"-s use only may'e#

may'e %

erha s

"n &ritish 7nglish both of these adverbs are still very commonly used and have the same meaning# You use them to say that something is possible or may be true but you are not certain# $hey can be used interchangeably but of the two may'e is very appropriate for more informal contexts and erha s is used in more formal situations# Compare the following: " can1t find it anywhere# : >erha s % /ay'e you threw it away# ,ow old is Jane! : " don1t really know# "n her twenties certainly# $wenty5 five may'e# $here were erha s as many as fifty badly wounded soldiers in the hospital# >erha s " should explain to you how they came to be there# 3t -aul1s Cathedral is erha s one of Condon1s most prominent landmarks# .hy don1t you join us for the 'ew Year celebrations! : Yeah erha s % may'e " will# /ay'e you are right( >erha s it would be best if you didn1t invite Johnnie

'ote that erha s is pronounced 1praps1# 'ote also from the above illustrations that erha s and may'e can be used to refer to past present or future events#

may % might 3imilarly we can use the modal auxiliaries may or might to say that there is a chance that something is true or may happen# /ay and might are used to talk about present or future events# $hey can normally be used interchangeably although might may suggest a smaller chance of something happening# Compare the following: " may go into town tomorrow for the Christmas sales# And James might come with me( .hat are you doing over the 'ew Year Ann! : <h " may go to 3cotland but there again " might stay at home# "f you go to bed early tonight you may % might feel better tomorrow# "f you went to bed early tonight you might feel better tomorrow# <ne of my 'ew Year resolutions is to go to the gym twice a week( : And pigs might fly(


'ote that '>igs might fly' is a fixed expression and always uses might# "t means that something will never happen# "n the first conditional example will erha s could be substituted#

"f you go to bed early tonight you may % might feel better tomorrow#

"n the second conditional example where might is an alternative for would erha s may cannot be substituted# "f you went to bed early tonight you might feel better tomorrow#

(teven =an from (inga ore writes: ,i Eoger( +y friends often argue about the meaning of the adverb quite# .ebster1s ;ictionary defines it as e7treme or very# Am " right to say that it is the same in &ritish 7nglish! "n &ritish 7nglish quite has two different meanings# "t does mean com letely or entirely but it also means fairly or rather# quite H com letely .hen it is used for emphasis with adjectives that cannot be graded quite means com letely# $he colour adjective black for example cannot be graded# $hings can1t be more black or less black# $hey are just black# 3o if we put this into context and look at some more examples of quite with ungradable adjectives we may find: $here1s no trace of red in her hair 5 it1s quite 'lac-# " see no hope 5 the future looks quite 'lac- to me# "t1s quite im ossi'le to learn twenty new items of vocabulary each day# ,is performance on stage was quite ama$ing 5 we were just spellbound for three hours( Are you quite sure! " think you1re quite wrong about this#

not quite H not com letely .hen not is used with quite it always means not e7actly or not com letely# 3tudy the following: 3hall we go! : "1m not quite ready# ;o you like this one! : "t1s not quite the colour " wanted# ,ave you finished that book on Che Fuevara yet! : 8ot quite#


quite H e7actly % : agree Muite can be used in an emphatic way as a one5word response meaning e7actly or : com letely agree: " always knew their marriage would never last# : Muite( % )7actly( % (o did :( "f you stay /uite still those animals won1t harm you# : Muite( % $hat1s absolutely right#

quite H fairly % rather "f we are using quite with an adjective that is gradable it means fairly or rather# $he adjective easy for example is gradable# $hings can be easier or harder# $hus quite when used with easy means fairly or rather# 3tudy these examples: ,ow did you find the maths test! : <h it was quite easy really# % "t was quite difficult# .hat did you think of the cabaret! : <h it was quite entertaining# "1m quite tired but "1ll try and finish this book review before " go to bed#

quite with ver's .hen quite is used to modify verbs the meaning depends on whether the verb is regarded as gradable or not# Compare the following: " wouldn1t want to be on holiday with him but " quite li-e him# ,ow did you get on at &arry1s party! : <h it was quite nice# " quite enjoyed myself# " haven1t quite finished decorating Jim1s bedroom yet but " will have by 3aturday# " quite agree with you# Young children must never be left at home on their own#

quite with a % an D 8adjective9 noun .hen quite is used to modify nouns or adjectives with nouns it normally has the meaning of rather# Compare the following: " know they left in a hurry# ,ow did they leave the house! : <h it was in quite a mess# ,ow was the house contents auction! : <h it was quite a success# 'early everything went# Cet1s take a picnic with us# " think it1s going to be quite a nice day# ;id you get to see ,amlet at the &arbican! : Yes it was quite an interesting roduction#


(o 2 9ery ,alimatus from /alaysia asks .hat1s the difference between 1so1 and 1very1! And what is the difference between 1were laughing1 and 1are laughing1! " think both have the same meaning# Can you explain it to me!

/ar- (hea answers* ,i ,alimatus thanks for your /uestion# Cet1s start with the easy bit### S.e are laughingS is the present continuous tense and that normally means that it is happening right now# .e might say that S.e are laughing at the comedy on televisionS or S;on1t worry we are not laughing at you 5 it was something John said earlier(S "n expressions with 1when1 it might mean every time we do something for example laugh: S.hen we1re laughing " forget about our problems#S &ut S.e were laughingS is the past continuous tense and so normally talks about a time in the past: S.e were laughing at the story about -aul when he walked in the roomS or S" saw what happened but why were you laughing!S 3o the difference is the present and the past: "f it1s happening now say 1are1# "f it was happening at some time in the past say 1were1# $he other /uestion is a bit more complicated### .e use 1very1 with adjectives 5 those are words which describe people places or things to make them more extreme# 3o: SCondon is a big city but $okyo is a very big city#S S7instein was a very intelligent man#S S$he -etronas $owers in Juala Cumpur are very tall#S .hen we use 1so1 there1s normally another clause 5 that1s part of a sentence 5 after it# $he 1so1 part of the sentence explains why the 1that1 part of the sentence happens: S$okyo is so big that it is difficult for tourists to find their way around#S S7instein was so intelligent that some other scientists had problems understanding his theories#S S$he -etronas $owers are so tall that they were once the world1s tallest buildings#S $he first part of the sentence doesn1t really make any sense without the second part so although we can say: S$he +alaysian grand prix is very noisyS it doesn1t really make sense to say: S$he +alaysian grand prix is so noisyS 5 unless you1re replying to something another


person has just said# 0or example: S" don1t like motor sports(S S'o 5 me neither# " went to the +alaysian grand prix and it was so noisy#S .hat we mean here is that it was so noisy that she didn1t enjoy it# 3o use 1very1 when you don1t mean that something is good or bad just extreme and use 1so1 when you want to add extra information afterwards# " hope this answers your /uestion ,alimatus# "t was very difficult 5 so difficult that " think " need a rest now( Ise of 'so' and 'such' (avino &arrella from 8a les asks: Could you kindly tell me whether the use of so in the following sentence is correct: 1+iles looked older than his brother revealing so a strange maturity#1 ,ere so should stand for 1in this way1# "f so here means 1in this way1 or 1thus1 it would normally come immediately after the main clause: 1+iles looked older than his brother so revealing a strange maturity#1 81so1 H less formal9 1+iles looked older than his brother thus revealing a strange maturity#1 81thus1 H more formal9

,owever if you are using so or such for emphasis to mean 1to a very great degree or extent1 their position immediately before the adjective is correct# &ut take care using these two forms# "t has to be such before a noun or before an adjective plus noun# 3o it will be: 1+iles looked older than his brother revealing such a strange maturity#1

(o is obviously used in a similar way but is placed before adjectives standing alone or before adverb plus adjective thus: 13he was so indescribably beautiful that we couldn1t take our eyes off her#1

Eemember: such D noun so D adjective such D adjective D noun so D adverb D adjective $he noun with such is normally preceded by the indefinite article: 1.e had such a good time at ,enry1s party#1


1"1ve been working far too hard today and "1ve got such a headache now#1 13he really embarrassed me# 3he is such a fool#1

<ccasionally in certain expressions when the noun has a gradeable meaning the indefinite article is dropped: 13uch lovely countryside 8around here9(1 13uch awful weather 8these days9(1 1.e had such fun at ,enry1s party(1 1" don1t know how you have such patience 8when dealing with such awkward customers9#1

0re/uently heard examples of so in this sense might include: 1"1m so glad you are here(1 1,e was so pleased to see her#1 1;on1t go so fast( 3low down(1 1.hat1s so funny about that!1 1"1m so tired( "t1s as if " haven1t slept for a week#1 1" love you so much(1

You will already have noticed from at least one of the above examples that so and such are often followed by 1that15clauses suggesting result or conse/uence# 'ote that when plural nouns are used after such the article is of course omitted# 1"1m so glad 8that9 you could come(1 1"t had been so hot on the journey 8that9 we had to drink a litre of water when we arrived home#1 1$here was so much to do on that holiday 8that9 nobody ever got bored#1 1$hey were such good swimmers 8that9 they had no difficulty swimming across the fast5flowing river#1 13he prepared such good meals 8that9 no one ever thought of going out to eat#1 1"1ve got such a high temperature 8that9 "1m hoping 8that9 my husband will drive me straight to the surgery when he gets home from work#1

$here is one exception to the general rule as set out above and that is that only so can be used with indefinite determiners much and many and it is more usual with little and few when these are followed by a noun# .e therefore have the new pattern: so D determiner D noun 1(o many sun5worshippers had crowded on to the beach that there was no space left for my towel#1 1"1m sure there will be so much noise in the restaurant that " shan1t be able to hear what anybody is saying#1 1" had so little rest over the weekend that " couldn1t go to work on +onday morning#1


1$here were so few leaves on the tree that it was pointless to try to shelter from the rain beneath it#1

You cannot say: 1such many sun5worshippers1 or 1such much noise1 and it would be unusual to say: 1such few leaves1 or 1such little rest1#

0inally compare: 1(uch little people(1 81Cittle1 here is used as an adjective meaning 1small1#9 13o few people(1 810ew1 here is used as a determiner meaning 1not very many1#9

You will already have noticed from at least one of the above examples that 1so1 and 1such1 are often followed by that5clauses suggesting result or conse/uence# 'ote that when plural nouns are used after 1such1 the article is of course omitted# 1"1m so glad 8that9 you could come(1 1"t had been so hot on the journey 8that9 we had to drink a litre of water when we arrived home#1 1$here was so much to do on that holiday 8that9 nobody ever got bored#1 1$hey were such good swimmers 8that9 they had no difficulty swimming across the fast5flowing river#1 13he prepared such good meals 8that9 no one ever thought of going out to eat#1 1"1ve got such a high temperature 8that9 "1m hoping 8that9 my husband will drive me straight to the surgery when he gets home from work#1 though 2 as though 2 li-e =amas from ,ungary writes: "1m a bit confused about using the word though# "t1s often used at the end of a sentence# 0or example: $he house isn1t very nice# " like the garden though.

Can you help me out and explain the usage of this word!

'though' as conjunction .e normally think of though as a conjunction introducing a contrastive statement and as the less formal and less forceful e/uivalent of although and even though# Compare the following: )ven though it was suffocatingly hot she was wearing a thick woollen sweater# Although she was very fond of him she had no intention of marrying him# .e could try to phone her before we go though we might miss the train if we do#


'though' as adver' &ut in your example $amas though is used as an adverb as the less formal e/uivalent of however# .e use though and however when we want to add a comment that seems to contradict or contrasts with what has already been said# As in your own example $amas though often indicates an afterthought# Compare the following: " performed so well at interview " thought " would get the job# ,owever it was not to be# $he economic outlook is not very good# ,owever " can assure you that nobody will lose his job# "Am sorry " canAt stay for lunch# "All have a coffee though# .hat a lovely sunny day( : $hereAs a chilly wind though isnAt there!

as though % as if % li-e Cike though as though and as if are subordinating conjunctions# .e use as if or as though when we want to give an explanation for something which may not be correct: 3he looked at me as if % as though " were mad# $ake an umbrella# "t looks as if % as though itAs going to rain# " canAt understand why sheAs so keen on him# "tAs not as if % as though heAs good5looking or anything#

"n spoken informal 7nglish particularly American 7nglish we sometimes substitute li-e for as if and as though: 3he looked at me li-e " was stupid# "t looks li-e itAs gonna rain#

3trictly speaking li-e meaning similar to is a preposition which can only be followed by a pronoun noun or noun phrase# 3o if you want to be grammatically correct make sure you use li-e in this way: Ji-e all good curries it was served with fresh coriander and nan bread# Ji-e me she refuses to work after six oA clock in the evening# <n the phone you sound just li-e your mother# "n fact " always think it is your mother#

''efore' or 'ago' " am studying how to use tenses correctly in 7nglish# " am having difficulty with the difference between ago and 'efore# Ago cannot be used with the present perfect


tense# .e cannot say: : have met him five years ago# .e have to say: : have met him 'efore# .hy is present perfect possible with 'efore but not with ago! ''efore' 0 any time 'efore now &efore means: at some unknown time before now# "t does not say when# $herefore we would say: " know that chap# "1ve met him somewhere before# ,ave you been here before! : 'o "1ve never been here before# $his is my first time# .e normally use the present perfect tense because the effect of meeting or seeing someone or being somewhere is still felt in the present# 3imple past is also possible because we are talking about unknown occasions in the past but it is less likely: " know that chap# " met him somewhere before# .ere you here before! : 'o " was never here before# $his is my first time# 'ago' 0 at a certain time 'efore now Ago tells us how long before the present time something happened# "t tells us when and gives us a time or a date# &ecause we are referring to a specific time in the past the simple past is used: Your mother phoned five minutes ago# Can you phone her back! " saw her for the first time at film festival in Cannes some twenty years ago# ''efore' 0 at a certain time 'efore then Ago always counts back from the present time# 'ote that if we are counting back from a past time 'efore or earlier or reviously are used not ago: " met him at the A";3 conference in ;urban in ;ecember 6@@6 when he told me that he had contracted A";3 four years before# 8 H L years ago9 Cast year " went back to my hometown that " had left ten years before and discovered that the house " grew up in was no longer standing# 8H left home II years ago9 Cast year " returned to my hometown that " had left ten years ago and discovered that the house " grew up in had been demolished 8H left home I@ years ago9 ''efore' 0 conjunction and re osition as well as adver' re osition as well as an

'ote that 'efore can be used as a conjunction or adverb#

"f 'efore is used as a conjunction it often connects two clauses together which discuss ast events# &ut note that it can also be used with a present tense in the subordinate clause to indicate future activity# Compare the following:


$hey left the dining table before " had finished my meal# ,ow rude of them( ,e knelt down to say his prayers before he got into bed# " shall read all the reports before " decide what action to take# "t can also link clauses denoting habitual current activity with the simple present: " always shave before " take a shower# You must take off your shoes before you enter the mos/ue# "f 'efore is used as a re osition it usually refers to time not to front of is preferred# Compare the following: lace when in

$o stay young and beautiful try to get to bed before midnight each night# $o stay in shape " try to go for a jog and a swim in the sea every morning before breakfast# $here were so many tall people in front of me that " could see nothing of the procession as it passed by# ')ver' and 'whenever' =iffany =eng from (inga ore asks: .e know it is correct to say: B" have never been to CondonA# &ut for someone who has been to Condon before is it correct to say: B" have ever been to CondonA!

'o# )ver means at any time so it is inappropriate in the above sentence# )ver is used mainly in /uestions# Although it is usually associated with the present perfect it can also be used with a present past or past perfect verb form or with future reference# "f the answer is no we often use never in the reply meaning Bnot at any timeA# "f the answer is yes we might add once or twice etc to indicate how many times we have done whatever is being referred to# Compare the following: 1,ave you ever been to "reland!1 1Yes "Ave been there twice once in ITOM and again in ITT?#1 1;id you ever meet $om Eobinson when you were at uni!1 1'o " never did#1 1+y driving instructor asked me if "Ad ever driven before#1 1" said no " never had#1 1;o you ever go to the cinema!1 1'o " prefer to watch films on video or ;G;#1 1Are you ever going to finish this book!1 1"All try and finish it over the summer# "Ave no time now#1 1.ill you ever marry me!1 1'o Jason " donAt think " ever will#1

As you can see from this last example ever can be used in an affirmative sentence with not as an alternative to the more usual 1never1# "t can also be used in affirmative sentences with if and with adverbs which express a negative idea like


hardly# Eemember the meaning of ever is always Bat any timeA# Compare the following: 1"f you ever change your mind let me know# .eAd love to have you on the team#1 1"f you are ever in Condon be sure to come and see us#1 1.e hardly ever go to the theatre# "tAs too expensive#1 1" donAt think we shall ever see Jenny again now that sheAs emigrated to Australia#1

Eemember also that ever can be tagged on to BwhereA BwhenA BwhatA BwhichA BwhoA and BhowA to make the conjunctions wherever whenever whatever whichever whoever and however meaning 1no matter whereA Bno matter whenA Bno matter whatA Bno matter whichA Bno matter whoA and Bno matter howA# Compare the following: 1.e were playing B,ide and 3eekA and we couldnAt find him wherever we looked#1 1"f you have a problem you can phone me up whenever you like 4 at any time of the day#1 1.hatever advice " gave her she would be sure not to take it#1 1.hichever path we took we were unable to find our way out of the ma*e#1 1" shall sell my computer to whoever wants it#1 1,owever hard " try " can never seem to learn vocabulary#1

0inally ever is used in the comparative expression as ever and than ever meaning Bas%than at any time in the pastA# 3tudy the following two examples: 1YouAll have to work harder than ever today if you want to finish this job before it gets dark#1 1Jayne itAs so long since " heard you sing but you sing as beautifully as ever(1

=ime e7 ressions, adjectives and adver's /in from (outh ;orea writes* "1d like to know the difference between lately and recently# +y dictionaries say they are almost the same but " guess there1s a slight difference isn1t there! Aston 8dosi from =an$ania writes* -lease assist by explaining to me the difference in use between unctual# (. 3ajandran from :ndia writes* " would like to know the difference between instantaneous and simultaneous# rom t and


3ecently 2 lately 0 late $here is a slight difference in use between recently and lately 8see below9 but note that the adverb late is /uite different in meaning from lately: its opposite is early# Compare the following: <he supermarket has recently opened a new superstore outside town @K a short time agoC I haven't been to the theatre recently ( lately. @K over the last few weeks or monthsC Fy health hasn't been too good recently ( lately - I've hardly been out at all. I arrived late for the performance and couldn't get in. It's a good idea to arrive early so that you have time for a drink before the show starts.

3ecently 2 lately 0 late $here is a slight difference in use between recently and lately 8see below9 but note that the adverb late is /uite different in meaning from lately: its opposite is early# Compare the following: <he supermarket has recently opened a new superstore outside town @K a short time agoC I haven't been to the theatre recently ( lately. @K over the last few weeks or monthsC Fy health hasn't been too good recently ( lately - I've hardly been out at all. I arrived late for the performance and couldn't get in. It's a good idea to arrive early so that you have time for a drink before the show starts.

>rom tly 0

unctually 0 on time 0 in time

"f you arrive unctually you arrive at the right time neither late nor early 5 you arrive on time# -unctually is normally used with the verb arrive but rom tly which means without delay is used with other verbs 8see below and note the position of promptly in these sentences# :n time has a slightly different meaning


from on time# "f you do something in time you do it with time to s are 5 before the last moment# Compare the following: 5e sat down to watch the television programme and promptly fell asleep. 5e sat down to watch the television programme and fell asleep straightaway. I received his letter a week ago and I replied promptly to it. I received his letter a week ago and I replied to it immediately. 5e was saved from falling overboard by the prompt action of the skipper. Fy guest arrived punctually at seven o' clock, as I e)pected. 5e's always very punctual. <he train left e)actly on time. <he show started e)actly on time. I didn't get to the house in time. <hey had already left. We're in plenty of time. We can have a coffee. <here's no need to go in now.

:nstant5ly6 0 instantaneous5ly6 "f something happens instantly it happens immediately# "f something happens instantaneously it also happens immediately but at the same time very quic-ly# "nstantaneous and instantaneously are used only in a restricted range of contexts 8see below9: <he 8eatles songs are instantly recognisable - everybody seems to know them. When I saw 8arbara crying I knew instantly what was wrong. 4eath was instantaneous for all the people in the car when the bomb e)ploded. <he airbags for the driver and front seat passenger inflate instantaneously on impact in a head-on collision.

(imultaneously 0 at the same time "f things happen simultaneously they happen at the same time# 'ote that simultaneous is used in more formal contexts than at the same time 8see below9:


<he two-minute silence in memory of the famous footballer was observed simultaneously on all the football grounds in 9ngland. <he shots were fired simultaneously and three of them hit their target. We arrived at the same time. I arrived at the same time as "udy.

"n informal and semi5formal registers at the same time can also be used to connect ideas between sentences# "t introduces a statement that slightly changes or contradicts the previous statement# 3imultaneously cannot be used in this way# Compare the following: " admired her for her courage in the face of such adversity# At the same time " was slightly afraid of her# 8'<$: 3imultaneously " was slightly afraid of her#9 Cities are becoming more and more crowded# At the same time people are using their cars less and less in city centres# 8'<$: 3imultaneously peopleK9

always or ever+ Could you please explain when " have to use ever and when " have to use always! ever A at any time )ver usually means at any time and can be used to refer to past present and future situations# $he converse meaning at no time is never# )ver is mainly used in questions# 3ometimes it is used in negative sentences 8not ever9 as an alternative to never# Compare the following: .ere you ever in the &oy 3couts! : 'o " never was# ,ave you ever been to the 7verglades in 0lorida! : Yes " was there once but it was years ago# .ill you ever speak to her again! : 'o " don1t think " ever will# "f you ever need any help just give me a ring# ever * for em hasis .e sometimes use ever to give emotive emphasis to what we are saying as an indication that we feel very strongly about it# $hus in speech ever receives strong word stress: "f " ever catch you fiddling your expenses claims again you1ll be sacked#


;on1t ever do that again( ,ow ever did you manage to drive home through so much snow! .hen ever will " find time to get to the bottom of my in5tray! .hy ever did he marry such a domineering woman! .e sometimes use ever in compound expressions with hardly or if: hardly ever A very rarely 2 seldom "t seldom % hardly ever % very rarely rains in -uglia in the summer# seldom, if ever A almost never 'ow that we have young children we seldom if ever go out in the evening# ever A always+ .e do not often use ever to mean always i#e# on every occasion or all the time# .e have to say e#g#: " always bike to work now# "t1s so much healthier# 8'ot: " ever bike to work now# "t1s so much healthier#9 Compare the difference in meaning between these two example sentences# "n the first sentence they often agree but not on every occasion# "n the second sentence they never agree: +y mother and " don1t always agree about the best way to rear children# +y mother and " don1t ever agree about the best way to rear children# ever A always &ut occasionally ever is used to mean always# .e sometimes end letters with Nours ever or )ver yours as an alternative to Nours sincerely# ,ere )ver yours means Always yours# And in these contexts too in which we are indicating that a person has particular /ualities ever is used to mean always: Cet me open the door for you# : 7ver the gentleman( " always year loose5fitting clothes like this : 7ver the hippie( "n a number of compound expressions ever is used to mean always# $hese include as ever for ever and ever since: as ever


As ever they couldn1t agree# $hey1ve never ever agreed on anything# As ever he was dressed in the style of 7minem# " thought she might be upset by this but she was as unperturbed as ever# for ever or forever .e plan to live in this village now for ever# .e shall never move out# " intend to remain married to you forever# " shall always love you# ever since 3he1s had a drink problem ever since her husband died# " first met him when " was in the army and we1ve remained friends ever since# 'ote that with the ever since construction the 1always1 period commences when something happens# "n the above examples this is husband1s death or army service meeting# 0inally when ever is combined with a com arative adjective it is used to mean always: $he water was rising ever higher and we were in danger of being cut off# $he volume of work is going to increase and " shall become ever more busy# always A very often As well as all the time or on every occasion always can also mean very often when it is used with the progressive form: 3he always going on about the cost of living and how expensive everything is# "1m always losing my keys# " put them down and can never remember where "1ve put them# 'ote the difference in meaning between these two examples of use: "1ll always lend you money when you have none# You know you can depend on me# 8Always H on every occasion9 "1m always lending you money when you have none# .hy don1t you try to budget more carefully! 8Always H very often9

yet 2 still 2 already *

osition and use


/aria 3ita <arros from <ra$il writes* " always get confused when " use still yet and already# Could you please explain them again with examples# /aria0Jeena Juotonen from Hinland writes* "1ve been wondering why my grammar book says that yet goes at the end of the clause in interrogative and negative sentences when " have seen the examples: I got the book a month ago and I haven't yet had a chance to read it. 8Cambridge ;ictionaries on line9 'ater issues are not yet published.8&ritish Cibrary9

Net 0

osition in sentence

" would say that your grammar book Cambridge ;ictionaries and the &ritish Cibrary are all correct +aria5Ceena# Net is normally placed at the end of the clause particularly in informal )nglish and in questions but can go immediately after not in negative sentences in a more formal style such as Cambridge ;ictionaries and the &ritish Cibrary have used# Compare also the following: 5ow long have you been in 8ritain? ~ Jor over a year now. ~ 5ave you been to Wales or .cotland yet? ~ ?o, not yet. I haven't even ventured out of 'ondon yet.

Although she has been in &ritain for more than a year +aria has not yet visited either .ales or 3cotland# Net 0 meaning and use .e use yet in /uestions to ask whether something has happened up to the present time# 8ot yet then indicates that it hasn1t happened yet: Is dinner ready yet? I'm starving. ~ ?o, it's not ready yet. It'll be another half an hour.

"n a more formal style it is possible to use yet in affirmative sentences: We have yet to discover whether there are any survivors from the plane crash. I have yet to speak to the personnel manager to discuss my future.

"n a less formal style we might say: We still don't know whether there are survivors from the plane crash. I haven't spoken to the manager yet, so don't know what my future will be.


I still haven't spoken to the manager, so don't know what my future will be.

$hus in negative sentences as we can see from these examples there is considerable overlap in meaning and use between yet and still# 3till is the more emphatic of the two# still 0 meaning and use .e use still in /uestions affirmative and negative sentences to indicate that something is not finished and that we are perhaps surprised or concerned about this# &ecause it is emphatic it often carries considerable word stress: Is it still raining? ~ #es, it's still raining. ?o chance of playing tennis today, I'm afraid. I still don't know whether 8rendan will be coming to the engagement party. I've tried to reach him several times on the phone, but can't seem to get hold of him.

already 0 meaning and use .hereas still and yet normally refer to present and future circumstances already normally refers to something that is in the present or recent past# "t is mainly used in /uestions and affirmative sentences and usually expresses surprise that something has happened sooner than expected# When do you e)pect 6olly to arrive? ~ .he's already here 5aven't you seen her? +an you give me a hand with the layout for this article. ~ ?o, I'm sorry, I'm already late. I have to leave right now. +an you help me move those bo)ed upstairs? ~ I've already moved them. 5ave you finished that typing already? #es, I finished it about five minutes ago. 8y the age of three, Fo%art had already learnt to play the piano. osition in sentence

still 2 already 0

'ote from the above examples that in contrast to yet still and already usually occupy mid position in the clause#

A question from ;atie <urton in &hina* 3ome of my Chinese colleagues asked me about the phrase 1well and truly1# .e can say 1well and truly stuck1 but not 1well and truly beautiful1# Are there any rules for


using this phrase or is it just a case of learning it! "s 1well and truly1 an adverb and what should follow it or is it an adjective and is it only for negative things! ;aren Adams answers* $hank you for your /uestion Jatie# And first let me explain what 1well and truly stuck1 means# "f something is 1well and truly stuck1 you really can not move it# 3o for example if your car breaks down and you try to push it and it won1t move it may be well and truly stuck# 3o 1well and truly1 here means absolutely stuck you can1t move it# And really when we say something is well and truly stuck it shows that we are actually a little bit frustrated or we really aren1t very happy about the fact that we can1t move it# 3o for example if " come home and " want to have a biscuit and " look in the biscuit tin and there are none there " can say 1well they are well and truly finished1# ,owever 1well and truly1 is a very difficult phrase to use because it doesnAt go with lots and lots of different adjectives# "f you were to say the words 1well and truly1 to someone in &ritain they would imagine that the next word would be stuck# 1.ell and truly1 is an adverbial phrase to describe the adjective stuck# And they just go together# $here are no clear rules to for why certain adverbs go with certain adjectives they just do# 3o for example if you say to someone in &ritain the adverb 4 1stunningly1 4 the adjective they1re most likely to think of is 1beautiful1# $hese are what we call fixed phrases# $hey1re phrases which just go together they collocate 4 co locate 4 they go together# "t1s not just adverbs and adjectives which go together in this way# .e often find nouns and nouns go together# 3o for example 1fish and K# chips1# <r adjectives and nouns for example we can say 5 1heavy smoker1 someone who smokes a lot or 1heavy drinker1 someone who drinks a lot# &ut someone who eats a lot! 'o it1s not a 1heavy eater1 it1s a 1big eater1# &asically these phrases which go together form patterns there are no real rules to learn# You just have to be able to work out what the patterns are# 3o how do you learn these phrases which go together! .ell the two best things you can do are to read and to listen# .hen you1re reading a newspaper or a book try to work out phrases that you see coming up more than once# "f you see a phrase which goes together maybe two or three times then you can think 1mmm " think those go together " think those collocate#1 And similarly if you1re listening to the radio when you1re listening to the &&C .orld 3ervice if you hear the phrase two or three times make a note of it because then you know 1mmm this is a collocation this is a phrase which goes together#1 3o hopefully Jatie that answers your /uestion# $o sum up 1well and truly is an adverbial phrase and most often you use it with the adjective 1stuck1 1well and truly stuck#1 You can use it in one or two other circumstances but usually you will hear it with he adjective 1stuck1# Although now "1m well and truly finished and "1m going to go and have a cup of tea#

Worth and worthwhile 3o'erto /iguel from Argentina writes*


.ould you please explain the difference between these two sentences: <his book is worth reading It's worth reading this book. and also the use and meaning of: It's worthwhileN It's worth somebody's whileN $here is no difference in meaning between the first two sentences# "n both of them we are talking about the value of an activity. $he difference is one of form only and both forms are fre/uently used :s it worth re airing this car+ Worth usually follows the verb to 'e and is often used with a preparatory it# "t can then be followed by an 0ing clause: It was definitely worth making the effort to watch this documentary. It is always worth fighting for your freedom and independence.

'ote that with this construction it can be used to refer to an action mentioned in the previous sentence: .hall we have this car repaired? ~ ?o, it's not worth repairing. I shall never have any independence. ~ It's worth fighting for, you know.

=his car is not worth re airing .ith this structure the o'ject of the 5ing clause is made the su'ject of the sentence and the preparatory it becomes superfluous: <his documentary was definitely worth watching. <his documentary was definitely worth making the effort to watch. Jreedom and independence are always worth fighting for.

<e worth a lot of money Worth is also often followed by a noun hrase when we are discussing the monetary value of something or somebody and saying how much it or they are worth# .ith this construction the /uestion forms how much and what are often used: What $ 5ow much do you think this violin is worth? ~ It must be worth a fortune. It's a stradivarius. 5e bought me earrings worth two thousand pounds. ~ ,osh, how much is he worth? ~ 5e's a dollar millionaire

'e worth a lot 2 a great deal 2etc


.ith these expressions we are saying how good, useful or relia'le something or someone is: .he's always there for me. 5er companionship is worth a great deal to me. .he's worth her weight in gold. <he government's promises and policies are not worth very much. <he policies are not worth the paper they're printed on. a er they are

'ote that to 'e worth your weight in gold and not worth the rinted on are both idioms# .ord order cannot be changed# 'e worth some'ody's while

"f you say it will be worth your while to do something it means that you will get some 8financial9 advantage or benefit from it even though it may take some time or trouble: It would be well worth your while to invest in shares now while the stock market is low. It's not really worth my while to spend the whole day on my feet behind the counter for as little as fifty pounds.

'ote from the above example that worth can also be modified by well to make the expression well worth# worthwhile "f something is worthwhile it is well worth the time, money or effort that you spend on it: It was a worthwhile *ourney - he got to see everyone on his list. <he meeting was so worthwhile and all the arguments about profit margins have now been sorted out.

3ometimes worthwhile simply means of value and can be used in a similar way to worth with preliminary it# Compare the following: It may be worth comparing this year's profit margins with last year's It may be worthwhile to compare this year's profit margins with last year's It may be worth your while to compare this year's profit margins with last year's

worthless 'ote that if something is worthless it has no value or use: <he guarantee will be worthless if the company goes out of business. With hyperinflation the local currency has become virtually worthless.


'yet' as conjunction and adver' 9iji >alania an from :ndia writes:

Net is similar in meaning to 'ut# &ut people also say: not yet# $his is confusing# :Bid you receive the 'oo-+ :8ot yet. $he problem is that yet can be used as an adverb as well as a co5ordinating conjunction# CetAs look at its function as a conjunction first of all# yet as conjunction You are right Giji# Net is similar in meaning to 'ut# <ut is a co5ordinating conjunction used to contrast two statements: $hey can speak Arabic 'ut they canAt read or write it# ,e tried to book a holiday on &ali 'ut he didnAt have enough money to pay for it#

.e use yet as the preferred alternative to 'ut when we want to emphasise that contrast to achieve a stronger effect: 3he can play the piano very well yet she canAt read music at all# $he yachtsman had lost all sense of direction yet he refused to give up in his attempt to cross the Atlantic#

.e sometimes put and in front of yet when it is used in this way or use even so as an alternative to yet or and yet: 3he can play the piano very well and yet she canAt read music at all# $he yachtsman had lost all sense of direction# )ven so he refused to give up in his attempt to cross the Atlantic#

,owever and nevertheless are sometimes used as more formal alternatives to yet: ,e had no chance of winning the race or even of coming in the first six# ,owever he kept going and crossed the finishing line ahead of his team mates# ,e had not slept for three nights# 8evertheless he insisted on going into work the following day#

"n collo/uial spoken 7nglish mind you 'ut still or still are sometimes used as less formal alternatives to yet: $he weather was lousy# "t rained every day# (till we managed to enjoy ourselves#


" donAt like the work very much# /ind you the people " work with are very nice# You can be very annoying at times 'ut we still love you#

yet as adver' .hen yet is used as an adverb it is used to talk about something over a period of time up till now: "s lunch ready yet! Are the ,unts back from their holiday yet!

"t is often used with the negative when you are saying that up to the present time something has not happened# "t is normally used with present and perfect tenses though in American 7nglish you will sometimes hear it used with the past tense# (till can sometimes be used as an alternative to yet# .hen we use still in this way it is emphatic# .e are saying that we are very surprised that it hasnAt happened# Compare the following: ;onAt eat the plums# $heyAre not ripe yet# % $heyAre still not ripe# " havenAt been to .ales or 3cotland yet though "Ave visited 7ngland many times# " still havenAt been to .ales or 3cotland even though "Ave visited 7ngland many times# ;id you phone him yet! 'o sorry# " forgot#

As we can see from the above examples yet is normally used with negative sentences and in /uestions but it is sometimes used in affirmative sentences in a more formal style: " have yet to meet the man " wish to marry# .e have yet to learn whether there will be any survivors from the earth/uake#

Confusing words & expressions

'accident' and 'incident' " would like to know the difference between 1accident1 and 1incident1# /ar- (hea answers* ,i Eichard 5 " can see the confusion here 5 the words even sound nearly the same( " think that the most important difference is that 'an accident' is something which happens purely by chance there was no intention involved and we can!t really use 1incident1 like this#


"f you do something 'y accident you don1t mean to do it perhaps it1s something you do or did without thinking# -ost5it notes for example are little sticky pieces of paper that we use to write notes on# And they were discovered 'y accident when a scientist who was trying to make a very strong glue created a very weak one instead# ,e didn1t mean to discover -ost5 it notes 5 he made them 'y accident# .e often use 1accident1 to describe something unpleasant or unfortunate ! S.he had an accident while she was skiing and broke her leg.E "t1s especially common to use it when we are talking about traffic and vehicle collisions ### S<he car accident caused a big problem on the motorway.S 1An incident1 is much more general 5 we can use it to talk about almost anything that happens any single event# "f we were describing a particular time when something went badly wrong we might talk about Sthe incident last summerS for example# "t might be something completely intentional 5 someone deliberately starting an argument ### SWe don't talk about politics at home since the incident last summer. 'i was looking for an argument and brought up the sub*ect of the recent elections#S .e couldn1t call the argument 1an accident1 because Ci started it deliberately# .e often say 1incident1 when we don1t want to mention what actually happened or sometimes if we want to make an event sound less important# $he police use 1incident1 to talk about possible crimes if they1re not yet sure if a crime has been committed# "t1s /uite common to hear: S6olice are looking into the incident#S "t means that they are investigating to see if someone has committed a crime# 3o the biggest difference is that accidents are never intentional but incidents might be( " hope this answers your /uestion Eichard#

Acting 2 Acting as A question from /. /'ewe in Oam'ia* .hat is the difference between 1Acting as Chief 7xecutive <fficer1 and 1Acting Chief 7xecutive <fficer1! $his is in relation to office duties#


(usan Hearn answers* 3o first of all let me explain that the &hief )7ecutive Officer is the person at the head of a company# &ut you might not have actually heard this said very much and that1s because it1s such a mouthful that speakers of 7nglish often just use the initials 5 '&)O' and that1s true of both speech and writing# "1ve got a couple of examples from &&C news stories# ,ere1s one from <ctober 6@@L: P(treiff resigns as &)O of Air'usP <he chief e)ecutive of troubled plane maker :irbus has resigned... And here1s another: P&)O swa s hedge fund for charityP 83ep 6@@L9 <he chief e)ecutive of the world's biggest hedge fund, is to step down to focus on private philanthropy... &ut anyway the /uestion here isn1t 1.hat is a chief executive officer!1 it1s about Acting Chief 7xecutive <fficers# And here1s an example: A friend of mine who1s the C7< of a charity recently took a few months off to have a baby 5 she went on maternity leave# And while she was away someone else took her job for a few months# $hat person had an official job title Acting &)O 0 Acting &hief )7ecutive Officer. 'ow acting here has nothing to do with ,ollywood 5 it just means being temporarily but officially in a job# And the person that normally does that job is away 5 perhaps they1ve left and a permanent replacement hasn1t been found# You can be an acting anything pretty much: an Acting /anager Acting ,ead Acting )ditor but your role is recogni*ed# 3o in my friend1s case the Acting &)O got the job title the money and the recognition# 3he was lucky( 3ometimes a company might not find a replacement immediately or perhaps not find one at all# And some poor person still has to do all the extra work# $hat person might be acting as the C7< 5 they1re doing the work but not necessarily getting the recognition the pay or the official job title 5 they may or may not be# 3o two examples: /auri$io is the Acting &)O $hat means he gets the official title the money the recognition# And he1s also doing the work 5 he1s acting as the &)O# <n the other hand poor old +aria in her company is acting as the &)O but she1s not getting the job title or the extra moneyU she1s not officially the Acting &)O# 'ow a /uick word about a related phrasal verb 'act u '# "f you fill an acting osition it1s normally a level above your usual jobU you1re acting u # 3o we can say for instance: /auri$io is acting u while Dlenda's away. You have to be careful with this verb though# Cike many 7nglish phrasal verbs it1s got


more than one meaning# 'Act u ' can also mean 1misbehave1 as in: P/y children have 'een really acting u today.P And if you say: P/y 'oss is acting u P 5 it could have either meaning(

adjective0noun collocations Amin studying 7nglish in 8ew Oealand writes: " usually get confused using adjectives like heavy, strong, severe, hard# 0or example should it be : heavy traffic or severe traffic or heavy 2 strong 2 severe wind or heavy 2 strong 2 severe 2 hard rain or $hey hit me so hard2strongK! " would be much obliged if you could give me an answer# As you progress further with your 7nglish studies Amin you will become more sensitive to which adjectives best collocate with which nouns and which adverbs best collocate with which verbs# You can learn this by listening to as much spoken 7nglish as possible and reading as much written 7nglish as possible# Always try to learn use of vocabulary from the context in which it appears and with the help of an 7nglish5 7nglish dictionary which gives plenty of examples of use as well as definitions# "n your examples we would talk about: $he heavy rain and heavy traffic made me late for my appointment# $he strong wind whipped the waves up into three5metre5high breakers# $hey hit me so hard that " found it difficult to stay on my feet#

<ther examples or contexts of usage with heavy 2 strong 2 severe 2 hard might be:

heavy ,e wonAt be able to lift such a heavy suitcase# ,eAs only nine years old# ,eAs been a heavy smoker and drinker all his adult life# "t was a very heavy meal 4 far too much meat and not enough vegetables or salads# 3he had a very heavy cold and her breathing was heavy too# "Ave had a really heavy week 4 "Ave got a really heavy timetable this term# $he 0irst .orld .ar yielded much heavier casualties than had ever been known before#

"nterestingly thinking about antonyms of heavy although we would talk about light suitcases light meals light weeks light timetables and light casualties we wouldnAt /uite so often say a light smoker or a light drinker# " think you would rarely hear


someone say a light cold# "nstead it would be a slight cold although you might say that someoneAs breathing was very light#8$he antonyms of a word is another word which means the opposite#9

strong +artina ,ingis has always exerted a strong influence on the way " play tennis# Although " have strong views on this " had the strong support of everybody in the room# ,e has a strong case and there is a strong chance that his appeal will be successful# 3he speaks 7nglish /uite well but with a strong 0rench accent#

" am strong in the social sciences and psychology is perhaps my strongest subject# $hinking of antonyms of strong in these contexts although we would talk about a weak influence a weak case being weak in social sciences and my weakest subject we would have to say a slight chance and a slight accent# 0or the converse of strong views and strong support we would probably say: " donAt have very strong views on this and " had some support#8$he converse of a statement or fact is the opposit of it#9

severe $he severe weather%severe winter meant that hundreds of schools had to be closed# $he heavy rain caused severe damage to crops and later on a severe shortage of food# .e are under severe pressure to reduce the wage bill and make ?@@ workers redundant# $he magistrate imposed severe penalties 4 they were severely punished#

Conversely we would talk about mild weather and mild winters slight damage and slight shortages some pressure lenient penalties or leniently punished#

hard "t was a hard exam and the final /uestion was really hard 4 it was a hard nut to crack( "tAs been a long hard day and "Ave been working very hard# $hey had a hard life and worked through hard times# .e had no hard evidence that they had used hard drugs#


Conversely we might say an easy exam easy /uestions an easy day an easy life easy times soft drugs circumstantial evidence and " havenAt worked very hard# $he expression a hard nut to crack which means that it was difficult to do this has no converse form# Haroush from :ran as-s* .hat is the meaning of 1afraid1 in different sentences and situations! 3achel Wica-sono answers* $his is an interesting /uestion 0arhoush and :'m afraid that there are at least seven ways to use the adjective 1afraid1( $he most common meaning of 1afraid1 is the one " have just used to introduce the topic 5when we want to politely tell someone something that may upset disappoint annoy or even worry them# "n terms of the grammar we can say either: 1I'm afraid that there are at least seven ways1 O3... 1I'm afraid there are at least seven ways1 5 without using 1that1# .e usually hear this meaning of 1afraid1 in spoken 7nglish# $he next most common meaning of 1afraid1 is 1to be frightened1# &ut remember that 1afraid1 can1t be used before a noun so we can1t talk about 1an easily afraid person1# $hat1s not right# "nstead try these: 15e's an easily frightened person1 or even simpler 15e's easily frightened.1 1,e1s afraid of something1 5 for example ?5e's afraid of spiders? 1,e1s afraid to do something 5 for example ?5e's afraid to ask for help.? 1,e1s afraid of doing something 5 for example ?5e's afraid of flying.? 3o lots of examples there( Cess common uses of the adjective 1afraid1 are used as a way of saying either 1yes1 and 1no1# 'Afraid' @ not... is used to mean 1no1 And 'Afraid' @ so... is used to mean 1yes1# ,ere1s an example of how we can use 1afraid1 to mean 1no1: :; :re you doing anything nice this weekend, Jemi? J; I'm afraid not, I have to work - I need the money <r when someone calls and the person they want to speak to isn1t there: :; +ould I speak to .un +hen please? 8; I'm afraid not, he's not available at the moment. Would you like to leave a message? 'ext 1afraid1 meaning 1yes1: :; :re you leaving now, #vonne? #; I'm afraid so, I have to be home by 0 o'clock.


3o let1s sum up### .e can use the word 1afraid1 in the following ways: 0irst to politely tell someone something that may disappoint them# 3econd to simply mean: 1frightened1# And third to mean 1yes1 when we say 1"1m afraid so1 5 and 1no1 when we say 1"1m afraid not1# 3o to return to the most common meaning of 1afraid1U "1m afraid that there are several uses of the word( And " hope this has helped#

A question from /eche-ef in Algeria* " would like to ask a /uestion and " would be very thankful if you answered it# 3ometimes you write 1had1 as 1hath1 1give1 as 1giveth1 and 1should1 as 1shouldst1# " cannot understand this method of writing# "1ll give you an example to explain clearly my /uestion: 1$hou seest their eyes overflow with tears#1 (ian ,arris answers* ,i there thanks for your /uestion# $his is a really interesting one# "n some very old forms of 7nglish you will see these type of words 5 1thou1 1giveth1 1hast1 etc 5 most notably in certain religious texts such as $he &ible or possibly 7nglish translations of $he )ur1an# "n other words these forms are what we call 1archaic1 meaning they1re not in active use anymore other than in either religious or ancient texts or as they appear in literature and other forms of writing from previous centuries# A specialist in the development and history of 7nglish would perhaps be able to tell you more about the origins and the use of the specific words in your example but most of them would have been in use from around the I?th century onwards in a form now known by academics as 17arly +odern 7nglish1# Although this was by no means used consistently if one examines different texts from the time by about the IOth century these forms were not so widely used and " can clarify that nowadays we would definitely not see or hear these in typical situations spoken or written# "n today1s 7nglish 1thou1 would always be replaced with 1you1 for example 1seest1 with 1see1 and so on#

afraid 2 scared 0 frightening 2 terrifying ,asan asks: when do you use afraid and when do you use scared! 'atali asks: Could you please explain to me the difference in meaning between scary frightening and terrifying! afraid 2 scared 2 frightened $here are differences in use and " shall try to illustrate these# &ut all these adjectives express roughly the same degree of worry or fear and can therefore be used interchangeably to some extent# Hrightened suggests more sudden fear:


All small children are afraid of % scared of % frightened of school bullies# ;onAt be scared % afraid % frightened# "Am not going to hurt you# All three can be followed by of @ 0ing clause# Hrightened cannot always be followed by of @ ronoun or noun: ,eAs afraid of % scared of % frightened of flying in small planes# ,eAs a strict teacher# 7veryone seems to be afraid of % scared of him# All three can be followed by the to @ infinitive pattern: 3he seemed too scared to swim where there were such big waves# After such an experience sheAs afraid to go anywhere near the sea# " was too frightened to jump in at the deep end of the pool# .e can be scared by or frightened by something# .e cannot use afraid in this way: 3he was scared by the hooting of the owl# $hey were frightened % terrified by the gunfire and the breaking of glass# 'ote that terrified expresses a stronger degree of fear# 3heAs terrified of % by large dogs and wonAt go near them# afraid 2 scared 2 frightened 0 osition in clause

'ote that afraid is one of those adjectives that cannot normally be used 'efore a noun, but instead is used after a ver'# (cared and frightened can be used in both positions: ,e seemed afraid# ,e appeared frightened# ,e was without doubt a frightened man# :Qm afraid : 2 we 2 he 2 etc :Qm afraid1 is also used in another way meaning: : regret that : have to tell you that1. "t is used to introduce bad news in a gentle or polite way: "Am afraid thereAs been an accident at the crossroads# Your sonAs been knocked over on his bike# "Am afraid we shanAt be able to come on the skiing trip with you# JohnAs got to work#


,eAs done very little work "Am afraid# ,eAll have to repeat the course# :Qm afraid so. 2 :Qm afraid not. .e can use these forms as short answers to confirm bad news: .ill " really have to repeat the course next year! : "Am afraid so# CanAt you really come on the skiing trip with us! : "Am afraid not# frightened 2 frightening As a general rule adjectives ending in 0ed are used to describe how people feel# Adjectives ending in 0ing describe the things or situations that give rise to these feelings# 3o remember frightened describes how you feel# Hrightening describes the things that make you feel frightened: 3he looked very frightened when " told her she would lose her job# "t was one of the most frightening films " had ever seen# "tAs frightening to think that they are capable of producing nuclear weapons# terrified 2 terrifying 3imilarly terrified describes you feel# =errifying describes the things that make you feel terrified# $errified and terrifying express a higher degree of anxiety or worry than frightened and frightening: " was so much in debt# " was terrified " would lose my job when the restructuring was announced# "t was a terrifying experience# " doubt he will ever recover from it# scared 2 scary (cary is the adjective relating to things or situationsU scared the adjective relating to how eo le feel. (cary and frightening express similar levels of fear or worry: &eing alone in a cave with five thousand bats was scary# " felt scared when night fell and " was nowhere near human habitation#

Ising 'a



Hran- ,asenmueller from Dermany asks: " would like to know if there is a difference in using a rove with or without the preposition of in your sentence structure# <r is it just the same! $he meaning of a rove changes when you add the preposition of to make a rove of# Approve1by itself means 1sanction1 or 1endorse1 as in these two examples# "n the first an accountant is speaking and in the second a university admissions tutor# 1" cannot approve the reimbursement because you haven1t given me the receipts for your expenditure#1 1" cannot approve your application to study law because you do not have the relevant /ualifications#1

f you a rove of something then you consider it to be good or you agree with it# Consider: 1" don1t a rove of smoking in restaurants because it is so upsetting usually for non5smokers#1 1.hy don1t you a rove of my friends! $hey are all good upright people#1

archenemy $hank you for your efforts to teach us 7nglish my beloved language# " want to know what does this statement mean! S###is our arch enemy S 3achel Wica-sono answers* ,i Awad( $hank you for this vocabulary /uestion# .ell first of all 'archenemy' is a countable noun that is usually spelled as one word though " notice that the &&C choose to use a hyphen to join the two parts of the word 5 as in 1arch hyphen enemy1 5 1arch5enemy1# "n general usage 1archenemy1 means 1the main enemy1# 3ometimes 'Archenemy' usually beginning with a capital 1A1 is used to mean 1the devil1# 1Arch1 in the word 1archenemy1 is from the Freek 1arkhos1 meaning 1most important1# 3ome examples all from films and $G shows of how 'archenemy' is used include: E...they're bringing back (octor Who's archenemies, the (aleks...E 5 the ;aleks are ;r .ho1s most dangerous enemies and have threatened the ;octor1s life on many occasions# EMscar-nominated actor, <homas 5aden +hurch, is to be .pider-Fan's ne)t archenemy, according to reports...E E<he actor playing 5arry 6otter's archenemy, 'ord -oldemort, has been chosen for


<he ,oblet of Jire...E "f we1d like to talk about our friends as well as our enemies we could use the words 'main ally' as an opposite to 1archenemy1# 'Ally' when used as a noun means a person group or nation that is linked to another or others because they have something in common that they1d like to achieve# 0or example: E8ritain and the Dnited .tates were allies in World War II.E 3o 'ally' is a formal noun# &ut on a more personal level we might say: E&achel is my best friendO I've known her for years E &ut perhaps a word of warning here: some people think it1s only possible to have one best friend so choose carefully# &ut maybe that1s another topic( 3o have you got an archenemy! " don1t think " have or maybe " do and just don1t realise it yet# Cet1s hope we have some allies and at least one 'est friend as well(

As 2 Ji-e .ell thank you( .hat poetic examples youAve given me to work with( If I could fly like a bird and I love you *ust as before# .ell " think the main difference between like and as is in formality# 'ike is common in conversation in comparative metaphorsU as is still used in conversation but itAs more fre/uent in written 7nglish# " donAt think " can think of examples as romantic as yours 3ilvio but "All try( ,ere we go: <he view was *ust as I remembered it. "n conversation we might say <he view was *ust like I remembered it# 9)ercise is *ust as important as diet for good health. "n conversation we might say: 9)ercise, *ust like diet, is important for good health# &ut " think weAd use the as ... as structure to say something like .he>s as lovely as her sister# "n all of these examples two states or things are being compared: the view before and nowU exercise and dietU two sisters# .e can see that as is being used as a preposition to show comparison and like is the informal e/uivalent# And to continue with like: as well as being a verb that weAre all familiar with 8as in I do like you, .ilvio9 like has a couple of different meanings you may not be aware of# .e can use like to give examples where it means such as# ,ere we go: .ome consumer goods, like household electrical products, are cheaper to purchase than repair.


Fany successful 8roadway shows, like Chicago, Annie and 0ame, have been turned into films. We were looking for a good present for a five-year-old, like a bicycle or a remote controlled toy. And finally 3ilvio "Ad like to tell you about another use of like which is as a kind of filler or a speech marker# Cisten to these examples which are taken from conversation: Fy brother is like really, really good on the electric guitar. I>ve *ust got to get, like, one hundred more points to move onto the ne)t level. $his kind of usage is very common in the speech of young people like my son# And "Am going to end my explanation here 4 thank you for your /uestion and " hope this has helped 3ilvio(

''eyond' and ''ehind'. 7nglish language learner <ksana wants to know how to correctly use the words 1beyond1 and 1behind1#

(ian ,arris answers* ,i thanks for your /uestion there are /uite a few different definitions we need to look at here but the meanings of 1behind1 and 1beyond1 are actually /uite different# <ne of the principal meanings of 1behind1 is as a preposition of place# "f you are behind a thing or a person you are facing the back of that thing or person# 0or example: 1$here were two boys sitting behind me#1 "n these terms it means the opposite of 1in front of#1 &ut 1behind1 also has adverb uses: if you stay behind you remain in a place after others have gone# 0or example: 1John stayed behind after school to take the test#1 7/ually if you leave something behind you do not take it with you when you go: 1$hey1d been forced to leave behind their businesses and possessions#1 As a time expression behind appears when someone or something is behind they are delayed or are making less progress than other people think they should: 1$he bus was behind schedule#1 $here are also some more abstract uses of behind that you should be aware of# "f an experience is behind you it is finished# 3o for example 1'ow that the divorce is behind us we can move on#1 Also the people reasons or events behind a situation are the causes of it or are responsible for it as in the sentence: 1###the man behind the modernisation of the organisation#1


0inally if you are behind someone you support them# 1$he country was behind the president#1 "f we turn now to think about 1beyond1 5 1beyond1 can also function as a preposition of place# "f something is 1beyond1 a place it is on the other side of it as in the case of 1###a house beyond the village#1 &ut there1s a more abstract meaning to 1beyond1 as well 5 it can mean to extend continue or progress beyond a particular thing or means to extend or continue further than that thing or point# 0or example: 10ew children remain in school beyond the age of IL#1 1&eyond1 also has some /uite interesting idiomatic usages# "f someone or something is beyond belief understanding or control it has become impossible to believe understand or control it# 1$he situation has changed beyond recognition#1 "f you say that something is beyond you you mean that you cannot understand it# 1,ow he managed to find us is beyond me#1 3o /uite a few different meanings there to contend with but " hope this helps you to identify which word you might use#

<ritish measures* feet, inches, etc. " was reading a biography of an actor whose height was given as 6'"''# "n 7urope we have centimetres and metres for the height of a person# Could you possibly tell me how this height would correspond in metres! Heet and inches 2 metres and centimetres (i7 foot 8or six feet9 three 8inches9 would describe a fairly tall man# 'ote that we would normally say six foot despite the plural reference although six feet is also possible# As a rough guide three feet is almost one metre so six feet would be nearly two metres# $o be precise: I inch H 6#?V cm 8two point five four centimetres9 I6 in 8I6119 H I foot 8I19 H M@#VO cm 8thirty point four eight cm9 M ft 8M19 H I yard H @#TIVV m 8*ero point nine one four four metres9 ,ere are some more tall men and women for you to practise feet and inches with: .ho is the tallest man in the world and how tall is he! : "t1s Eadhouane Charbib from $unisia and he1s P ft O#T in# : $hat1s pretty tall( And the world1s tallest woman! : "t1s 3andy Allen from the =3 who is P1 6#?11# &y the age of ten she was already L1 M11# : $hat1s ama*ing(


.e also use inches feet and yards to measure length and width as well as height# 'ote the following examples: <ur dining room is long and narrow 5 it1s about M@1 by I@1# .e had over a foot of snow this morning# ,ow much did you have! : <h we had about six inches# $he post office is about a hundred yards down this road on the left# : "s that two blocks away in American 7nglish! : $wo or three "1d say# $o complete the ta'le: IPL@ yd H I mile H I#L@TM km 8one point six o nine three km9 "f you are planning to drive in &ritain next year you will need to know the following: $he speed limit in towns and built5up areas is normally M@ mph 8thirty miles per hour9 although in some areas it may be 6@ mph# $he speed limit on roads outside towns and villages is normally L@ mph except where it is sign5posted as ?@ mph# $he speed limit on motorways is P@ mph but watch out for lower speed restrictions which may be sign5posted# $hirty miles per hour 5 is that approximately ?@ kph! : " guess it is# And seventy miles per hour 5 is that roughly II@ kph! : Eound about II@ yes# Ounces, ounds and stones 2 grams and -ilograms

7nglish people just like to be different don1t they! $he bad news is that we still use pounds and stones to measure people1s weight instead of kilograms# At least the older generation do# ,ere is another conversion table and note the abbreviations that are used: I ounce H 6O#M? g 8twenty eight point three four grams9 IL o* H I pound H @#V?ML kg 8o point four five three six kilos9 IV lbs H Istone H L#M? kg ,ow much do you weigh! "1m eleven stones eleven pounds 5 that1s about P? kilos# "1m a little bit overweight for my height# 3omebody my height and build 8"1m ?1 O119 should weigh between I@ st P and II st P# And if you are cooking something in an 7nglish house you will know that recipes for solid substances are still given in pounds 8lbs9 and ounces 8o*s9 and for li/uid substances in pints 8I pint H @#?P litres9# A rough guide here is that V o*s is very roughly I@@ gr#


Yorkshire -udding V o* plain flour W tsp salt I egg X pint milk X pint water $o make Yorkshire -udding to accompany your roast beef you will need V ounces of plain four an egg a /uarter of a pint of milk and a /uarter of a pint of water# And a pinch of salt# Bresses 2 shirts 2 shoes 0inally if you are going shopping in 7ngland on your next visit you will need to note 7nglish clothing si*es although 7uropean e/uivalents are usually also given on the labels# resenter, 'roadcaster, and announcerR "1m confused about the difference between presenter broadcaster and announcerU and the difference between reporter and journalist# Your answer must be very helpful for me# $hanks# ,i 3uharno All these words are used to describe people who work in the media# $he first three: presenter broadcaster and announcer are all related to $G and radio: media which is delivered partly 4 or wholly 4 through sound and speech 8this type of media is increasingly available on internet too9# A presenter is a person who introduces or hosts television or radio programmes# A presenter1s opening words on a programme are usually something like ,ood evening, and welcome toPname of showQ with me Pname of presenterQ. Mn tonight's show we will be... Ppresenter talks about the content of the programmeQ. $he topic of the programme is not all about the presenter# $he presenter is the person who introduces the programme introduces or links sections of the programme together and says goodbye at the end# 3ome well5known presenters include Johnny Carson 8an American $G chat show host9 $revor +ac;onald 8a &ritish $G news presenter9 and Jarim Jouchouk 8the presenter of &&Ce for &&C Cearning 7nglish Arabic 3ervice9# An announcer1s job is similar to that of a presenter# ,e or she provides spoken information about news weather programme content links between programmes advertising etc# ,owever an announcer may have a smaller role in a programme than a presenter does: on $G programmes an announcer may only feature as a voice whereas a presenter will be seen on the screen# Another main difference between an announcer and a presenter is that the announcer usually reads word5for5 word from a script whereas a presenter may have some flexibility regarding the things they say# $he word broadcaster can refer to an organisation such as the &&C 8=J9 or '&C 8=3A9 which produces television and radio programmes# "t can also be used to describe someone who is well5experienced in the $G and radio industry# ,e or she usually has multiple talents 4 scriptwriting directing presenting etc# and his or her


programmes may be considered to be very important and well5respected# 0amous &ritish broadcasters include 3ir ;avid Attenborough 3ir Eobert .inston and 3ir ;avid 0rost and Carry Jing in the =3A# $urning to the second part of your /uestion 3uharno: you wanted to find out about the difference between a reporter and a journalist# "n fact these jobs are very similar and in some respects the terms are interchangeable# A *ournalist1s work is most often seen in print 4 especially newspapers 4 but they can work for $G and radio too# A journalist gathers writes and reports news stories and may also edit and present news articles# A reporter is a type of journalist who gathers information about newsworthy issues# $his may involve researching through several sources 4 interviews police and public records photographs etc# .hen the information is gathered the reporter will create a report for publication or broadcast in the media# Eeporters often specialise in a particular area for example: crime politics health or education# 0inally 3uharno "1d like to mention one more media profession# A columnist is a writer 8usually a journalist9 who writes regularly 8often weekly9 for a newspaper or maga*ine# 3he or he chooses a topic that is in the news and writes not only about the events that have become newsworthy but also often offers some analysis and%or personal opinion# $his job is usually reserved for senior journalists at a particular newspaper or maga*ine# .ell 3uharno " do hope this has been a useful answer to your /uestion(

&alling and -idding

$anya from Eussia writes: "n American 7nglish one of the meanings of the verb to call is to ma-e a hone call# And the verb to -id means to jo-e# ;o these verbs have the same meaning in &ritish 7nglish and are they widely used!

call Yes call is very fre/uently used in &ritish 7nglish as an alternative to ring or hone meaning to ma-e a hone call: I decided to call ( ring ( phone him at home as he's always in meetings at the office. #our wife called while you were in the meeting. +an you ring her back?


If you need more information, you can call this number.

;o you also know the informal expression used in &ritish 7nglish to give s' a 'ell meaning to hone! I'll give you a bell ne)t week and we'll make the final arrangements then.

call 0

hone or visit+

.hen it is used without an object call can also mean visit as well as hone# 'ote that if the context does not make the meaning clear this may lead to confusion: 8y the way, "enny called while you were at the hairdresser's. ~ (o you mean she rang or she popped in?

'ote that if we want to use call with an object meaning to visit, we normally say to call on s': I called on my sister on my way home from work. .he was pleased to see me. I called my sister on my way home from work from my mobile phone.

call A name 2 shout 2 etc 'ote that call is also fre/uently used with these meanings: If it's a boy, they're going to call him +edric :le)ander &oderick or +ar for short. <his area is sometimes called the garden suburb because there's so much greenery around. (id you call me? ~ I called you three times. ~ .orry, I didn't hear you because the hair dryer was on. If I call your name, please come to the front of the 7ueue. 5e called me into his office because he wanted a private chat. <his train calls @ K stopsC at all stations to 'ondon -ictoria.

-id 5ver'6 ;id is widely used as a verb in &ritish 7nglish meaning to jo-e if you want to suggest that what has been said may not be appropriate or true:


I'm going to call her and tell her she should marry 8en. ~ 8en's the last person she should marry

re you kidding?

I'm going to buy her a ring with diamonds and emeralds. ~ .ou're kidding me Where are you going to get the money from? 5e says he's going to make a million before he's forty ~ Who is he kidding5 2e is kidding himself if he thinks that.

-id 5noun6 'ote that -id and -ids are also widely used as nouns to refer informally to children, sons and daughters: We're going to take the kids to see 'ion !ing at the theatre in 'ondon. 5e's *ust a kid. 5e doesn't understand the difference between right and wrong. group of kids were stealing the apples from the orchard and selling them on the street corner. <hey don't have any kids so there's always plenty of money for holidays.

'come' or 'go'+ ''ring' or 'ta-e'+

Coo from ;orea writes: ,i# "1ve been learning 7nglish in Australia for ? months# "1ve been having a hard time because 7nglish syntax is so different from Jorean# 3ome of the meanings of words too# 7specially go and come# 0or example: ;o you want to come with me to $om1s party!

"n Jorean it would be: ;o you want to go with me to $om1s party! -lease explain to me how to use go and come in the correct way# Andr$ej /acali- from >oland writes:


"1ve got a problem with go 'ac- come 'ac- and return because in my opinion 5 8only!9 5 they are the same(

.hether we use go or come all has to do with perspective and position# go .e use go to describe movement away from the place or position where the speaker or hearer is: Are you going to the pub tonight! Cet1s go and see Auntie +ary before the holiday is over# $hey1ve gone to live in Australia and " don1t think they1ll ever come back#

come .e use come to describe movement to the place where the speaker or hearer is: Could you come here for a minute please ;iane! : "1m coming# .e1ve come to ask you if we can borrow your car for a week# "1ve got some people coming for a meal tonight# Can you and ,enry come too!

go 'ac-, come 'ac-, return $he same rule applies with go 'ac- and come 'ac- Andr*ej but you can use return for both come 'ac- and go 'ac-: You must have come 'ac- % returned very late last night# " didn1t hear you come in# ,e went 'ac- % returned to +exico when he had finished post5graduate training#

'ote however that come with and not go with is normally used when we are talking about joining a movement of the speaker or hearer even though the movement is away from their current place or position: "1m going to the hospital this afternoon to get the test results# Could you come with me! .e1re going to 7gypt for a week at Christmas # .ould you like to come with us!


'ring or ta-e+ 'ote that the difference in use between 'ring and ta-e is similar to that between come and go# .e use ta-e to describe movement away from the position of the speaker%hearer and 'ring to describe movement to the place where the speaker%hearer is was or will be: Can you ta-e the car in for its service tomorrow Jan! "Am going to ta-e the train# $heyAre not here# ,e must have ta-en them to the club# ,eAs ta-en my umbrella too# $hese shirts that " bought donAt really fit me# "Bm going to have to ta-e them back#

"tAs kind of you to invite me to supper# "s it all right if " 'ring my boyfriend! Always remember to 'ring your calculators when you come to these maths lessons( "Ave 'rought you some beans and tomatoes from my garden# " hope you can use them#

'come' or 'go'+ ''ring' or 'ta-e'+

Coo from ;orea writes: ,i# "1ve been learning 7nglish in Australia for ? months# "1ve been having a hard time because 7nglish syntax is so different from Jorean# 3ome of the meanings of words too# 7specially go and come# 0or example: ;o you want to come with me to $om1s party!

"n Jorean it would be: ;o you want to go with me to $om1s party! -lease explain to me how to use go and come in the correct way# Andr$ej /acali- from >oland writes: "1ve got a problem with go 'ac- come 'ac- and return because in my opinion 5 8only!9 5 they are the same( .hether we use go or come all has to do with perspective and position# go .e use go to describe movement away from the place or position where the speaker or hearer is:


Are you going to the pub tonight! Cet1s go and see Auntie +ary before the holiday is over# $hey1ve gone to live in Australia and " don1t think they1ll ever come back#

come .e use come to describe movement to the place where the speaker or hearer is: Could you come here for a minute please ;iane! : "1m coming# .e1ve come to ask you if we can borrow your car for a week# "1ve got some people coming for a meal tonight# Can you and ,enry come too!

go 'ac-, come 'ac-, return $he same rule applies with go 'ac- and come 'ac- Andr*ej but you can use return for both come 'ac- and go 'ac-: You must have come 'ac- % returned very late last night# " didn1t hear you come in# ,e went 'ac- % returned to +exico when he had finished post5graduate training#

'ote however that come with and not go with is normally used when we are talking about joining a movement of the speaker or hearer even though the movement is away from their current place or position: "1m going to the hospital this afternoon to get the test results# Could you come with me! .e1re going to 7gypt for a week at Christmas # .ould you like to come with us!

'ring or ta-e+ 'ote that the difference in use between 'ring and ta-e is similar to that between come and go# .e use ta-e to describe movement away from the position of the speaker%hearer and 'ring to describe movement to the place where the speaker%hearer is was or will be: Can you ta-e the car in for its service tomorrow Jan! "Am going to ta-e the train# $heyAre not here# ,e must have ta-en them to the club# ,eAs ta-en my umbrella too# $hese shirts that " bought donAt really fit me# "Bm going to have to ta-e them back#


"tAs kind of you to invite me to supper# "s it all right if " 'ring my boyfriend! Always remember to 'ring your calculators when you come to these maths lessons( "Ave 'rought you some beans and tomatoes from my garden# " hope you can use them#

A question from &harles Otoghile* .hat rules do " need to help me combine words 5 usually putting two words together to form one word such as classroom blackboard etc#

Amos >aran answers* Your /uestion Charles touches on an important process in forming words in 7nglish a process that we call compounding# .hat happens is that two independent words combine and make one compound word# +any compounds are spelled as one word 5 as in the two words that you mentioned: classroom and blackboard# &ut there are many compound words that are not spelled as one word but that are spelled with a hyphen# And in many cases some people will spell them one way and others will spell them another way 5 so eye5witness with a hyphen can be spelled eyewitness without a hyphenU the same is true of drop5out# You can see it written in both ways 8drop5out or dropout9# <ther compounds are always written as two different words 5 like petrol station or heart attack# $here are two rules that can help 5 or maybe " should call these generalisations rather than rules# Cet1s look at some words that are compounded and written as one word: blackbirdU whiteboardU bathroomU skateboardU greenhouse# <bserve how many syllables they have 5 they have two syllables and each of the independent words that make them up is one syllable# <n the other hand compounds where one of the words has more than one syllable are normally written with a hyphen or as two separate words# 3o bathroom is one wordU but living room is written as two words# &lackboard is one word but drawing board is written as two words# $he second important rule concerns the stress# $eachers always like to talk about the difference between a blackbird which is a compound that refers to a specific kind of bird and a black bird which is any bird that is black and is not a compound# <r about a greenhouse 5 a glass building where you grow plants which is a compound 5 and a green house which is a house that is green 5 and is not a compound# You will notice that in these short compounds made of two words of one syllable the first syllable is stressed and this is always true# $his is also true for most longer compounds 5 not all but most of them 5 so for example we talk about a petrol station not a petrol stationU or a heart attack not a heart attack# 3o to sum up " have made two generalisations about compounds and this may help you# &ut there is really no substitute for a good dictionary in this case because these rules are not fixed(



airs* definite4definitive etc.

" teach 7nglish in Fermany and have lived here for 6L years# " notice a word which is being used in &ritain these days for which " would have used another# $he new word definitive appears to be used with the same meaning as definite 5 something that is sure# .hat is the difference if any!#

" think the difference is still maintained by most users: definite H certain clear precise unlikely to be changed definitive H something that provides a firm conclusion that cannot be challenged "n ITTM he wrote a definitive work on the behaviour of stem cells# &arry and 3usan have now got a definite date for their wedding#

" notice by the way that teenagers in &ritain these days always appear to prefer definitely to certainly in the following sort of exchange: Are you coming to the concert on 3aturday! : Befinitely(

"f any of the following pairs of words are easily confused you might try this sort of activity as a class e7ercise with a more advanced group of students# coo- and coo-er <ne is the erson who coo-s and the other is the stove that food is cooked on# &ut which is which###! ,e was a really good coo- and his spaghetti made me think " was in "taly# $he coo-er was really dirty and " could see that it hadn1t been cleaned for weeks#

dessert and desert <ne is the sweet food that is served at the end of a meal# $he other is an area of land where nothing grows and there is very little water# &ut which is which###! 0or dessert " had chocolate cake with whipped cream and then a bowl of cherries# $he hot desert sand cut into our faces and we had to close our eyes#

satisfactory and satisfying


<ne of them describes something that gives you a feeling of fulfilment# $he other describes something that it good enough to be acceptable# &ut which is which###! $he doctor said he was making satisfactory progress but it seemed very slow to me# $here1s nothing more satisfying than concluding an agreement after five days of talks#

alternate and alternative <ne describes something that you can choose to have or do instead of something else# $he other describes an activity that is off then on then off then on again# &ut which is which###! .e could see our father only on alternate weekends# =nfortunately not every weekend# $here is no alternative to a prison sentence for such a serious crime# rinci al

rinci le and

<ne of them describes a general rule or set of beliefs that you try to adhere to# $he other means first in order of importance or the person in charge of a school# &ut which is which###! ,e was a man of very few rinci les who later came to regret the path his life had taken# ,is rinci al interest in life was to look after the welfare of others# airs that can be used depending on the level of the class:

$here are many other

electrical : electronic economical : economic historical : historic complement : compliment personal : personnel stationery : stationary emigrate : immigrate housework : homework tasty : tasteful complexity : complication

confusing road signs

Cohn &han from (inga ore writes: " need your help in answering the following:


>ush your 'icycles across the under ass 8i#e# a short tunnel under an expressway9#

;oes this mean that you push your bicycle through the underpass across the expressway! .hy not write it simply this way instead: >ush your 'icycles through the under ass

You are /uite right John# Cogically it should be: >ush, do not ride, your 'icycles through the under ass if the underpass crosses a road beneath the expressway or motorway# " understand that the rationale for this instruction is that it would be too dangerous to pedestrians if cyclists rode their bikes through the underpass# Eoad signs can sometimes be confusing often because they are too concise# Can you work out the intended meaning in the following: &AI=:O8 0 &A==J) &3O((:8D A,)AB ;oes this mean: 8a9 drive carefully because when you go round the next bend you will see cattle crossing the road in front of you! 8b9 drive carefully because when you go round the next bend you will come to the place where cattle sometimes cross the road!

B:9)3(:O8 A,)AB ;oes this mean! 8a9 that there are some amusements ahead which will enable you to take a break from driving and take a rest! 8b9 that the road ahead is blocked and you will have to take an alternative route!

>u'lic &onveniences 1## yds ;oes this mean that: 8a9 you will find all the facilities you need banks shops restaurant etc approximately one hundred metres to you left! 8b9 there are public toilets approximately one hundred metres to your left!


(=O> &,:JB3)8 &3O((:8D ;oes this mean: 8a9 you must do all you can to prevent children crossing the road ahead! 8b9 you must stop because there are children crossing the road in front of you! 3OAB WO3;( ;oes this mean that: 8a9 the road ahead is open and in a good state of repair! 8b9 repairs are being carried out on the road ahead!

'Bedicated 2 Bevoted' A question from :-ram in >a-istan* " really appreciate your efforts to help us to learn and improve 7nglish language# " have a /uery about two words in 7nglish language# 'dedicated' and 'devoted' are the two words which are commonly used in speaking and writing# " am well aware of the meanings of the two words# +y /uestion is that in some situations we prefer to use the word 1dedicated1 rather than 1devoted1 while in other circumstances we prefer to use 1devoted1# -lease enlighten me when it is appropriate to use 1dedicated1 rather than 1devoted1 and vice versa#

/ar- (hea answers* $his is a tricky /uestion "kram 5 the words 'dedicated' and 'devoted' seem very similar# "f we look at the etymology of the words 5 that1s how they came into 7nglish 5 we see that they have /uite similar meanings originally# &oth come from Catin: 'devote' comes from the word meaning 1a vow1 and 'dedicate' which has changed very little comes from the word meaning 1to proclaim1 1consecrate1 or 1devote1# &oth words have a religious background and both mean to have great love affection or enthusiasm for something# .e might identify some differences in the use of each word today however### 'Bevoted' has remained far closer to its original meaning 5 we still use it to talk about someone1s commitment to a particular activity or object# "t1s particularly used


to talk about someone1s love for their family 5 E5e's a devoted fatherE <E E.he was devoted to her grandchildren.E .e can use it perhaps less fre/uently to talk about other areas of life: E#ears of devoted research finally produced results,E for example or### E<he teachers were devoted to their students.E $he central meaning is that effort and concentration are involved in the object of the devotion# And it1s worth noting that the noun 'devotions' might also mean religious activities like praying for example# 'Bedicated' has become more flexible over time### .e1re less likely to use it to talk about love for one1s family or in a religious context 5 it1s a more general word# "f you are dedicated to something you believe that it1s right and worthwhile and you give a lot of time and effort to it# "t1s especially useful to talk about someone1s attitude to their job 5 SA dedicated workerS is very committed for example# &ut 'dedicated' could also be used to describe someone who believes very strongly in the importance of an ideal### 1A dedicated vegetarian1 believes very strongly that people should not eat animals# 'Bedicated' can be used in another way though: A song on the radio might be dedicated to a particular person 5 you can call some radio stations and they1ll play songs which you re/uest for your friends or family# 1A dedication' is a statement which says who a book has been written for or who a song has been sung for# $o sum up then both words have similar origins and meanings but we1re more likely to use 'devoted' to talk about family or loved ones and 'dedicated' to talk about work or other interests# 3o thanks for being such a dedicated learner of 7nglish "kram( 1deny1 1refuse1 1reject1 =huy 8hien from 9ietnam asks: Could you please show me the difference between 1deny1 1refuse1 1reject1 1decline1###

/ar- (hea answers* ,i $huy 'hien $his is a very common /uestion as 1deny', 'refuse', 'reject' and 1decline' often translate to the same word in other languages so learners often have problems distinguishing between them# <ne useful way of seeing the difference between words is to look at the opposite of each one###


1Accept1 could be the opposite of 1refuse', 'reject' and 1decline' so we can see that these words have very similar meanings# $he opposite of 1deny' would be 1admit1 however so this is different to the others 5 an 1odd one out1# $he main meaning of 1deny1 is to say that something is not true# "f the police are /uestioning somebody the suspect might deny that he committed a crime for example# 'Beny' also has a less common use which is /uite similar to 1refuse1 5 if you deny somebody something you 1refuse1 to give it to them 5 for example: E<he guards denied their prisoners food and waterE 0inally if you 1deny1 someone you say that they aren1t connected to you at all 5 but this use is rather old5fashioned# $o 1refuse1 is the opposite of to 1accept1 5 if you refuse to do something you choose not to do it or say firmly that you will not do it# You could also refuse something which means that you don1t accept it# 0or example: EI offered him a cold drink but he refused itE 'otice that the pronunciation has the stress on the second syllable 5 refuse as opposed to refuse which is a formal word for rubbish# '3eject' is /uite similar to 1refuse' 5 the opposite of both would be 1accept1# "f you reject a proposal or a re/uest for instance you decide not to agree with it### E"udge (read re,ected the lawyer's re7uest for more time to study the caseE "f you reject a belief or a theory you decide that you do not believe in it and you do not wish to follow it### E<he rebels re,ected the authority of the central government.E '3eject' often carries the added meaning that you don1t think something is good enough 5 if an employer rejects a job applicant or a machine rejects a credit card it is because something is considered unsuitable invalid or wrong in some way# "f someone rejects a lover their family or friends they behave with cruelty or indifference towards them and perhaps do not want to see them any more# 'otice that in all cases the pronunciation is reject reject with the stress on the second syllable which is common for verbs with two syllables#


$he noun a reject, has the stress on the first syllable and means somebody or something which has not been accepted# 0or example: E<his shirt was very cheap because it was a re,ectE 0inally we come to 1decline1### 1Becline1 can be a rather formal synonym for 1refuse1 5 if you decline something or decline to do something you politely refuse to accept it or do it### E<he princess is believed to have declined various proposals of marriageE for example# "t can also be a noun 5 but this time it is pronounced the same as the verb decline# $hen there1s the intransitive verb 5 that1s a verb without an object# "f something declines it loses /uality importance or strength# Cisten to how the verb 1decline1 is used in this sentence: E:s +hina and India become more powerful, the economic power of the Dnited .tates may be decliningE 3o in conclusion then we might deny an allegation refuse an offer re,ect a suggestion - and decline a formal invitation. $hanks for your /uestion $huy 'hien#

e7 ressions with do2did2done

8avid studying 7nglish in the Inited (tates writes: " have difficulty understanding the meaning of done in this sentence: "t1s not done to call your teachers by their first names#

" would like to know why done doesn1t appear to make very much sense in this sentence in American 7nglish#


"n &ritish 7nglish there are a large number of expressions with do2did2done in regular use# "n your example 'avid it1s simply a matter of usage# Americans that " have consulted would all recognise this expression as they would an almost identical expression it's 5not6 the done thing to though they might not use them actively in speech or writing# "n &ritish 7nglish both of these expressions are commonly used# $he meaning is that it is 5not6 socially acce ta'le to do this# "t may not be olitically correct to use another similar expression to describe actions which might appear insulting to particular groups of people 8also sometimes referred to as >& and non0>&9# Compare the following: "n this society it is /uite the done thing to eat with your hands# :t's not the done thing to poke fun at disabled people# :t's not done to remain seated when your 'ational Anthem is played# :t is clearly olitically incorrect 5non0>&6 to refer to childcare workers as nursemaids#

3ometimes expressions which may appear similar at first glance have /uite different shades of meaning# =se of the past participle done in expressions normally suggests completed action but whereas done and dusted means successfully completed and refers to something that you are upbeat about over and done with suggests something mildly unpleasant which you are pleased is now finished: " finally completed that project last month# Yes it's all done and dusted# At long last their divorce has come through# 'ow the whole thing's over and done with#

.hat about he's done his nut and it's done his nut in! "n both of these nut means head as in nutcase to describe someone who is cra*y or insane# &ut are these two very informal expressions the same or different! .hat do you think! " didn1t have time to clear up after the party and my mum's done her nut# ,e was so tired he couldn1t concentrate on the details in his contract# :t did his nut in#

Clearly they are different# =o do your nut means to lose your temper to fly into a rage# :t did his nut in means that it confused or bemused him#


And what about have done with and do away with! Are these two informal expressions the same similar or different! Aren1t you still going out with Eobert! 'o :'ve done with him# =hey've done away with the death penalty in many countries recently#

3lightly similar though have done with means end relations with someone and do away with means abolish or put an end to# "f we substituted done away with for have done with in the first example it would mean murdered( ,ow about do a good turn to and done to a turn! 3ame similar or different! ,e did me a good turn and took care of 0elix while " was on holiday# =he goose was done to a turn: lovely soft breast meat with the juices oo*ing out of it(

)uite different: done to a turn means cooked perfectly and do a good turn means do someone a favour# "n very common use are: Well doneS All doneS and BoneS &ut how exactly are they used! ,ow would you like your steak sir! Well done please# " don1t want to see any blood# You1ve done really well to win first pri*e( Well doneS ,ave you finished that job Asha! Yeah all done# .hat about you Jim! All done! All done( "f " offered you >6@@ for your old car would you accept it! Bone(

Well done H cooked thoroughly or slightly overcooked Well doneS H words of congratulation for someone who has done something successfully All done H completely finished BoneS H one5word acceptance of an offer or a bet someone has made As an introduction or greeting remember that ,ow do you do+ and ,iS ,ow're you doing+ are complete opposites in terms of formality 5 informality: ,i &ob( ,ow're ya doin'! "1m fine thanks# ,ow do you do+ ,ow do you do+ 8+ust be accompanied by a handshake and no kisses(9



ut on, dress, 'e dressed in

=ug'a from =ur-ey writes* ,ello# " would like to know the difference between wear, dressed in# Wear .hen you wear your clothes shoes or jewellery you have them on your 'ody: .he was wearing a beautiful diamond necklace with matching earrings. ut on, dress, and

You can also wear your hair in a particular way: (avid 8eckham used to wear his hair short, but now he is wearing it long.

$here is another meaning to wear# "f something wears it becomes thinner or weaker because it is used fre/uently over a long period of time# .e also have the expression to wear thin and the phrasal verb to wear out# -eople can also feel worn out# "f something wears you out it makes you feel extremely tired# Compare the following usages: <his carpet is beginning to wear. We shall soon have to replace it. 5e is such an annoying person. Fy patience is wearing thin. If you didn't play football every day, your shoes wouldn't wear out so 7uickly. (on't rush around so much. #ou'll wear yourself out. I've spent all day shopping and I feel 7uite worn out.

>ut on .hen you ut clothes on you lace them on your 'ody in order to wear them# And when you have finished wearing them you ta-e them off# .e also ut on weight the opposite of which is to lose weight# Compare the following 8additional9 usages of ut on: *ake that shirt off and put on a new one. #ou can't go out in such an old shirt. <he amateur dramatic company put on a new show, but had to take it off after three days as nobody came. <he casserole is in the oven. 6ut the potatoes on now and put the rice on in five minutes.


I thought I was going to put some weight on on holiday, but I lost half a kilo as I swam every day. Why don't you put that new 74 on so that I have some music while I'm ironing?

Bress .hen you dress you ut clothes on# You can also dress children, dress a wound by cleaning it and covering it and dress a salad by putting oil and vinegar on it# "f you dress u you put on different clothes to make yourself look smarter if you dress down you put on clothes that are less smart than usual# .e often speak of getting dressed as a collo/uial alternative to dress# Compare the following usages: #ou'd better get dressed now. 5enry will be here in ten minutes. .he came in covered in mud. .o I bathed her and dressed her in new clothes. I must dress now for the party. 5ave you dressed the salad yet? I think it's better not to dress that wound. We'll *ust leave it so that the air can get to it. It is customary now to dress down in certain offices in the city on Jridays. <here is no need to wear a suit. I *ust love dressing up and 9dward's having an 9dwardian party on .aturday.

<e dressed in "f you dress or are dressed in a particular way you wear clothes usually for a particular purpose: .he was dressed in a multi-layered organdie gown with a duchess satin opera coat for the open-air production of (on ,iovanni. 5er chaperone was wearing a white dinner *acket.

)ither, neither and too Memal from Al'ania writes: " am a military man from Albania and " would be very grateful if you could give me some explanation of how to use neither either and too# " find it very difficult# Wojciech ($c$u a from >oland writes:


$ry as " might " couldn1t find a clear answer to this /uestion# ,ow should we say: neither of them is or neither of them are! .hich form would you use! "s one more proper than the other!

)ither indicates a choice between two alternatives# 8either combines two negative ideas# 3tudy the following examples of use: .hich of these apples would you prefer! : " don1t want either of them thanks# You can have either the >I? cotton top or the >IP cotton5and5polyester blouse# You can1t have both# 8either Eichard nor Judy could come to the party# " want neither alcohol nor cigars for my birthday# 'ow that "1m fifty " must live a healthier life# ronouns determiners or adver's#

&oth either and neither can function as

.hen they function as

ronouns they are often followed by of @ noun


"1ve known you for two years but " haven1t met either of your two brothers yet# 8<E: "1ve known you for two years but " haven1t met either 0rancis or ;amien yet#9 8either of my two brothers survived the war# 8either 0rancis nor ;amien# .hich of these fur coats is yours! : 8either 8of them9# $hat one1s mine#

.hen they function as adver's they behave as linking words which can be tagged on in agreement at the end of a negative sentence# &ut with neither subject and verb are inverted with either this does not happen: " can1t make the meeting on $uesday# : 'o neither can " 8<E: 'o nor can "#9 " can1t make the meeting on $uesday# : 'o " can1t either# " don1t approve of sex before marriage# : 'o neither do "# 8<E: 'o nor do "#9 " don1t approve of sex before marriage# : 'o " don1t either# " don1t go mountain climbing and " don1t go mountain walking either# 8<E: " don1t go mountain climbing and neither do " go mountain walking#

=oo can function as an adding adverb which is placed in agreement at the end of an affirmative sentence# Compare the following: " like peaches and nectarines best# : Yeah " like peaches and nectarines too#


" don1t like peaches or nectarines# : 'o " don1t like peaches or nectarines either#

.hen either and neither function as determiners they are placed before the noun# <n neither side of the road was there anybody to be seen# 8either player could raise his game# "t was a very boring game of tennis to watch# $he sisters in the photograph were standing on either side of their dad# 8<E: ###on each side### <E: ###on both sides####9

8either of them is or neither of them are! " don1t think there is a clear answer .ojciech# Although this of0 ronoun is normally considered singular it is normally followed by plural nouns or pronouns# $hus the boundary between singular and plural is blurred and effectively it can go with either a singular or plural verb form# 3trictly speaking it should be singular but you will hear both formulations with no clear preference for one or the other: 8either of them are coming# $hey both have to work next weekend# 8either of them is coming# $hey both have to work next weekend# .hich of these umbrellas is yours! : 8either of them are# $hat one1s mine# .hich of these umbrellas is yours! : 8either is# $hat1s mine#

$here is similar confusion " think when neither...nor are employed as conjunctions meaning not one and not the other# Consider the following: 8either 0rancoise nor ,elmut likes to eat 7nglish breakfasts even at weekends# 8either 0ranciose nor ,elmut like to eat 7nglish breakfasts even at weekends 8either 7mma nor 3usan gets on with Chloe# 8either 7mma nor 3usan get on with Chloe#

A question from Mais /ohammed* .hat is the difference between effect and affect! &atherine Walter answers* ,i )ais You have asked a /uestion that many native speakers of 7nglish ask when they are writing and part of the problem is that these two words although spelt differently are pronounced the same by many people in many contexts# 3o many people say affect and effect 5 for the word that begins with 1a1 they say and for the word that begins with 1e1 they say # " tend to say and %"fekt% 5 so " tend to pronounce the one that begins with 1e1 % "fekt% but not everybody does#


.hat1s the difference! $he main use of 1affect1 5 with an 1a1 5 is as a verb meaning to have an influence# 3o you could say: 1Your emotional state affects how you remember things1# $he word with an 1e1 5 effect 5 is usually used as a noun and it means the result of an influence# 3o: 1.hat effect will the new law have on road use!1 -art of the problem you see is not only that these two words are spelt very similarly often pronounced the same but their meanings are also very similar 5 one1s a noun one1s a verb# $here is a rarer and more formal use of 1effect1 as a verb 5 that1s the one with the 1e1 5 meaning 1to make something happen1# 3o you could say: 1"t is pointless to try and effect a chance in policy now1# $here are also a number of fixed phrases so something that you might hear /uite often is 1take effect1# 3o that1s effect 5 with an 1e1 5 used as a noun# ,ere1s an example: 1'ew privacy regulations will take effect on July Ist#1 3ince we1re being complete here "1ll give you one last little meaning# You may sometimes run across the word with an 1a1 but it1s pronounced differently meaning a good or bad feeling towards something or an attitude towards something# And that1s usually pronounced %Yfekt%# 3o it1s a psychology term# You might hear or read more likely: 1$he influence of positive effect on social behaviour1# &ut that1s /uite rare and " hope that differentiating 1affect1 5 with an 1a1 5 as a verb and 1effect1 5 with an 1e1 5 as a noun will at least set you on the right track# ,ope that1s helpful#

'effective' 2 'efficient''+ A question from ,ervT in Hrance* Could you explain the difference between something 1effective1 and something 1efficient1! &oth could be translated in 0rench by SefficaceS although the word SefficientS also exists in 0rench and there is a difference between both# .hen it is 1efficient1 in 0rench it means that it produces effect# .hen it is 1efficace1 it means that it works well# ;oes that difference exist in 7nglish too 5 'effective' 2 'efficient''+

Dareth 3ees* .ell ,ervZ thank you very much for your /uestion# Your /uestion in fact relates to the topic of false friends# $hese are words in a foreign language which seem similar to words in your own language# ,owever in fact they have a different meaning in the foreign language so they1re not really friends they1re false friends# 7nglish is a language that has developed from Fermanic and Catin languages and it has also adopted words from other languages such as ,indi and =rdu# &ecause 7nglish has in part developed from Catin and so has 0rench there are many similar looking or sounding words# And this is the problem that ,ervZ has with 1effective1 and 1efficient1# "n 0rench there are similar sounding words but the meanings are not exactly the same#


"n 7nglish 1effective1 means that something produces results or an effect# "t does what it is supposed to do# 17fficient1 means that something is done in a good way without wasting time money or energy# 0or example a car with an effective engine will move because the engine does what it is supposed to do# "t produces results# "t moves the car# A car with an efficient engine is a car that travels a long way without using a lot of petrol# "t is efficient it doesn1t waste energy# "t seems from what ,ervZ says that the 0rench word efficient1 is more similar to 1effective1 than the similar sounding 1efficient1# ,owever " am not a 0rench expert so "!ll leave him to decide# A couple of other examples of these false friends include 1sympathetic1 and 1sensible1# 13ympathetic1 is a false friend for the 0rench and 1sensible1 is a false friend for the 3panish# " hope my explanation has been effective and that " have made it in an efficient way#

Assure, ensure, insure 0 assurance, insurance

<etty &hoy from ,ong ;ong writes* " would be most grateful if you could tell me the difference between assurance and insurance# " was told that we talk about life assurance but ro erty insurance# ,owever " have also heard that American insurance companies talk about life insurance# -lease help# " will start with the verbs from which these nouns are derived as they are in more common use and then deal with the more specialist noun forms second# assure 0 ensure 0 insure "f you assure someone that something is true or will happen you tell them that it is definitely true or will happen often in order to make them less worried# .e often use such phrases as : can assure you or let me assure you in order to emphasise the truth of what we are saying: .he hastened to assure me that the report contained no critical comment on my department's performance. Let me assure you ( I can assure you that the children will be totally safe on this adventure holiday. ?o risks of any kind will be taken.


)nsure is subtly different from assure and people often confuse the two# "f you ensure that something happens you make certain that it happens# A less formal e/uivalent of this verb in spoken 7nglish would be ma-e sure: 8nsure ( 9ake sure that your working hours as well as your rate of pay are written into your contract. I tried to ensure that everybody wore their life *ackets the whole time that we were on the sailing boats, but not everybody carried out my instruction.

"n American 7nglish ensure is sometimes spelt insure: I shall try to insure that you have a nice time while you are here.

:nsure has another meaning as you suggest &etty# "f you insure yourself or your property you pay money to an insurance company so that if you become ill or if your property is stolen or damaged the company will pay you a sum of money: We can insure your car against fire, theft and third party damage for as little as 1A4 per month.~ Fake sure you remember to insure the digital camera and the mobile phones. <hey're not included under the house contents insurance.

Assurance 0irst and foremost assurance has the same meaning as assure# "f you give someone an assurance that something is true or will happen you say that it is definitely true or will definitely happen in order to make them feel less worried: 5e sought an assurance from me that i'd always be available on .aturdays to undertake the work. I was unable to give her any assurance that 8eth would arrive in time for the family re-union.

3econdly in &ritish 7nglish we sometimes talk about life assurance as an alternative to life insurance to describe the form of insurance in which a person makes regular payments to an insurance company in return for a sum of money which is paid to them after a period of time or to their family if they die# &oth terms are freely used in &ritish 7nglish: :s we came down that hill, I thought we were going to die and I started thinking about my life insurance ( life assurance policies.

:nsurance is the term used to describe all other types of insurance: <hat car is not insured. <he insurance e)pired at the end of "uly and you haven't renewed it.


'ote that we cannot say ensurance# $here is no noun which is derived from ensure#

inquire and enquire question from )ric in (inga ore* -lease would you answer another /uestion for me! .hat is the difference between in/uire and en/uire! Amos >aran answers* $here is a very simple answer here 5 there is no difference in meaning# $he spelling with 1e1 is &ritish the spelling with 1i1 is 'orth American# $he same goes for the nouns 1in/uiry1 and 1en/uiry1# $here are of course other differences in spelling between American and &ritish 7nglish# $he most common ones are words that end with 1our1 in &ritish 7nglish and are spelled 1or1 in American 7nglish 5 labour 8labor9 honour 8honor9 and so on# Another common difference is words that end in 1re1 in &ritish 7nglish and are spelled with 1er1 in American 7nglish5 theatre centre# And finally words that end with 5 1i*e1 in American 7nglish and are often spelled with 5 1ise1 in &ritish 7nglish 5 sympathise criticise and so on# Cuckily my spell checker accepts both(

)qui ment, utensil, tool and a


.hat is the difference between 1e/uipment1 1utensil1 1tool1 and 1apparatus1! $hank you for these four items 3am# $hey are clearly all from the same lexical field# .hat you need to know is what restrictions are placed on their use# )qui ment usually describes 8all9 the necessary articles for a purpose# $hus you would say: 1A lot of e/uipment was needed for this mountaineering 8or camping9 expedition#1

A aratus is similar in meaning to equi ment although it tends to relate to particular contexts# $hus gymnastic a aratus refers to all the apparatus you would expect to find in a gym# "t tends to be used in scientific or technical contexts: 1$he chemistry lab was full of the apparatus needed for a range of experiments1#


0or tools and utensils it is also very important to know which other words they collocate with# 0or example we talk about garden tools for a gardener and wortools for a carpenter but -itchen utensils for a housewife or house5husband#

'ta-e'0 e7 ressions /irto H (antos from <ra$il writes* " don1t /uite understand the meaning of the expression ta-e for granted# Can you please help me! Bere- from =aiwan writes* .hat does this expression mean: ta-e it as it comes!

ta-e something 2 someone for granted $here are two realisations of this expression +irto# "n one of them when some'ody ta-es you for granted they are befitting from your help without acknowledging it: 5e *ust takes me for granted - never any thanks for all the things I do for him.

"f you ta-e something for granted you assume it will happen or is the case without thinking about it: I took it for granted that I would give the opening address at the conference. <he things I take for granted in Fadrid *ust do not apply to my life in 'ondon.

ta-e it as it comes "f you ta-e things as they come you take them in se/uence or in order with no need to prioritise: #ou're going to be very busy today - lots of customers. ~ Mh, that doesn't bother us. We'll *ust take it as it comes.

ta-e0e7 ressions .e noted in another answer 8to review that answer clic- here9 that ta-e is one of the most fre/uently used verbs in the 7nglish language# Conse/uently there are more than fifty expressions in current use that incorporate the verb ta-e# ,ere are eight of the more opa/ue#


ta-e it lying down 5 submit to insult without protesting like a dog when cowed .he's horrible to you all the time - don't *ust take it lying down

ta-e it on the chin 5 accept a difficult situation without complaining 5er criticism was 7uite *ustified. 5e took it on the chin and apologised.

ta-e it out on someone 5 work off frustration by being unpleasant to someone I know you've had a bad day at work, but don't take it out on me.

ta-e one's 'reath away 5 stress that something is extremely beautiful When you get a first glimpse of the ?iagara Jalls, it takes your breath away.

ta-e one's hat off to 5 express admiration for someone1s achievements# I take my hat off to the police for managing the protest without arresting anyone.

ta-e someone to the cleaners 5 deprive them of their money or possessions <hey took me to the cleaners. I went into the casino with 1/44 and came out 1/,444 in debt.

ta-e someone for a ride 5 trick or deceive them perhaps for financial gain 5e's taking you for a ride. Why did you lend him 1/44? #ou'll never get it back.

something ta-es the 'iscuit 5 a stupidity that evokes surprise I didn't mind her borrowing my *eans, but stealing me underwear - well, that *ust about takes the biscuit

ta-e multi0 art ver's 3imilarly there are numerous multi5part verbs where ta-e is combined with a re osition and%or adver'ial article# 3ome of them have a literal meaning like ta-e away or ta-e off which are relatively easy to understand: 5ave you finished with that yet? ~ #es, I have. 6lease take it away. I took off my dirty clothes and put them in the laundry basket.

<ther examples have an idiomatic meaning where the meaning may not be clear from an understanding of the individual words# $hese include: ta-e after 5 to resemble a family member in appearance character or behaviour


.ylvia has always been a worrier - she takes after her mother in that respect. an activity 5 become interested in it or start doing it# .he took up line dancing after her husband died. on 5 accept an offer <E challenge someone verbally

ta-e u ta-e u

Can " ta-e you u on that lift to /anchester! : 3ure( 'o problem# "1d like to ta-e you u on that# " don1t agree that cloning is inevitable# ta-e over 5 assume management control or ownership It's possible that the supermarket chain 1afeway will be taken over by .ainsbury's.

'ote that the verb needed for going past someone is overta-e: 5e overtook me on the brow of the hill - really dangerous driving

ta-e to 5 develop a liking for someone or something 5e's taken to drinking heavily since his wife left him. <ommy has really taken to his new teacher and can't wait to get to school.

)7 ressing views and o inions in my view 2 o inion " think we would normally drop in their o inion % etc9: oint of and simply say in his view 8in my view 2

In my view, birds should not be kept in cages. 5ow important is it, in your view, that the twins should stay together? ~ In my opinion, it's very important.

"f we want to use oint of view " think we would more often say from my oint of view rather than according to my oint of view# &oth these expressions emphasise the osition or angle you are judging the situation from: Jrom my point of view it makes no difference whether you return on .aturday night or .unday morning. Jrom a political point of view, the agreement of the D? is e)tremely important.


Jrom the point of view of safety, always wear a helmet when you are on the building site.

to my mind 2 etc :n my view, from my oint of view, in my o inion are all fairly formal ways of expressing your opinion characteristic of written 7nglish# Cess formal e/uivalents more characteristic of spoken 7nglish include the following: to my mind: to emphasise that this is your opinion rec-on: usually to express an opinion about what "s likely to happen feel: to express a strong personal opinion if you as- me: to express an opinion that may be critical to 'e honest 5with you6: to express a critical opinion without seeming rude as far as :'m concerned: to express an opinion that may be different from others1 <o my mind the 7uality of their football is *ust not good enough. I reckon it'll rain later today. 'et's go tomorrow. I feel she shouldn't be getting married so young. If you ask me, it's unreasonable to pay for something which should be free. <o be honest @with youC, I'm surprised you got into university with such low grades. :s far as I'm concerned, the matter is over and done with and we can now move forward.

academic writing and e7 ressing o inions "f you are re/uired to write an academic essay in which you are asked to express an opinion 8see below9 useful alternatives to in my view include: : thin- that1 :t seems to me that1 : would argue that1 : do not 'elieve that1 : am unconvinced that1 : do not agree that1 5ow acceptable is it for wild animals to be kept in %oos? I believe that it is 7uite unacceptable for animals to be kept in %oos. It seems to me that when they are confined to a cage they never have enough room to


move around. I would argue that it is kinder to allow a rare animal to die naturally in the wilds rather than to prolong its life artificially in a %oo. ma-ing concessions $o achieve balance in any essay it may be useful to incorporate opinions that are different from your own# =seful linking words and expressions include: Of course, many 2 some eo le argue1 :t is sometimes argued1 Admittedly1 While1 It is sometimes argued that it is possible for conditions in the %oo to replicate the wild animal's natural habitat. While this may be feasible for smaller reptiles, it will never be possible, in my view, for the larger mammals which needs acres of space to roam around in.

clarifying an o inion "t may sometimes be necessary to explain a thought in greater detail# =seful linking expressions for doing this include: <y this : mean1 ,ere :'m referring to1 =o 'e more recise1 =hat is to say1 8y spending money on confining wild animals to %oos, we are wasting resources. By this I mean there are more urgent economic problems to deal with; hospitals and schools should be our first priority.

faults, flaws, wea-nesses and draw'ac-s Could you help me to work out the differences in use between the following words: faults flaws weaknesses and drawbacks! Are they interchangeable when talking about someoneAs character! <f these four synonyms or expressions with similar meanings fault is probably the most widely term used# Haults Hault is not so much used to talk about someoneAs character ,elen# "nstead we talk about electrical, mechanical or technical faults: $here was a fault in the wiring and " had no idea how to correct it# $here was a delay in the broadcast of the programme and this was due to a technical


fault# A mechanical fault caused the train to come off the rails# A fault then describes a weakness in something primarily# &ut sometimes it is used to describe a weakness in someoneAs character: 3he has her faults but on the whole sheAs a nice person# .e all have our own faults " suppose# .e also have the fre/uently used expression: :tQs 5not6 my2your2his2etc fault# $his is a more idiomatic way of saying: : am 5not6 to 'lame or : am 5not6 res onsi'le 5for this unfortunate situation6# "tAs not my fault heAs late# ;onAt blame me# "Am sorry# "tAs my fault# " forgot to pass on the message# "f you donAt get enough sleep itAs entirely your own fault# "t was partly the teacherAs fault for giving them too much homework# Hlaws .e use flaw mainly to talk about a minor fault or weakness in something which make it less effective or valuable# .e talk about flawed arguments for example# 'ote also a flawless com le7ion: $hereAs a flaw in your argument# " agree with you up to a point but the last part doesnAt make complete sense to me# $here was a tiny flaw in the necklace and it certainly wasnAt worth all the money we had paid for it# 3he attributed her flawless complexion to the moisturising creams she used# ,owever we can also talk about serious or major flaws: $here are major flaws in the way we train teachers in this country# $here were serious flaws in the construction of the pedestrian bridge# And yes we can also use flaw to describe a fault in someoneAs character: $he only flaw in his character was his short temper 4 he tended to fly off the handle at the slightest provocation# Wea-nesses Wea-nesses generally describe the state or condition of being weak and of lacking strength or resilience# $he main weakness of this government is that it keeps changing direction on key policy issues# ,e showed great weakness in not owning up to his part in the bad behaviour# Wea-nesses can also refer to faults or problems that make something less attractive or effective:


$hey were keen to know how well it would sell in Eussia so they listed all the strengths and weaknesses of their product for this market# $he only weakness in her character that " could spot was that she seemed to be over5dependent on others# 'ote that if you have a wea-ness for something you are very fond of it: " have a great weakness for chocolate# " can never refuse it# Braw'ac-s .e use draw'ac- to refer to a feature of something which makes it less useful or acceptable than it could be# Braw'ac- is often synonymous with disadvantage but note that drawforward does not exist as an alternative to advantage( $he only drawback % disadvantage with this accommodation is that itAs a fifteen5 minute walk to the bus5stop# $he main drawback of this examination is that it takes two months before the results are released# 3o ,elen from the shades of meaning inherent in all four of these terms note that we can refer to faults flaws and weaknesses in someoneAs character but we are less likely to talk about drawbacks in someoneAs character#

Pto fire in angerP Could you please explain the meaning of the phrase Sto fire or shoot 8something or someone9 in angerS and provide a paraphrase# " realise it doesn1t actually mean to fire or shoot because one is angry# &ut "1m also unsure whether the phrase Sto fire in angerS is used specifically in a war context or also applies to non5military conflicts# 3achel Wica-sono answers* ,ello -ierre and thanks for sending in such a challenging /uestion( .ell none of the dictionaries " consulted 8including a dictionary of military terms9 had information about 'fire in anger' so " was a bit worried that " wouldn1t be able to answer your /uestion -ierre( Cuckily two of my colleagues at York 3t John =niversity are specialists in +ilitary 7nglish and " was able to ask them about the meaning of the phrase# 3o here goes### "n a military context 'to fire in anger' means to shoot for a purpose in war# 0or example a submarine that 1fires in anger1 shoots missiles at an enemy ship# 3hots fired in anger are never just for practiceU they1re fired to deliberately cause damage or harm#


.hen " typed Pfire in angerP into an internet search engine the military websites clearly used the phrase to mean 1shooting in war not for practice1# "nterestingly as far as " could tell the non5military websites used the phrase to mean 1to shoot angrily1 or as you say in your /uestion 1to shoot because one is angry1# 0or example: E<he man waved his gun around, shouting and shooting in anger.E 3o " think the best answer to your /uestion is that 'fire in anger' has two meanings depending on whether the context is military or non5military# $he military meaning is 1in a real situation not for practice1 and has no connection with the emotion of the person or thing doing the shooting# You1ll notice that from these authentic examples of the phrase as used in a military context: E<he sinking of the :rgentine cruiser, ,eneral 8elgrano, during the Jalklands war by 5F. +on7ueror, the first 8ritish nuclear submarine ever to fire in anger, is fully recounted.E E...the first military guns in World War I to fire its guns in anger on 8ritish soil...E E...becoming the first -II +orps unit to fire in anger since World War II.E 'ow in contrast the non5military use of 'fire in anger' implies strong emotion# "n our previous example we heard how### E<he man waved his gun around, shouting and shooting in anger.E 3o it1s clearly implied that the gunman was extremely upset distressed and angry about something he felt was very important# " hope this helps -ierre 5 and special thanks to my +ilitary 7nglish colleagues for their specialist knowledge( Hoot 2 Heet +y /uestion is 5 which of the responses is correct: .hen somebody asks me how tall " am what should " say! "1m five foot tall or "1m five feet tall!

3achel Wica-sono answers* $hanks for your /uestion +aria# "t1s an interesting one because of the differences between the way we write and the way we speak# As you say 'feet' is an example of a measurement for height length and distance# 10eet1 is a non5metric measure unlike 1metres1 and 1centimetres1 which are metric# <ther non5metric measures which we can use for distance are: 'inches' 'yards' and 'miles'# 0or example: EIt's a mile from my house to the centre of #ork, so it only takes me 24 minutes to walk there.E <ther non5metric measures which we use for weight are:


'ounces' ' ounds' 'stones' and 'tons'# 0or example: EI weigh fourteen stones, seven pounds. <hat's fourteen and a half stone I really need to go on a diet.E 'on5metric measures are still widely used in the =J especially for personal weight and height and for distance# &ut some things are changing# +ost people now use metric litres rather than non5metric gallons for volume# 0or example we buy orange juice and petrol by the litre# +ost people also use &elsius rather than Hahrenheit for temperature for example: E<oday, the temperature in 'ondon is :% degrees 7elsius, so you'll be fine in *ust a t-shirt E +ost older &ritish people still use 'feet' rather than 'metres' to describe their own and other peoples1 height# $hey might say for example: E5e's *ust like his dadO he must be at least si) foot tall.E ,owever in an old passport of mine issued in ITOP it states my height in metres# " suppose that1s because metric measures are used here in 7urope# $he =3 on the other hand uses non5metric measures# &ut listen to that example again: E5e's *ust like his dadO he must be at least si) foot tall.E You1re absolutely right about 1five foot tall1U if you1re talking to someone or writing and don1t need to be formal saying that you1re 1five foot tall1 is fine# ,owever to say you are 1five feet tall1 is correct and is probably safer when you1re writing in 7nglish# +aria you don1t have to tell us your real height but if you really are five foot tall you may be interested to know that you are the same height as the Australian singer Jylie +inogue and the Columbian singer 3hakira( ,owever there does seem to be some confusion over 3hakira1s height with some sources saying that she is 1four foot eleven1 and others claiming she is 1five foot two1# 3hakira if you1re listening to &&C Cearning 7nglish perhaps you could contact us and let us know( 3o " hope that1s helped +aria#

'Det' and ''ecome'

Olga from Jatvia asks: -lease tell me when we must use 'ecome and when we must use get# /argarete (te ane-e from Austria asks: " would very much like to know when to use 'ecome# +y feeling is that verbs like


get turn go and grow are often preferred to 'ecome# "s there a rule for when to use 'ecome!

Det as we shall see has many different meanings whereas 'ecome basically indicates development of some kind# Det is more informal and is fre/uently used in speechU 'ecome is more formal and is more often used in writing# Det2'ecome D adjective .hen used with adjectives get indicates growth or development and can therefore be used as the preferred alternative to become in an informal register# Compare the following sentences:



" got interested in photography when " 'ecame interested in art in later life# " was ten# As he got older his garden got really As he 'ecame older he could no longer messy# maintain his garden "t got colder and colder the further north we went# "1m getting /uite hungry now aren1t you! "t 'ecame increasingly cold as we travelled north# ,e 'ecame /uite angry when he discovered there was no food

<ecome D noun .e cannot however use get with a noun even though the meaning is 1grow1 or 1develop into1# .e have to use 'ecome in this sense: 13he was only seventeen when she 'ecame a beauty /ueen#1 1$exas 'ecame the twenty5eighth state of the =3A in IOV?#

Det D noun%pronoun .hen we use get with a noun or a pronoun as a direct object get usually means 1obtain1 1ac/uire1 1receive1 or 1fetch1# <ecome is impossible here: 1" got the highest marks in the class for my essay on Cord &yron#1 1" got my goldfish from the pet shop down the road#1


1" was getting about fifty emails every day when " was working on the project#1 1Could you get me a punnet of peaches from the supermarket!1 1Cet me get you a drink# .hat1ll you have!1

Det and go to indicate movement Det indicates the end of a journey and can be used informally as an alternative to 1reach1 or 1arrive at1# .hen we use go we are talking about the 1complete journey1 usually# Compare the following: 1" usually go to work by car but " went to &ristol by train yesterday#1 1" didn1t get home until nearly midnight#1 1Can you tell me how to get to &uckingham -alace!1

Do grow and turn to indicate a change of state Drow indicates a slow change and sounds literary# "t can be replaced by BbecomeA or BgetA# =urn indicates a faster change and can be replaced by BgoA: 1As they grew richer they invested more money in shares#1 1+y aim is to grow old gracefully and with dignity#1 1,e drove away as soon as the lights turned green#1 1$he leaves turned brown as the weather got colder#1

$here is so much more to get to know about get +argarete but "1ll get into trouble with my editor if " make this reply any longer# "t is a difficult area but " hope it is slowly becoming clearer# =ien in /alaysia as-s* .hat is the difference between hear and listen! $his /uestion has been confusing me for some time# $hank you# Deorge >ic-ering answers* ,ello $ien# $hank you for your /uestion about what is the difference between hear and listen# .e use hear for sounds that come to our ears without us necessarily trying to hear them( 0or example 1$hey heard a strange noise in the middle of the night#1 'isten is used to describe paying attention to sounds that are going on# 0or example 1Cast night " listened to my new +ariah Carey C;#1 3o you can hear something without wanting to but you can only listen to something intentionally# An imaginary conversation between a couple might go:


1;id you hear what " just said!1 1'o sorry darling " wasn1t listening#1

A question from A'dalla (alih* .hich is correct: 1Cet1s go home1 or 1"t1s high time we went home1 and why do you use the past tense of 1go1 here! ':t's high time we went home' &allum 3o'ertson answers* $his is a very interesting /uestion which is correct 5 S"t1s high time we went S or SCet1s goS! $he first thing to say is that they are both grammatically correctU they are both examples of accurate 7nglish# $his is often true in 7nglish that there are different ways to say more or less the same thing# .hich one you use will depend on the situation who you are talking to and sometimes the way you like to sound your own style of speaking# Cet1s look at each of these in a little more detail and describe a situation when they could be used# 0irst the structure Slet1sS 5 which is the common short form for SCet usS# $his is followed by the infinitive of a verb without StoS and is usually an informal suggestion# .hen it1s a suggestion it is often followed by the tag Sshall we!S "magine that you are at a party it1s /uite late at night you are tired and you have to go to work the next day# You are there together with a friend and because it1s late you want to go home# You might say to your friend something like SCet1s go shall we!S You want to leave and you want your friend to come with you# SCet1s go shall we!S "t1s not really an order to do something but a polite way of suggesting that you want to leave# "f you just say SCet1s go(S that is more of a polite instruction and suggests that you have made the decision that it1s time to leave and you expect the person you are talking to do what you say# "t could be a parent talking to his or her children 5 SCome on kids let1s go#S ,owever often there is no real difference between Slet1s goS and Slet1s go shall we!S "t really does depend on your tone of voice and the relationship you have with the person you1re speaking to# 'ow the other phrase from Abdallah1s /uestion was S"t1s high time we wentS# $his is /uite an unusual structure because it has what looks like a simple past form 5 SwentS the past of the verb Sto go#S 5 S"t1s high time we went#S 5 .hat is unusual about this is that this sentence is not talking about the past at all( $here are a number of phrases all using the word StimeS where this happens# .e have the example 5 S"t1s high time we wentS but you could also say: 5 "t1s time we went or 5 "t1s about time we went and you can use a continuous form as well:


5 "t1s time we were going 5 "t1s about time we were going and 5 "t1s high time we were going $he past form in these examples is " think the subjunctive form of the verb# $he subjunctive is often used when we talk about unreal or imagined situations# You can see it clearly in a conditional sentence like this one: S"f " were you "1d change my jobS 'ormally you wouldn1t expect to see the form SwereS following the pronoun S"S# You expect S"S to be followed by SwasS# &ut that is only true if the verb form is the past simple# ,owever S" wereS as in S"f " were youS is the correct form of the past subjunctive which is used here because obviously " am not you and " can1t be you 5 so it1s an imagined or unreal situation 5 S"f " were you#S And that1s the same form that1s being used in the expressions after the word 1time1 ,owever to be honest " wouldn1t worry about trying to remember this or trying to work out if a sentence is subjunctive or not# You can remember the time expressions " mentioned above as fixed expressions and they all have more or less the same meaning# $hey are /uite formal in their use and are stating that it1s time that something happened# A parent might say to a child for example 5 Sit1s time you went to bed(S .hich means S" want you to go to bedS# "n the party situation you could say as " mentioned above Slet1s go(S 5 but you could also say 5 S"t1s time we went#S You can imagine the person who said that might be looking at their watch and worrying perhaps about catching a train# And if the situation is a little more urgent we use the expression S"t1s high timeS which means it1s very important that this happens now 5 S"t1s high time we left 5 come on or we1ll miss the train#S <r again a parent might say to an older child 5 S"t1s high time you found a job young man(S 3o in summary 5

SCet1s goS is an informal suggestion or a polite instruction 5 S"t1s high timeS 5 is a formal statement that it is important that something happen soon or that something happen now# And now 5 it1s about time " finished this answer#

'hire' 2 'rent', 'rise' 2 'raise', 'drive' 2 'ride'

Anne <ee-er from the 8etherlands asks: .hat exactly is the difference between to hire and to rent! " know American 7nglish uses to rent whereas &ritish 7nglish uses to hire but " thought there might


also be a difference between what you can hire and what you can rent# 1,ire a help1 but surely not 1rent a help1!! 1Eent a car1 but not 1hire a car1! )rica from ,ong ;ong asks: " want to know the difference between BriseA and UraiseA# (anjay /ishra from :ndia writes: .hen " return from my place of work on a automotive two5wheeler 8like a scooter or a motorbike9 do " drive back or ride back! hire or rent+ $he meaning is the same: to rent or hire something you pay money in order to be allowed to use it for a limited amount of time# "t is simply a matter of usage# .ith some nouns you can use one or the other 4 it doesnAt matter which as both are freely used# You can: rent or hire cars bikes electronic e/uipment: 1.e rented a $G and video as we intended to stay in 7ngland for only six months#1 1"f youAre planning to go to Cambridge for the day hire a bike when you arrive# "tAs the best way to get round the town#1

.ith other nouns it is customary in &ritish 7nglish to use one and not the other# .e would: rent a flat caravan cottage house: 1" rented a cottage by the sea for the summer#1 1,e rented me his flat in Condon while he was on holiday in Freece#1

8,owever note the difference in use depending on whether it is used as a verb or a noun: Bflats to rentA but Bbikes for hireA9

.e hire some help 8i#e people9 tools e/uipment: 1" had too much to do on the farm so " decided to hire some help three mornings a week#1 1$he police en/uiries were making no progress so we decided to hire a private detective#1 1" was painting the outside of the house and had to hire a tall ladder to get to the top#1

rise or raise+ $wo verbs which are similar in meaning: to move to a higher position# $he essential difference is that raise is a transitive verb which needs an object to complete its meaning and rise is intransitive it functions without an object and is sometimes followed by a phrase of time or place# Compare the following: 1$he sun rises in the 7ast and sets in the .est#1 1" rise 8i#e# get up9 at six oA clock every weekday morning in order to be at work by seven#1


1,e rose 8i#e# stood up9 to greet her#1 1" raised my hand because " wanted to raise a /uestion but he took no notice of me#1 1"f you are raising a family as a single parent you shouldnAt try to work full5 time#1 1+y child was ill and " had to raise money to pay for the operation#1

drive or ride+ Anything with four or more wheels 8like a car a bus a lorry or a train9 we driveU anything with two wheels or that we straddle 8like a horse a bike motorbike or scooter9 we ride 8even though you need a driving licence to ride a motorbike# "n a recent court case a judge in &ritain has ruled that riders of go5peds 4 those tiny scooters which have a very small engine at the back 4 will also need to have a driving licence to ride them on the roads#9 Consider the following: 1" had never driven such a powerful car before#1 1" hadnAt ridden a bike for over twenty years and wondered if " would remember how to#1

'ote that when we are passengers rather than drivers we ride in cars and trains but we tend to ride on buses#

,old or -ee +

Cana from the &$ech 3e u'lic writes: Can you please explain to me the different uses of -ee and hold!

" know there are some phrases where " must use -ee and some where " must use hold but sometimes " don1t know which one " should use# ,old or -ee .e use the verbs hold and -ee in many different ways and with many different meanings# <nly when the meaning is to revent something from moving can they be used interchangeably: 5old $ keep the ruler steady so that I can draw a straight line. !eep $ hold still while I put this necklace on you. 5er talk was so boring that she was unable to hold $ keep my attention. <his is a firm arrangement which cannot be changed. I'll hold $ keep you to this. or hold data and records:

.e also -ee

5e kept $ held all his data on a hard disk.


Jor ta) purposes, you do not need to hold $ keep financial records for more than five years. them:

&ut you can only hold records in sport etc you do not -ee

"ohn 'ees from the D! holds the record for the fastest walk across :merica 2=2R km in 3A days /2 hours /3 minutes between // :pril @the eleventh of :prilC and A "une @the third of "uneC.

hold on to A -ee You can see from the above example that one of the slight differences in meaning is that hold sometimes suggests something temporary while -ee may suggest something more permanent# $here is a similar distinction between hold on to and -ee meaning not to lose: +an you hold on to these +(s for me while I'm away? 5old on to the instructions so that you know what to do if something goes wrong. !eep the instructions safely somewhere in case something goes wrong. A -ee

,old some'ody u

$he phrasal verb hold some'ody u meaning delay can also be used as an alternative to -ee with this meaning: I don't want to hold you up $ keep you, but could I *ust have a word? ut arms around 2 contain 2 organise event

hold A carry 2

.hen hold means to carry or to ut ones arms around or to contain or to organise an event we cannot substitute -ee in its place: +an you hold my books for me while I look for my mobile phone? 5e held her tightly and hoped that she would stop crying soon. Mld <rafford, the home of Fan D, holds =S,444 spectators while 5ighbury, the home of their main rivals, :rsenal, holds only half that amount. I plan to hold a meeting soon to see if we can increase profitability. &eferendums have been held in all central 9uropean countries in connection with 9D membership. A continue 2 store 2 stay in good condition


.hen -ee means any of these we cannot substitute hold in its place# .hen -ee means continue note that it may be followed either by ver'0ing or by the preposition on @ ver'0ing: (on't turn left or right, *ust keep right on till the end of the road. #ou must keep taking the medication until you are 7uite better. I kept @onC reminding him that he should take my advice, but he ignored me.


Where do you keep the keys to the shed? I can't find them. 'et's buy two kilos of peaches now. <hey'll keep in the fridge for about two weeks If you want to keep fit, eat plenty of fruit secrets and promises and you -ee your word# You do not hold

.e also -ee them:

+an you keep a secret? "ane's going to have a baby. 5e failed to keep his promise $ his word and told everybody about it.

horri'le and horrificR terri'le and terrific &harlie Min studying 7nglish in &anada writes: .hat1s the difference between horri'le and horrific!

horri'le You can describe something as horri'le 8or deadful or awful9 when you do not like it at all: $he hotel was horri'le 5 just awful# $he walls were all painted a horri'le colour and "1ve never had such dreadful meals#

horrific You would describe something as horrific when it is really upsetting or frightening to think about it or speak about it: ,aving to survive in the desert for eight days with very little water and practically no shelter from the sun was horrific# "t was a horrific motorway accident: twelve people died a further twenty four suffered horrendous burns#

horrendous 0 horrifying ,orrendous can mean horrifying describing something you feel dismay or disgust about but it can also be used in a less extreme way meaning unpleasant or shocking# Compare the following:


$he traffic this morning was horrendous# "t took me seventy5five minutes to travel eleven miles# "t was a horrifying picture: the dead and the wounded had all been left by the roadside#

'ote that all of these adjectives with their various endings 0i'le 5ic 0ous 0ing are derived from the noun horror which also crops up in the compound noun horror film: ,orror films on television are usually screened late at night#

terri'le 0 terrifying 0 terrific "n a similar way terri'le and terrifying which have similar shades of meaning to horri'le and horrifying are both derived from the noun terror from which we get the nouns terrorist and terrorism: Eidding the world of terrorists and terrorism is easier said than done#

&e careful however with the adjective terrific which does not have the same meaning as horrific# .hereas horrific means very bad terrific means very good# Compare the following: $he food was terri'le# 'obody at the camp had any idea about how to cook# 7verybody in the team was terrific# " had never seen them play so well together before# 3haring a prison cell with a convicted murderer was a terrifying prospect#

horri'ly 0 terri'ly $hese adverbs are used even more fre/uently than the adjectives terri'le and horri'le# $hey often mean little more than very# 'ote how they are used in these examples: "t was terri'ly im ortant not to make any mistakes on the certificate as it was going to be framed# "1m terri'ly sorry# $hat was very clumsy of me to barge into you like that# Are you all right! " was terri'ly u set when " heard that James had gone to +exico without telling me# " know that something is terri'ly 2 horri'ly wrong# $hey should be back by now# $hey were horri'ly 2 terri'ly e7 ensive so " could only afford one "1m afraid#


.e1re going to be horri'ly 2 terri'ly late if we stop to buy flowers on the way#

,ere are some more adjectives which are used informally and which mean very good and very bad# 'ote that they all have very common adjectival endings: 9ery good: fabulous ama*ing fantastic 9ery 'ad: awful shocking hideous dreadful revolting monstrous frightful appalling tremendous breathtaking wonderful marvellous outstanding magnificent stupendous smashing

Can you think of any others meaning very good or very bad like su er' or dire which do not have these common adjectival suffixes! "f you can write to our /essage <oard and put them into sample sentences e#g# $heir performance was dire# +ost of the audience walked out long before it was over# $he dancers were su er'# $hey had obviously spent a long time rehearsing it#

,ot dogs and hat tric-s

Could you please tell me the origin of the words hot dog and hat tric-! hat tricA hat tric- was originally performed by a conjurer at a circus or variety show# $he conjurer or magician pulled rabbits or other impossible items out of a top hat as if by magic# "n a sporting context it was first used in the game of cric-et in IOOP to describe an unlikely situation where a bowler takes three wickets with three successive balls# $his entitled the bowler to pass his hat around the ground for a collection of cash or he might have been presented with a new hat or cap by the club he represented# $his usage /uickly spread to the game of football to describe three goals scored by the same person in a football match:


Feoff ,urst1s hat tric- in the ITLL .orld Cup 0inal will always be remembered by 7nglish football fans#

"t has since spread to describe similar situations in other games: 'ow as he approaches the tenth green he1s on a hat tric- of birdies# A birdie on the eighth# A birdie on the ninth# Cet1s see if he can make it three in a row with a birdie on the tenth#

old hat "f something is old hat it is out of date or obsolete or so well5known and familiar that it has become uninteresting or boring# $he expression is thought to originate from the fact that hats and particularly ladies1 hats tend to go out of fashion long before they are worn out# .earing a tie with a jacket 5 for young people that1s really old hat#

hot dog 0or those among you who don1t yet know this .estern delicacy a hot dog is a sausage especially a frankfurter inserted lengthways into a hot bread roll and garnished with onions ketchup or other relishes# "t originated in America and was an invention attributed to ,enry 3tevens a caterer with the 'ew York 3tadium in IT@@# $here may have been an allusion to the 1sausage1 dog or dachshund which is roughly the same shape# A diet of hot dogs pumpkin pie and ice5cream sundaes is not good for your waistline( <n the pier there were all the usual side5shows plus hot0dog hamburger and ice5cream stands#

'ote that we also have to hot dog in slang usage possibly derived from top dog or best person meaning to show off or perform very well in skiing or surfing: "f you can hot dog on two5metre5high waves you are king(

3imilarly hot dogger 8noun9: <n &ondi &each in Australia we noticed that almost every wave carried a hot0dogger performing tricks 5 fast slides rapid turns cut5backs and flick5 offs# $hey were hot0dogging for all they were worth# ants


,ot ants were very brief skin5tight shorts originally worn by young women in the early ITP@s in &ritain 5 1hot1 because they looked sexy# $he mini skirt is back in fashion but " don1t think hot ants ever will be#


hot A hot care#

otato otato is a delicate or tricky situation that has to be handled with extreme

$he new law is politically a hot are very unhappy with it#

otato for the government as many people

As you will know the original hot otatoes are difficult to handle when you take them out of the oven or pluck them from the barbe/ue fire# Care has to be taken not to drop them(

,o e 2 wish C Baudt from <ra$il asks: " was told by an 7nglish teacher that the main difference between the verbs ho e and wish is that when we use ho e we do not know all the facts 8a kind of future meaning9 and when we use wish we know all the facts already# 0or instance 1" hope you will be <J1 and 1" wish you were here1 8from -ink 0loyd9# $his led me to think about Christmas time# .hy should " say 1" wish you a +erry Christmas1 instead of 1" hope you a +erry Christmas1! "s there any grammatical explanation on this issue!

$he answer is that the verb wish is used in a variety of different ways and ho e cannot be used as a 1stand alone1 verb in a sentence other than in the expressions 1" hope so1 or 1" hope not#1 Cet1s look at wish first of all# "n your 1+erry Christmas1 example or when you wish someone good luck or ,appy &irthday you are expressing the hope that they will have good luck in the future often in connection with a particular event or that they will enjoy their birthday which is to come# $hus we have expressions like: 1" wish you a +erry Christmas and a ,appy 'ew Year#1 1Eemember it1s 3arah1s birthday tomorrow# ;on1t forget to wish her many happy returns#1 1$hey wished me all the best in my new job#1 1" wish you good health and every happiness in the 'ew +illennium#1

As you suggest wish is also used when you wish that something were the case or you would like it to be the case even though you know that it is impossible or unlikely# "n this sense the verb which follows wish has a past tense inflection# $hus we have: 1.e wish you could be here#1 1,e wished he hadn1t said that for 0iona was terribly upset#1


1"t rained every day# " do wish " hadn1t gone there for my holidays#1 1" wish you didn1t have to work so hard#1

Wish as in 1wish to1 is also sometimes used as a slightly more formal alternative to 1want to1# 3o we have: 1$hey were very much in love and wished to get married as soon as it could be arranged#1 1" don1t wish to see him ever again 1 she said five months after they were married#1 1,e could do most of his work from home if he wished#1 1" don1t wish to interrupt 8your conversation9 but the potatoes are burning dry#1 1" don1t wish to be rude but that red dress really doesn1t suit you#1

'ow let1s take a brief look at ho e# .e speak of people1s 1hopes for the future1 and ho e normally signals future intentions# "f you ho e to do something you want to do it and intend to do it if you possibly can# Cike wish it can be used with to plus infinitive# 3o we might have: 1" hope to be a millionaire by the time "1m thirty#1 1" was hoping to catch the ?#M@ train and would have caught it if Jennifer hadn1t phoned#1

,owever when a new subject is introduced ho e must be followed by a clausal construction# $hus we would find: 1" hope 8that9 she1ll like these flowers#1 1,er mother hoped 8that9 Judith would become a doctor but her heart was always set on the stage#1 1" hope 8that9 you won1t think me rude but that red dress that you1re wearing definitely doesn1t suit you#1 1$hey were stranded on the side of the mountain and hoped 8that9 the rescue team would reach them before nightfall#1

,opes and wishes( "t is my hope and wish that all of you out there reading this column will enjoy good health and every happiness in the 'ew +illennium# <r to put it in two other ways: " wish you good health and every happiness in the 6Ist Century# " ho e you1ll enjoy good health and every happiness in the 6Ist Century#

'house' or 'home' ,ouse describes a particular type of building# ,ome is the place where you live and feel that you belong to# Compare the following:


1+ost people in &ritain live in semi5detached houses#1 1.eAre going to buy 7mma a dollQs house for Christmas#1 1$he ,ouses of >arliament in Condon are visited by ?@ @@@ people each year#1 1"Ave enjoyed living abroad for the last six years but itAs time for me to go back home now(1 1.e were at home in bed when our car was stolen from outside the house#1 1$hese children need a good home and we are in a position to give them one#1

'ote also the differences in meaning and use between 1houseproud1 1housework1 and 1homework1 1homesick1 and 1homeless1# 3tudy the following: 1" did my housewor- 8i#e# cleaning the house9 this morning and my homewor- 8work given to me by my school to do at home9 this afternoon#1 1-eople say that "Am house roud because " spend so much time cleaning the house so that others will admire it#1 13he said that she was missing her home and family so much# 3he sounded really homesic-#1 1" am homeless# " have no home to go to#

interfere and intervene Could you kindly explain what is the difference between interfere and intervene! $hank you# Amos >aran answers* Yes 7ric these two words are similar and yet so different# &oth start with 1inter51 meaning 1between1# $he difference is in the connotations of the two words# 1"nterfere1 has very strong negative connotations# $here1s a wonderful short story by Julian &arnes called 1"nterference1 in his collection +ross +hannel and the title refers to two types of interference which happen in the story# <ne type of interference that the title refers to is interference with radio signals 5 you know when you1re listening to a radio programme and there are other signals and reception is not very good# $he other type of interference is the type where people interfere in other people1s business telling them what to do how to behave what to eat and so on# "f " say to someone (to interfering " mean that what " am doing is none of their business# And there1s some of that happening in the story too# 1"ntervene1 has got more positive connotationsU it has the connotation of wanting to improve a situation change things for the better# You intervene between two people in order to prevent a /uarrel for example#


jo' a


" would like to know the difference between an a lication letter and a cover letter# " would like to have examples of application and cover letters# $his is because " am always confused as to why both must be sent when one is looking for employment#

letter of a


"f you are responding to a job advertisement you may be asked to write a letter of a lication# $his is the letter which lists all your work experience and /ualifications and should also explain why you want the job# &egin your letter by telling the reader where you saw the advertisement: " am writing to apply for the post of 0ashion 3hop +anager advertised in the 1'ews 3hopper1 of IV 0ebruary 6@@6#

You would then go on to list your experience and relevant /ualifications: " have worked in the retail industry for a total of ten years first as a sales assistant in a department store and for the last three years as a 3ection ,ead and ;eputy +anager at Jones the &ootmaker#

You might then go on to say why you are particularly interested in this job and mention the particular abilities and skills that you have# " am applying for this position as " am looking to progress from junior to senior management# " have always been interested in the latest fashion trends and developments and " believe your organisation is a well5run /uality fashion business# " would very much like to work for your company# " believe " have all the skills knowledge and expertise that you are looking for# " have lots of retail initiative can schedule and prioritise tasks and can work to strict deadlines# " also work particularly well with people and would enjoy leading the team and working with clients and customers#

You might then close the letter with the following formula# " look forward to hearing from you and hope that you will be able to invite me for an interview#

covering letter +any employers will ask you to write to them or phone them for an application form and further details when they advertise jobs# 3ometimes you will be asked to send your &9 or resume# Your &9 or curriculum vitae lists your educational and career history and is a useful summary for an employer of all your educational and employment achievements up to the present time# You must always ensure that it is up to date#


A covering letter may then be very useful because you can enclose it with your &9 or a com leted a lication form# "n your covering letter you can draw attention to particular information which you wish to highlight# 3uch a covering letter might look like this: ;ear +r 3orefoot Hashion (ho /anager

-lease find enclosed my completed application form for the above position# As you will see from my form " have ten years experience with &ates Eetail as a 0ashion 3hop +anager# " look forward to hearing from you and hope that you will be able to invite me for an interview# " can be contacted at any time by phone fax or email at work or at home# " would very much welcome an opportunity to discuss my application in greater detail and convince you that " am the right person for the job# Yours sincerely

0rances 3limwaist "f you have filled in an application form you do not need to send a CG because all the relevant information should be on your form#

cover 'ote that cover as verb noun and adjective is used in a variety of different ways: "f you cover something you place something else over it to protect it or hide it or close it: Always cover what you are cooking with a tight5fitting lid and cook it slowly# ,is desk is always covered with papers# " don1t know how he can work in such a mess# 3he covered all her bedroom walls with posters of 7minem# $here are always lots of cafes and restaurants within the covered shopping malls in &ritish towns and cities# rotection

cover H

&over can also be used to talk about protection from enemy attack or for talking about insurance# $he air force was unable to provide any sort of air cover for their ground troops#


$here was no cover of any kind no trees no valleys just the endless barren plain# Are you covered to drive this car! ;o you have proper insurance cover! ;oes your travel insurance cover you against theft or loss of valuables!

cover H address or re ort on a to ic &over can be used to talk about studying a subject or in a journalistic context to talk about reporting# .e haven1t covered molecular biology yet# .e1re going to do that next term# ,e1s going to cover the .orld Cup later this year for &&C .orld 3ervice#

cover for H su'stitute for someone at wor Can you cover for me this afternoon while " visit my father in hospital! $here were not enough teachers to cover for absent colleagues and some students had to be sent home#

re orter and journalist "1m confused about the difference between presenter broadcaster and announcerU and the difference between reporter and journalist# Your answer must be very helpful for me# $hanks# ,i 3uharno All these words are used to describe people who work in the media# $he first three: presenter broadcaster and announcer are all related to $G and radio: media which is delivered partly 4 or wholly 4 through sound and speech 8this type of media is increasingly available on internet too9# A presenter is a person who introduces or hosts television or radio programmes# A presenter1s opening words on a programme are usually something like ,ood evening, and welcome toPname of showQ with me Pname of presenterQ. Mn tonight's show we will be... Ppresenter talks about the content of the programmeQ. $he topic of the programme is not all about the presenter# $he presenter is the person who introduces the programme introduces or links sections of the programme together and says goodbye at the end# 3ome well5known presenters include Johnny Carson 8an American $G chat show host9 $revor +ac;onald 8a &ritish $G news presenter9 and Jarim Jouchouk 8the presenter of &&Ce for &&C Cearning 7nglish Arabic 3ervice9# An announcer1s job is similar to that of a presenter# ,e or she provides spoken information about news weather programme content links between programmes advertising etc# ,owever an announcer may have a smaller role in a programme than a presenter does: on $G programmes an announcer may only feature as a voice whereas a presenter will be seen on the screen# Another main difference between an announcer and a presenter is that the announcer usually reads word5for5 word from a script whereas a presenter may have some flexibility regarding the


things they say# $he word broadcaster can refer to an organisation such as the &&C 8=J9 or '&C 8=3A9 which produces television and radio programmes# "t can also be used to describe someone who is well5experienced in the $G and radio industry# ,e or she usually has multiple talents 4 scriptwriting directing presenting etc# and his or her programmes may be considered to be very important and well5respected# 0amous &ritish broadcasters include 3ir ;avid Attenborough 3ir Eobert .inston and 3ir ;avid 0rost and Carry Jing in the =3A# $urning to the second part of your /uestion 3uharno: you wanted to find out about the difference between a reporter and a journalist# "n fact these jobs are very similar and in some respects the terms are interchangeable# A *ournalist1s work is most often seen in print 4 especially newspapers 4 but they can work for $G and radio too# A journalist gathers writes and reports news stories and may also edit and present news articles# A reporter is a type of journalist who gathers information about newsworthy issues# $his may involve researching through several sources 4 interviews police and public records photographs etc# .hen the information is gathered the reporter will create a report for publication or broadcast in the media# Eeporters often specialise in a particular area for example: crime politics health or education# 0inally 3uharno "1d like to mention one more media profession# A columnist is a writer 8usually a journalist9 who writes regularly 8often weekly9 for a newspaper or maga*ine# 3he or he chooses a topic that is in the news and writes not only about the events that have become newsworthy but also often offers some analysis and%or personal opinion# $his job is usually reserved for senior journalists at a particular newspaper or maga*ine# .ell 3uharno " do hope this has been a useful answer to your /uestion( )7 lanation of a jo-e

Jisa from =aiwan asks: .hy is it funny! .hat does the last sentence mean! 1$aking his seat in his chambers the judge faced the opposing lawyers# S3o S he said S" have been presented by both of you with a bribe#S &oth lawyers s/uirmed uncomfortably# SYou attorney Ceon gave me [I? @@@# And you attorney Campos gave me [I@ @@@#S $he judge reached into his pocket and pulled out a check# ,e handed it to Ceon# S'ow then "1m returning [? @@@ and we1re going to decide this case solely on its merits#S1 $o decide a case 1solely on it merits1 means that only the intrinsic rights and wrongs of the arguments will be considered# "n a court of law one would expect all cases to be decided solely on their merits#


"t is funny because that is no longer possible in this case as the judge has already pocketed bribes of [I@ @@@ from both the defense and prosecution counsels# ,e argues that his judgement will be unbiased now that the amount of bribe from defense and prosecution is e/ual but would you expect to get a fair trial in a court of law from a judge who was open to bribery! -inds 2 ty es 2 sorts 2 varieties 5of music6 " have always had problems using the words kind and type# "s there any difference and can you give me some examples of usage! -inds of 2 sorts of 2 ty es of 2 varieties of ;inds, sorts, ty es and even varieties can all be used interchangeably 8although varieties may be used more in more scientific sorts of contexts e#g# varieties of tomato9 $he first three are very common and can be used in singular and plural forms# Compare the following and note that all the examples today are taken from a global music theme: .hat kind8s9 % type8s9 % sort8s9 % varieties of music do you like most! : " like all kinds % sorts % types: hip5hop E&& pop rock rap and classical# Flobal +usic 4 or .orld +usic as it is known in &ritain 4 is the synthesis of different -inds of music from around the world often using traditional instruments in an original way# "f you want to know what ty e of instrument a morinhoor is how to find music from Yakutia or how to buy an organo pinareno from Cuba Flobal +usic websites can help you various 2 different 2 many 2 all 0 -inds 2 ty es 2 sorts varieties $hese nouns collocate readily with different, various and many as well as with all: $here are various -inds 2 ty es 2 sorts 2 varieties of ja$$, originating with ragtime blues and swing of the 6@s and M@s and then the later varieties of hard bop soft bop funky third stream and free styles of the ?@s and L@s# sort of 5a6 2 -ind of 5a6 2 ty e of 5a6 (ort of 2 -ind of 2 ty e of are usually followed by an uncountable noun or a singular countable noun with no article but a 2 an is sometimes retained in an informal style: .hat sort of 5a6 2 -ind of 5a6 2 ty e of 5a6 dance is that! .ell itAs a sort of jig or reel danced to very fast time# " donAt know exactly what it is because there are several ty es of jigs 4 single jigs double jigs slip jigs and hop jigs# 'ote that when the indefinite article is retained it sometimes has a derogatory meaning:


.hat -ind of a B9B layer is that! You donAt seriously expect me to listen to electronic music with no surround sound do you! sort of 2 -ind of (ort of and -ind of but not ty e of are used in another important way in informal spoken 7nglish when we want to demonstrate to the listener that we are not speaking very precisely but simply indicating a general idea# $hey are used to modify many different parts of speech including adjectives verbs and clauses see below: .hy donAt you like this kind of music! : .ell itAs sort of loud and tuneless# $hey may also be used as fillers i#e# to fill a gap in the conversation and to give the speaker more time to think: ,ow would you describe your singing voice on this track! .ell "K " -inda howl like a wolf and then ...-inda...-inda...squeal like a pig but it seems to work sort of# Ises of the word 'lac-' .ould you please tell me all the uses of the word lac- 8in different forms9 and make a sentence for each of its uses! "s the sentence 1+any children are in lack of sleep1 correct! "f it is wrong what should it be! "1m not too happy with 1in lack of1 .ong which doesn1t sound /uite right to me# Jac- of is fine where lac- is used as a noun so you can say for example: 1$he lac- of amenities in the hotel surprised all of us#1 1$here was a general lac- of enthusiasm among the trainees#1

Jac- may also be used as a verb: 1$hey lac-ed the courage necessary to cross the fast5flowing river#1 1.hen she came to start making the cake she discovered that she lac-ed half the basic ingredients#1

Jarge 2 <ig .hat is the difference in use and meaning between the words 1large1 and 1big1! 3achel Wica-sono answers* .ell this is a big /uestion "ryna so "1ll do my best to answer it clearly and briefly( 0irst "1ll talk about form: 'Jarge' and ''ig' are both regular adjectives### $heir comparative forms are 1larger1 and 1bigger1


$heir superlative forms are 1largest1 and 1biggest1# '<ig' is a very common word in both written and spoken 7nglishU in fact it1s in the top I @@@ most fre/uently used words# 'Jarge' on the other hand is a less fre/uently used word and doesn1t even make it into the top M @@@ most fre/uently used words in 7nglish# 'ow onto the /uestion of meaning### $he general meaning of both 'large' and ''ig' is: 1of more than average si*e%amount%weight%height1 etc# 0or example: 'Iryna has got a well-paid *ob and can afford to live in a house' 5 O3### 'Iryna lives in a large house'# "n these examples both 1big1 and 1large1 mean that "ryna1s house is of more than average si*e# Although 1big1 and 1large1 both mean the same in these examples 1large1 sounds a little more formal# 'either 1large1 nor 1big1 can be used with uncountable nouns# $his means we can say: '<he house has a @big or largeC garden' - because 'garden' is countable. ,owever we can1t use 1big1 or 1larg1 with 1traffic1 because 1traffic1 is uncounta'le# .ith uncountable nouns you can use 'a lot of' 5 for example: '<here's a lot of traffic on the road ne)t to the house.' 3o although 1large1 and 1big1 are often interchangeable sometimes they are not# 3o next "1ll try and give you some examples of when this is the case### 1&ig1 can mean 1important1 for example: '8uying a house is a very big decision'. "t can also be used in informal situations to mean 1older1 for example: '5e's my big brother'### as well as 1successful1 or 1powerful1 for example: '#ork is a big tourist destination'. Also in informal situations we can use 1big1 to mean 1doing something to a large degree1 for example: '.he earns a lot of money, but she's also a big spender' 5 <E### 'I'm a big fan of yours'# '<ig' is used in a lot of fixed phrases and because these phrases are fixed to change 1big 1to 1large1 would sound wrong# 7xamples of fixed phrases using 1big1 include: 'It's no big deal' 5 it1s not really important# 'I have big ideas for this house' 5 impressive plans for the future# '.he's a big mouth' 5 a person who can1t be trusted to keep a secret# '5e's too big for his boots' 5 too proud of himself# $here are also some fixed phrases using 'large'# 7xamples include: '<he prisoners are at large' 5 they have escaped and may cause harm# '.he's larger than life' 5 more exciting or amusing than most people#


0inally /uantity words#### 'large' more often than 1big1 is used with the following /uantity words: 1a large amount1 1on a large scale1 1a large number of1 1a large /uantity of1 1a large proportion1 1to a large extent1 1a large percentage of1 1a large part of1 1a large volume1 and 1a large area1# 3o######a very big 5 or large 5 /uestion "ryna( " hope this has helped a little(

=a-e 5and last6

Disela from the &$ech 3e u'lic writes* "1m not sure about the difference in use between ta-e and last# .hich is better in these examples: 2ow long does the film last5 2ow long does the film take5 =a-e or last+ &oth ta-e and last are used to talk about the amount of time needed for something# .e tend to use ta-e when we are more in control of the experience and last when we have little or no control over it# =a-e suggests more active involvement and last implies a more passive experience# $hus we are more li-ely to say: 5ow long does the film last? ~ It's a long one. It lasts ;for< over three hours

Compare also the following examples of greater and lesser control of the action using ta-e and last: It takes half an hour to prepare lunch and an hour to prepare supper usually. (inner lasts for ( takes at least ninety minutes when 5enry's at home there's so much to talk about. <he five-set match lasted for more than three-and-a-half hours before the champion went through to the ne)t round =-A, A-=, =-/, =-S, =-2. EI didn't e)pect it to take so long, but it took me twenty minutes to settle down in the opening set,E he said afterwards.

'ote that when we use preparatory it as subject and when it is followed by a personal pronoun me, you, her, him, or them we have to use ta-e not last: It will take you all day to tidy your room - it's in such a mess.


It only takes me five minutes to put my make-up on now. It used to take me ninety minutes before I got married.

Cike get take is a very common multi5purpose verb and is used in many different ways# ,ere are a few of the commonest: ta-e 8opposite of give9 I offered him four tickets for &omeo and "uliet, but he only took two. <he burglars have taken all my *ewels. <here's nothing left. I'll take a copy of the agreement, if you don't mind. <hen I won't forget anything. I'm going to take ten minutes now to e)plain to you how this works.

ta-e 8opposite of 'ring9 meaning 1carry1 $hey are opposites in the sense that when we use 'ring we are describing movements to where the speaker or listener is located and when we use ta-e we are describing movements away from the speaker%listener# Compare the following: .he took me to the hospital because I was feeling decidedly ill. *ake an umbrella with you. It's going to rain. Fy secretary always brings me my mail first of all and then she takes the children to school. I took my calculator to school every day until the maths teacher said; E#ou needn't bring them any more. We have enough now for everybody.E

ta-e 8H have9 I'm going to take a shower now. ~ Why don't you take a bath? It'll be more rela)ing. 'et's take a break now. #ou've been driving for two hours and you need to take a rest. I'm going to take a holiday as soon as my boss gets back from leave. We took a long walk along the seashore every evening before dinner. *ake a good look at this and make sure it's in perfect working order before you decide to buy it.

"n all of these expressions with ta-e @ noun to describe common actions we can use either have or ta-e# ,ave is more characteristic of &ritish 7nglish whereas Americans would be more inclined to use ta-e#


la$y and idle A question from Anne /c&onnell in )ngland* .hy aren1t la*y and idle exact synonyms! ;aren Adams answers* .ell we have two words here that mean very similar things# Ca*y which we know means someone who doesnAt really word very hard but also one with a very similar meaning idle# $hatAs idle 4 i#d#l#e# &oth words can actually be used to describe someone who doesnAt work very hard for example QJohn is really la*y#R or QJohn is really idle#R &oth mean that JohnAs doesnAt really work as much as he should do# ,owever there are some very subtle differences between the two words which means we canAt use them completely interchangeably# 0or example Qla*yR will always have a negative connotationU it will give us a very negative idea of the person itAs being used to describe# 3o la*y is always seen as a very bad thing# ,owever idle can be used in other contexts still to mean something or someone doesnAt work but without the negative judgement# 3o for example if you press print on your computer you may see a sign which says Q-rinter idle#R $his means that the printer at the moment isnAt doing anything# 3imilarly sometimes factories must close because there isnAt enough work an so at that point the factory is idle# Also the work force the people are idle# 3o when we use idle in this way we are not giving a negative comment on the people or the thing we are just saying theyAre not working# "tAs very very important to think about the adjectives you use in particular because very many of them can carry different connotations# 0or example: cheap and inexpensive# &oth mean that something doesnAt cost a lot of money# ,owever in &ritish 7nglish we often use the adjective cheap to describe something thatAs not of very good /uality# 3o it can sometimes have a negative connotation# 3imilarly you may find two adjectives that mean similar things but one adjective can be used with a wider range of nouns# 3o for example wealthy and rich# .e can talk about wealthy people or rich people# &oth mean people with lots of money# ,owever we can also talk about rich food rich furnishings meaning very good /uality# 3o here rich has a slightly different meaning# "tAs important to remember that itAs difficult to find words that are exact synonyms which can be used interchangeably in all contexts# 3o when you learn some new synonyms itAs important to learn not just what they share but also what the difference is between them# Eemember when we say someone is la*y we mean they donAt work very hard but we canAt say the printer is la*y we can only say the printer is idle#


Jearning and using synonyms -eople use synonyms to avoid repeating the same word# 0or example: $his hotel is so e7 ensive# "t1s very ricey#

.hat is the difference in meaning between expensive and pricey! .hen should " use synonyms! e7 ensive 2 ricey

3ynonyms are words with the same or sometimes slightly different meanings# Alternatives are sometimes used in the same context with little or no difference as in your example Yeon5Ju except that ricey is a bit more informal than e7 ensive# Girtually anything that costs a lot of money may be considered e7 ensive or ricey# -een 2 eager " am always -een 2 eager to introduce synonyms in this way in the examples of use that " /uote on the learnit pages# "n this example keen and eager are very close in meaning and may be used interchangeably# 0inding alternatives with the same or similar meaning is undoubtedly a good way of expanding your vocabulary and use of 7nglish Yeon5Ju but we have to be careful# disgusting 2 a alling

$hese synonyms are /uite close in meaning but not as close as in the previous pairs# Compare the following: $he food they served at John and -aula1s wedding reception was disgusting# $he food they served at John and -aula1s wedding reception was appalling# $he service at this hotel is disgusting# $he service at this hotel is appalling# &oth adjectives are possible in both contexts but disgusting is perhaps more appropriate to the first context as it suggests that the food was highly unpleasant to the taste# A alling is perhaps more appropriate to the second context as it suggests that the service was generally unpleasant shocking offensive and unacceptable# retty 2 good0loo-ing 2 'eautiful $hese three synonyms indicating someone or something that is pleasing in appearance are also /uite close in meaning but use is restricted:


"t was a beautiful summer1s day# 3he was wearing a pretty polka5dot bikini# .ith his jet5black hair and high cheekbones he appeared unusually good5looking# A summer1s day cannot be retty or good0loo-ing# A bikini is not substantial enough to be called beautiful 8whereas an attractive wedding dress we would describe as beautiful9# <nly people of either sex can be described as good5looking and men are not usually thought of as pretty or beautiful# &ollocation .hat we learn from this is that words sometimes occur together or collocate with each other in fairly fixed ways# ver' @ adver' Certain verbs tend to be used with certain adverbs# "f you think hard % carefully about it you1ll realise that "1m right# 8'ot: "f you think strongly % powerfully % preciselyK#9 "f " remember correctly % rightly you were not there at the time# 8'ot: "f " remember exactly % precisely % trulyK9 "f you truly % really love me you1ll turn down that job in 'orway# 8'ot: "f you purely % justly % rightly % precisely love meK#9 adjective @ noun Certain nouns tend to occur with certain adjectives: "t came as a com lete sur rise to me when she married him 8'ot: "t came as a com rehensive 2 full 2 entire surprise to meK9 ,e carried out a full 2 com rehensive market survey before launching the product# 8'ot: ,e carried out a com lete 2 all0em'racing market surveyK9 8And not: Kbefore discharging 2 dis atching 2 ro elling the product#9 ver' @ noun Certain Gerbs and nouns habitually occur together# "f you eat chocolate before a meal it will s oil 2 ruin your appetite# 8'ot: Kit will damage 2 harm 2 su ress your appetite#9 $he government has recently conducted 2 carried out a survey on the causes of obesity in children# 8'ot: $he government has fulfilled 2 administered 2 run a surveyK9


" can1t change my eating habits so " shall continue to eat junk food# 8'ot: " can1t alter 2 amend 2 modify my eating habitsK9 learning and using synonyms .hen you are learning new words it is always a good idea to learn them in the contexts in which they are used and the typical collocations that go with them# 'lend' or ''orrow' ,ow can " use the word owe when " lend someone some money# ;o " say: 1" owe you 6@ dollars1 or do " say: 1You owe me 6@ dollars!1 $he importance of my /uestion is how do " use this word in both ways such as when " 'orrow some money from someone and also when " lend someone some money!

"f you 'orrow something from somebody you take it with their permission and promise to return it in due course at the end of a limited period usually# "f you 'orrow >? @@@ from the bank you will owe them >? @@@ plus interest on the period of time you have borrowed if for# Consider the following: 1" 'orrowed five pounds from my brother and forgot to pay it back#1 1" always buy the books " want to read although " agree it would be cheaper to 'orrow them from the library#1 1+any of his ideas are 'orrowed from other sources#1

"f you lend somebody something or lend something to somebody then you give them something of yours for a limited period of time# "f you lend someone some money they will owe you the money# Consider the following: 13he lent her sister her car for the weekend#1 8'&: verb D indirect object D direct object9 1"f you lend your coat to -hilip youAll never see it again#1 8'&: verb D direct object D indirect object9 1"f you can lend me a hand with these reports we might finish them by suppertime#1

:n the sentence, Uwor- hard lest you should fail in your e7aminationQ can 'lest' 'e used without the su ort of the word 'should'+ Yes it can# 0irst what does lest mean and when do we use it! Cest is a very rare word and /uite old fashioned#


+ost people in &ritain know it because we see it written very often in the same place 5 on war memorials on statues which have been put up so that we remember people who died in warsU and what1s very often written on these statues is Blest we forgetA( 'ow what lest means is Bso that we don1tA or Bso that you don1tA# "t1s a warning# "t1s introducing a danger to be avoided# And 3ha*adAs example: Bwork hard lest you should fail your examinationA lest introduces the danger of things to be avoided: if you don1t work hard you will fail your examination# ,ere are further e7am les* .e often use it after a command Bwork hard lest you fail your examA and Bdress up warmly 8wear warm clothes9 lest you catch coldA# .e can use it without a command we might talk about something we did in the past so we might say B" worked really hard lest " failed my examA# Written .hat we do need to remember though is that it is a very very formal and old5 fashioned word and if you use it when you1re talking you1re going to sound rather strange# "t1s a word which we see written 5 it1s not a word that is used in conversation# Eemember it because you will see it writtenU but only use it if you really want to impress somebody in a very very formal situation# &an lest 'e used without the su ort of the word should+

Yes# And it normally is used without should# "n 3ha*ad1s example 1lest you should fail your examination1 that use of should of course has a completely different meaning from the usual meaning of should# .e usually think of should in terms of an obligation: something you have to do# And here it doesn1t mean that 5 here the meaning introduces a conditional that suggests that this is a possibility but not a strong possibility# "t is not necessary# .e usually do leave it out# $he interesting thing is that when we do leave it out the word that is left there is an infinitive 5 which means that if we1re using BheA we don1t say Bhe must work hard lest he fails the examinationAU we say Bhe must work hard lest he fail the examinationA# And that1s a curious and interesting little bit of 7nglish# let or leave " am 66 years old and have been learning 7nglish for L months# " would like to know the difference between let and leave# -lease explain with examples# " shall be very grateful to you# .e use both let and leave in different ways and for different purposes# $hey cannot be used interchangeably# let @ infinitive


A very common usage of let is in the phrase let us or let's when we are making a suggestion involving others# .e say this instead of Why don't we1+ or : suggest we1 which is /uite formal# "t is often used with shall we+ as a /uestion tag# Compare the following: Jet's just have a cold salad for supper this evening shall we! And let's go for a run before we eat( <J# Jet's do that( Jet's forget " ever said that shall we! " didn1t mean to offend you#

.hen it is used with the negative there are two alternative versions to choose from: don't let's or let's not# &oth are very common# Jet's not get too involved in their argument# "t1s better if they sort it out themselves# Bon't let's go to 3heila1s party tonight# Jet's just have a /uiet evening at home

Jet is also commonly used to make a suggestion to oneself in the phrase let me or to a third person in the phrase let him2her2them# 'ote also the usage with the infinitive of there is2there are# Compare the following: ;o you like this outfit! Jet me see# " like the orange dress but not with that hat# "1m going to sell my car# ;o you want to buy it! "1m not sure# Jet me thin- about it# $here1s still a stain on this jumper# Jet me try to get it out with this stain remover# Can Joey and -hoebe stay overnight next weekend! <h please let them stay# Jet there 'e no doubts in your minds that we shall win this battle#

Jet A allow2 ermit .e can see from these last examples particularly the Joey and -hoebe example that let also means allow or ermit# $hese are more formal alternatives and re/uire to before the infinitive# Compare the following: Jet me say how pleased " am to see you here this evening# Allow me to say how pleased " am to see you here this evening# >ermit me to say how pleased " am to see you here this evening# : wouldn't let them stay u after nine to watch the adult film on $G# : can't let you go to 0rance without me#


'ote that with the passive voice we have to use

ermit or allow:

We didn't let him go home until he had spoken to the ,eadteacher# ,e wasn't allowed2 ermitted to go home until he had spoken to the ,eadteacher#

let me -now2 let me have 0inally let is fre/uently used with -now where it means tell and have where it means send or give# Compare the following: -lease let us -now as soon as possible whether you are able to accept our offer# "f you had let me -now earlier " would have saved it for you# Can you let me have those reports by midday on 0riday please! Jet me have half an hour to think about it and then "1ll let you know#

leave A go 8depart%/uit%abandon9 As we saw with let leave has a number of different meanings and uses# Compare the following: $he plane left early as everybody was on board half an hour before take5off# 8H departed9 'obody leaves school at the age of sixteen now like they used to# 8H stops attending9 ;on1t tell +aureen "1m leaving her# 8H abandoning9

left A remaining ,ere it is almost opposite in meaning and is used as a past participle normally at the end of the clause often with there is2are or have got: " haven1t got any cash left# Can you get the sandwiches! $here were only two days1 rations left but they had to last for six days# 'othing was left of the castle# "t had been completely destroyed#

leave A let it remain "t is here that the meaning of leave comes closest to let close but not identical# Compare the following: "1ll eat later# Just leave it for me in the fridge# " left my car in the car park and took the bus into the town centre# " can1t make the decision# "1ll leave it for you % to you to decide what to do#


" can1t get the stove to work# Jeave it with me % to me# "1ll deal with it#

$his final example combines a number of different usages of let and leave: Jet me finish off the translation for you# <J# $here are only four pages left# "1ll leave it for you# " have to leave now anyway(

$here are even more shades of meaning of leave than we have covered# Check them out in a good dictionary# \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

'Jie' or 'lay' on a 'ed .hat1s the easy way to remember the difference between lie and lay ! lie 8D phrase of place9 % lay 8D object9 -erhaps the easiest way to remember the difference Antonio is that lay is a transitive verb which needs an object to complete its meaning and lie is an intransitive verb which functions without an object and is followed normally by a phrase of place#

0irst see how the words look in the present and the past tense# >resent lie lay he lies### he is lying### she lays she is laying >ast he lay### he was lying### he has lain### he laid he was laying he has laid

'ow compare the following: lay 8 D object9 lie 8 D phrase of place9 lay 8 D object9 lie 8 D phrase of place9 lay 8 D object9 lie 8 D phrase of place9 lay 8 D object9 3he laid the baby on the bed in order to change its nappy# 3he was lying asleep on the sofa when her husband arrived home# Can you lay the table for me please! Cunch is ready# " told her not to lie out in the sun but she must have lain there for at least an hour for her back was very sunburnt# " had never laid carpets before but " was determined to have a go# .hen " looked out of the aircraft window " could see that Condon lay beneath us# ,is lawyer will lay great emphasis on his state of mind when the murder was committed and claim that it was manslaughter not


murder# lie 8 D phrase of place9 'one of us knows what lies ahead but you must try to take a grip on your life and decide where your future lies#

'loo-', 'see' and 'watch' A question from /uhammed 8adeem in >a-istan * .hat1s the difference between the verbs 1look1 1see1 and 1watch1! ;aren Adams answers* 1Cook1 1see1 and 1watch1 seem very similar they all talk about different ways of using your eyes# ,owever there are two very important differences# "t depends on how you intend to look or watch and how intense the looking is# .hen we say 1see1 we are normally talking about things we can1t avoid 4 so for example S" opened the curtains and saw some birds outside#S 5 " didn1t intend to see them it just happened# ,owever when we use the verb 1look1 we1re talking about seeing something with an intention# 3o Sthis morning " looked at the newspaperS 4 " intended to see the newspaper# .hen we watch something we intend to look at it but we1re also looking at it /uite intensely usually because it1s moving# 3o for example S" watched the bus go through the traffic lights#S S" watched the movie#S .e want to see it we1re looking at it intensely and it1s normally moving# .hen we use verbs of the senses and this group 1look1 1see1 and 1watch1 are verbs of visual sense there1s usually a difference between intention and non5intention so for example S" heard the radio#S 5 " didn1t intend to it just happened or S" listened to the radioS 5 " switched it on to find my favourite programme# 3imilarly S" felt the wind on my face#S 5 " didn1t intend to feel this it just happened or S" touched the fabric#S 5 " intended to feel the fabric# "t1s important when you find these verbs of the senses to gather them together and try to find the differences between them# Eemember that when you look at words which seem to be similar it1s important to find out exactly the differences between them because basically you can1t really use them interchangeably# Eemember 1see1 4 you didn1t really intend to it just happenedU 1look1 4 you intended to do itU and watch you intended to do it and you were looking intensely usually because it was moving#

loo- forward to 2 agree to 2 o'ject to

Adriana, learning )nglish in &anada, writes* " have been studying 7nglish since " came to Canada about four years now but


because there are so many exceptions to rules it1s hard for me to apply what "1ve learnt# 0or instance " don1t understand why it1s correct to say : loo- forward to hearing from you and not : loo- forward to hear from you# Colie from 9ietnam writes* "n the example :n no way will : agree to sharing an office with <en " just wonder why you can use both infinitive and 90ing form for the verb share# loo- forward to something H anticipate something with interest Joo- forward to is one of the many hrasal ver's in 7nglish in which an adverbial particle 8forward9 as well as a preposition 8to9 is combined with the stem verb to signify a particular meaning# .hat we are loo-ing forward to can be exemplified as either as a noun phrase or as a verb5phrase with an 5ing pattern "ill says she's not looking forward to =ack's party ne)t weekend. I very much look forward to meeting you soon. <hey're looking forward to ,oining their children in ustralia

$here are many such three5part verbs e#g#: loo- 'ac- on H think back to ut u with H tolerate come down with H fall ill with $here are a number of instances where such verbs end with the preposition to e#g#: face u to H confront get round to H do something after some delay get down to H concentrate on 'ote that in such instances to is not part of any infinitive phrase# "t is an integral part of the verb# And whatever it is that we face u to or get round to is normally expressed as either a noun hrase or as a ver' hrase with an 0ing attern: I must get round to cleaning my car ne)t weekend. :nd I must get down to reading =ack's article which he sent me two weeks ago I must face up to the fact that I'm never going to be promoted in this organisation.

'ote that when ver's follow re ositions 8any prepositions9 the 90ing form is normally used not the to5infinitive pattern: I managed to finish reading "ack's article by staying up till midnight. 5e's talking about getting it published in ?ational ,eographic maga%ine. Instead of going on holiday last summer, he undertook this arduous trip up the :ma%on.

agree 0 agree to


$here is a complication in your example Jolie where both the 0ing form and the to5 inifnitive pattern appear possible: I cannot agree to share ( to sharing an office with 8en. In no way can I agree to sharing ( to share an office with 8en

$he complication arises because there are two different forms of pretty much the same verb agree and agree to# "f we are using the phrasal verb agree to the 5ing pattern is more likely# "f we are using the non5phrasal verb agree the to0 infinitive attern is imperative# Compare the following: What have you agreed? We've agreed to tidy our rooms when we get up, to clear the dishes from the table after eating and not to go out until we've finished our homework. What have you agreed to? We've agreed to arriving punctually before the working day begins and to not leaving before five o' clock in the afternoon.

o'ject to 'ote that the opposite of agree to is o'ject to and here only the 0ing possible: attern is

What do you ob,ect to in her behaviour? I ob*ect to her going out every evening and not telling me where she is going.

A question from >ia in >oland* Could you please explain the difference between lunch supper and dinner# ;oes the expression relate to the time of the day that you eat the meal the type of food or the si*e of the meal!5 'lunch 2 su er 2dinner'

Dareth 3ees* .ell -ia thank you for asking a /uestion about my favourite topic food and meals during the day# $he expressions you1ve chosen 5 lunch supper and dinner belong to a larger set which includes words such as breakfast tea and brunch# "1ll be talking about those later# $he expressions do relate to the time of day that you eat the meal and the type of food and the si*e of the meal# $hat1s why it can get confusing# 0irst of all breakfast# $his is simplestU it1s the first meal of the day in the morning# "n the middle of the day you might have lunch or dinner# Cunch sounds more informal or more typical particularly for people who are working# "n the evening you might have dinner or supper# " think that people who have a /uick lunch in the middle of the day will say they have dinner in the evening and this dinner will be a good meal#


A supper is usually a light meal and is probably had after a larger dinner has been had in the middle of the day# Confused! .ell most people see a dinner as a more complete meal# A common lunch in 7ngland is a sandwich but dinner might include soup meat with vegetables and then a dessert like apple pie and ice cream# 3o dinner is really the main meal and people might have it in the middle of the day or in the evening# Cunch and supper are both light kinds of meal# Cunch is in the middle of the day supper is in the evening# 'ow " mentioned there are some other meals# .e talked about breakfast# $wo more words that you could add to your list are brunch and tea# &runch is a mixture of breakfast and lunch as you can tell by the sound of the word: 1brunch1# And people usually have brunch as a replacement for both lunch and breakfast# &runch is usually had at about II o1clock# And the final word is tea# 'ow of course this is a drink like tea and coffee but it can also be a light evening meal# " think this word is often used in families particularly with their children# S"t1s tea timeS S"t1s time for tea(S $his means their small evening meal# $o finish it is of course unusual to have breakfast brunch lunch dinner tea and supper all in one day# &ut let me tell you not impossible# And from that comment you1ll understand that " have the ideal physi/ue and dietary habits for radio and the internet and not for $G#

'ma-e' and 'do' Bavivien asks about 1make1 and 1do1 collocations: " would like to know the differences between the verbs to do and to ma-e# ;o you 1ma-e an exam1 or do you 1do an exam1!

do You do an exam# &ut there are no easy rules to follow# .e always use do to describe indefinite activities often with what thing anything nothing etc and generally speaking we also use do to talk about duties jobs or 8leisure9 activities# Cook at the following examples: 1.hat shall we do now!1 1You can do what you like# "1m going home(1 1,e didn1t do anything# ,e just sat there#1 1You expect me to do everything around the house# .ell "1m fed up(1 1" did all my homework last night so tonight "1m going to do the housework#1


1" did a lot of research and " think " did a good job on that essay# " did my best anyway#1 1" intend to do lots of walking on holiday this year and perhaps some bird5 watching too#

ma-e .e tend to use ma-e when we are talking about constructing creating or performing something# 3tudy the following examples: 1" made three suggestions and left it to him to ma-e the final decision#1 1"1ve made all the arrangements for the trip and "1ve made a great effort to get it all right#1 1"1m afraid "1m going to have to ma-e my excuses and leave#1 1" have to ma-e three phone calls#1

ma-e or do+ $est your knowledge of ma-e and do now by clicking on what you think is the correct box in the examples that follow# "t is not always as easy as the above examples suggest# "t is often simply a matter of usage of learning and knowing which of these two verbs collocate with which nouns# &est of luck( $he first two examples are done for you#

I 6 M V

make make make make

do do do do

the cleaning and the cooking a lasting impression 8on someone9 the shopping and the washing5up some serious work

check answer check answer check answer check answer


? L P O T I@ II I6 IM IV I? IL

make make make make make make make make make make make make

do do do do do do do do do do do do

a lot of damage 8to something9 an announcement or a speech an application 8e#g# for a driving test9 a sound or a noise one1s hair or one1s teeth a lot of harm rather than good business 8with somebody9 8somebody9 a favour love not war a mess a profit or a fortune fun of someone or a fool of someone amends for one1s behaviour

check answer check answer check answer check answer check answer check answer check answer check answer check answer check answer check answer check answer

Answers do the cleaning and the cooking ma-e a lasting impression 8on someone9 do the shopping and the washing5up do some serious work do a lot of damage 8to something9 ma-e an announcement ma-e an application 8e#g# for a driving test9 ma-e a sound or a noise do one1s hair or one1s teeth do a lot of harm rather than good do business 8with somebody9 do 8somebody9 a favour ma-e love not war ma-e a mess a profit or a fortune ma-e fun of someone or a fool of someone ma-e amends for one1s behaviour

/edia related jo's "1m confused about the difference between presenter broadcaster and announcerU and the difference between reporter and journalist# Your answer must be very helpful for me# $hanks# ,i 3uharno All these words are used to describe people who work in the media# $he first three: presenter broadcaster and announcer are all related to $G and radio: media which is delivered partly 4 or wholly 4 through sound and speech 8this type of media is increasingly available on internet too9#


A presenter is a person who introduces or hosts television or radio programmes# A presenter1s opening words on a programme are usually something like ,ood evening, and welcome toPname of showQ with me Pname of presenterQ. Mn tonight's show we will be... Ppresenter talks about the content of the programmeQ. $he topic of the programme is not all about the presenter# $he presenter is the person who introduces the programme introduces or links sections of the programme together and says goodbye at the end# 3ome well5known presenters include Johnny Carson 8an American $G chat show host9 $revor +ac;onald 8a &ritish $G news presenter9 and Jarim Jouchouk 8the presenter of &&Ce for &&C Cearning 7nglish Arabic 3ervice9# An announcer1s job is similar to that of a presenter# ,e or she provides spoken information about news weather programme content links between programmes advertising etc# ,owever an announcer may have a smaller role in a programme than a presenter does: on $G programmes an announcer may only feature as a voice whereas a presenter will be seen on the screen# Another main difference between an announcer and a presenter is that the announcer usually reads word5for5 word from a script whereas a presenter may have some flexibility regarding the things they say# $he word broadcaster can refer to an organisation such as the &&C 8=J9 or '&C 8=3A9 which produces television and radio programmes# "t can also be used to describe someone who is well5experienced in the $G and radio industry# ,e or she usually has multiple talents 4 scriptwriting directing presenting etc# and his or her programmes may be considered to be very important and well5respected# 0amous &ritish broadcasters include 3ir ;avid Attenborough 3ir Eobert .inston and 3ir ;avid 0rost and Carry Jing in the =3A# $urning to the second part of your /uestion 3uharno: you wanted to find out about the difference between a reporter and a journalist# "n fact these jobs are very similar and in some respects the terms are interchangeable# A *ournalist1s work is most often seen in print 4 especially newspapers 4 but they can work for $G and radio too# A journalist gathers writes and reports news stories and may also edit and present news articles# A reporter is a type of journalist who gathers information about newsworthy issues# $his may involve researching through several sources 4 interviews police and public records photographs etc# .hen the information is gathered the reporter will create a report for publication or broadcast in the media# Eeporters often specialise in a particular area for example: crime politics health or education# 0inally 3uharno "1d like to mention one more media profession# A columnist is a writer 8usually a journalist9 who writes regularly 8often weekly9 for a newspaper or maga*ine# 3he or he chooses a topic that is in the news and writes not only about the events that have become newsworthy but also often offers some analysis and%or personal opinion# $his job is usually reserved for senior journalists at a particular newspaper or maga*ine# .ell 3uharno " do hope this has been a useful answer to your /uestion( melt, thaw and antonyms


;eith Dama de &arvalho from <ra$il writes: Could you please tell me if there are any differences between the verbs melt and thaw! "1m thinking about the second scene of the first act of ,amlet by .illiam 3hakespeare: O, that this too solid flesh would melt =haw, and resolve itself into a dewS

melt .hen something melts it changes from a solid to a li/uid state usually because it is heated: /elt ?@ grams of butter in a saucepan and then add the onions and mushrooms# $he snow on our grass melted /uickly in the warm sunshine#

.e also have the phrasal verbs melt away and melt 8away9 into meaning to disappear: At first they were enemies but over time their differences melted away# $he shoplifters just melted 8away9 into the <xford 3treet crowds of Christmas shoppers#

thaw .hen something thaws it warms up slowly and changes gradually from a fro*en state to a temperature above free*ing point: $he snow was thawing and the streets had become slushy#

.e also have the phrasal verb thaw out which we use when referring to fro*en food or if we have just come inside from very cold weather: "f " were you " would take it out of the free*er and leave it to thaw out overnight# Cet me just stand by the radiator and thaw out a bit before " start to cook dinner#

,amlet in the speech you refer to Jeith is mourning the death of his father two months earlier and is distraught about his mother1s hasty re5marriage to his father1s brother# 0or this reason he wishes that his flesh might melt into the dew#


.e still use melt figuratively today when we speak of our feelings or emotions melting e#g#: <nce on stage his inhibitions melted and he gave a confident performance#

Antonyms of melt and thaw would be: free$e harden solidify stiffen

3tudy the examples below to see how these verbs may be used: "f it1s cold enough in January the lake will free$e 8over9 and we can go skating# ,is assets were fro$en because he was five hundred thousand pounds in debt# $his glue dries very fast and hardens in less than an hour# ,is attitude to the company hardened when he reali*ed that his shares were worthless# -our the beef dripping into a bowl and when it has solidified you can spread it on toast# All the various factions solidified and promised allegiance to their leader# 3he was afraid# ,er whole body stiffened when she heard him come through the door# $hey were clearly going to lose but their resistance stiffened and they fought harder than before#

miss 2 missing 2 missed <ernadette from Hrance writes: "t is always hard for me to use the verb miss correctly# " always get confused for instance when " try to translate: =u me manques# -lease advise me# $hanking you in advance# miss H fail to ma-e contact with $here are a number of shades of meaning when miss means 1fail to make contact with1# Compare the following: "f you1re not careful you'll miss the flight and there isn1t another one till next week# "s Jenny still here! : Nou've just missed her# 3he left five minutes ago# ,e scored four goals but then he missed a enalty# $he bullet just missed my head# "t whi**ed past my ear and embedded itself in the wall# 'o you1ve missed the oint# &obby FAG7 her the money# ,e didn1t want it back# $he railway station is right at the end of this road# Nou can't miss it( "f you leave the /ueue now you1ll miss your chance of seeing this film# "t was my granny1s funeral last $hursday so " had to miss all my lessons last week#


miss H 'e sorry to 'e without "n this sense we can miss both people and things# $his is the meaning of miss that you allude to in your sentence =u me manques &ernadette# 'ote in 7nglish we would not translate it as Nou are missed 'y me# "nstead we would say simply: : miss you( Compare the following: " miss my grandmother terribly# 3he was such a kind gentle person# .ill you miss me when "1m away! : <h " shall miss you all right( .hat do you miss most about the south of 0rance now you1re in &ritain! : " miss my family " miss the people " miss the sunshine " miss the cheese and the wine# ;o you miss walking in the -yrenees! : Yes " miss that too#

missing % missed 8adjs9 H lost % cannot 'e found .hen missing and missed are used as adjectives they behave like present and past participles e#g missing ages are pages that are missing a missed o ortunity is an opportunity that has been missed# 'ote also that missing is often placed after the noun it /ualifies rather than in front of it# Compare the following: $he weather cleared# .e should have climbed the mountain# "t was a missed o ortunity# $hey were unable to complete the jigsaw as several ieces were missing# ;id you know there are five ages missing from this book! "t goes from M6 to VM# +y name was missing from the list of participants but it was clear that " had enrolled# $en people are known to have died in the blast and a further fifteen are still missing# ;id you know you1ve got a 'utton missing from your blue shirt! 3he has been missing for over six months and has now been placed on the missing ersons register#

'ote that in this last example we talk about a missing erson or a missing ersons register rather than missing people or a missing peoples register to emphasi*e the individuality of people who have left home and it is not known whether they are alive or dead# miss in idioms 'ote also idiomatic usage in the following expressions: ,e didn1t have all the advantages of a proper education and really missed out# Frowing asparagus is very difficult and can be a very hit0and0miss affair# $here have been several near misses between planes landing at this airport recently# ,e1s failed his exams again and " think he has missed the 'oat as far as higher education is concerned#


" think :'ve missed a tric- here in failing to consult my accountant about tax returns# " think "1ll give the book signing ceremony a miss# .hat about you! : 'o "1m going# $hey came fourth in the league and missed promotion by only one point but as the old saying goes: a miss is as good as a mile#

miss out on something H miss an opportunity that you would clearly benefit from hit and miss % hit or miss H sometimes very successful sometimes not near miss H when something is nearly hit by e#g# a vehicle or a bomb miss the 'oat H miss an opportunity which will probably not arise again miss a tric- H fail to take advantage of an opportunity give something a miss H to avoid it a miss is as good as a mile H a failure is a failure by however small an amount '&I /iss can be used as an alternative to /s placed in front of the name of an unmarried woman when the person concerned wishes it to be known that she is single# '&6 /iss 3ight or /r 3ight can be used as expressions to describe a woman or man who is regarded as an ideal marriage partner: ,e was looking for the perfect /iss 3ight and had some difficulty in finding her(


&hen Cian7in from &hina writes* Can you please tell me what the difference is between these four nouns: assem'ly, gathering, meeting and rally! ,ow do we distinguish between them when we use them! /eeting 5and meet6 are the most generally and widely used from your list of four Jianxin# Assem'ly 5and assem'le6, gathering 5and gather6 and rally are more restricted in use. meet 5ver'6 .hen two or more people meet they come together or are brought together for some reason or they just happen to be in the same place and start talking:


Where shall we meet this evening? ~ 'et's meet under the clock at Waterloo .tation. 5ave you met my dad? ~ ?o, I haven't. ~ Well, come and meet him. (ad, this is Fartin. ~ 6leased to meet you, Fartin. &epresentatives from the two countries will meet again in "une to resume their talks.

meeting 5noun6 A meeting is any event where a smaller or larger group of people come together to discuss something or to make a decision: +an I speak to "ane please? ~ ?o, I'm sorry she's in a meeting. ~ When will the meeting be over? +an we hold a meeting with everybody to discuss this, please? #ou can't make a decision without having a meeting first. +an you come to supper on <hursday? ~ I don't think so. I've got a meeting in the afternoon which is sure to go on till si) or seven in the evening.

gather 5ver'6 .hen people or things gather somewhere they come together for a particular purpose# $hey do not meet by chance: <he storm clouds are gathering. It's going to rain soon. +an you see the birds gathering on that tree over there? We gathered around the camp fire and started singing folk songs.

.hen you gather things or pieces of information you collect them with a particular purpose in mind: We went out to gather mushrooms in the woods. I need to gather as much information as I can so that I can write this report.

: gather means : understand in the sense that some'ody has told me or : have read a'out this# As far as : can gatherK is an expression meaning As far as : can find out1: I gather there will be no alcoholic beverages at the his party. :s far as I could gather, he was trying to raise money by selling cars which had been stolen.

gathering 5noun6


A gathering is a group of people who are meeting together for a particular purpose: <here was an e)clusive gathering of show-business people and footballers at 6osh and 8ecks' ,ucci and sushi garden party last .aturday. It was a friendly gathering. 9verybody was in good humour and there was a lot of laughter.

assem'le 5ver'6 Assem'le is very close to gather in meaning in the sense of coming together for a particular purpose# "t perhaps suggests a greater sense of organisation: <hey assembled $ gathered in the school canteen after the e)am to discuss how well they had done.

.hen we assem'le things we fit the different parts together to make a whole: 5e couldn't assemble the *igsaw without seeking the help of his older sister. If the police can assemble $ gather enough evidence, they will arrest him for burglary.

assem'ly 5noun6 Assem'lies are usually larger gatherings of people who meet regularly for a particular purpose: <he ?ational 24 years. ssembly voted to hold the first entirely free elections for over

<he assembly of musicians was impressive. Mver A44 were gathered together in the Jestival 5all.

"n a school the assem'ly is a gathering of all teachers and pupils at a specified time in the school hall for matters that affect the whole school: <he "unior .chool ssembly lasted for G3 minutes as there was a presentation on road safety.

You will also find assem'ly lines in factories where employees work on particular part of a product 8e#g# a car9 at a particular stage of its manufacture#

rally 5ver'6 .hen people rally they unite to support something: 5e rallied his supporters in the hope that his party would win the election.


.hen someone or something rallies it begins to recover from a weak position: <he stock markets rallied and shares returned to their early morning values. :fter four days in bed, he rallied sufficiently to be able to sit out in an armchair.

"f you rally at tennis badminton or s/uash you manage to keep the shots going with your partner for as long as possible without losing# 3ally can also be used in this sense as a noun: It was one of the longest and most e)citing rallies of the entire tournament.

rally 5noun6 A rally is primarily a large public meeting that is held to show support for a cause or a political party# 3allies like meetings are held: Mver ten thousand people held a rally in the s7uare to demonstrate their support for international human rights.

/other tongue, honeymoon and a small amount of gold 3aeed asks: .hy do we say mother tongue and not mother language and why honeymoon and not honey month! +arga asks: ;o you say: a small amount of gold or a little amount of gold! .hat is the difference! ,oneymoon ,oneymoon is a compound noun meaning a holiday spent together by a couple immediately after their marriage# .e also have the expression honeymoon eriod meaning the beginning of a period of time when everything is pleasant in a relationship and partners don1t criticise each other: $hey plan to go on honeymoon to $hailand for a month# $he honeymoon period for this new government is now over# ,oney month is an impossible combination and would not make any sense now even though the word honeymoon was originally used to describe the first month of marriage# $he reference to the moon 8and therefore lunar month9 is ironic: everybody knows that as soon as the moon is full it starts to wane and dies#


/other tongue 0 native language /other tongue is another fixed collocation# You are right 3aeed we do not say mother language# "nstead we would normally say native language though native tongue is also possible see below: ,er mother tongue was Eussian but you would never have guessed it from her perfect pronunciation of 7nglish# You should ac/uire a perfect grasp of your native tongue before you start to learn a foreign language# $he greater part of learning a foreign language 3aeed is all about knowing which words naturally occur together# $he examples given so far are relatively straightforward but it becomes more complicated when we look at the words which small and little naturally occur with# A small house 2 a little house .hen little and small both mean not large with some nouns they can be used interchangeably with little or no difference in meaning: $hey lived in a little house in the country# $hey lived in a small house in the country# ,owever little also suggests that you feel sympathy for something whereas small is more neutral and does not suggest this# Compare the following: ,e1s only a little boy# ,e doesn1t know the difference between right and wrong# : ,e may be a small child but that doesn1t excuse his behaviour( &ecause little invokes sympathy it is often used with other adjectives like nice sweet tiny pretty poor# (mall cannot be used in this way: $his job is a nice little earner# +aximum reward for minimum effort# 3he1s a sweet % pretty little thing# Always has a smile on her face# $hey live in this tiny little bed5sit in 3hepherds &ush# Jittle A not much Jittle is also more complicated than small because it can also mean not much# (mall can only mean not large# Compare the following: .ill you have beer or wine with your meal! : "1d like a little wine please# A small glass of red wine would be nice# .ould you like a large or a small coffee! : <h a small coffee please# " shan1t sleep tonight if " have a large one#


Abstract nouns that often follow little 8meaning not much9 include hope chance change effect use and point: $here1s little chance % hope of finding any survivors after such a massive explosion# " see little point in continuing the rescue mission# $here has been little change in his condition over the last seventy two hours# $he new drugs appear to have had little effect# (mall amount 2 small num'er .hen we define small as not large we are thinking about small in si$e amount or num'er: $hese shoes are too small# $hey really don1t fit me at all# " only had a small amount of gold but enough to purchase everything " needed# A disappointingly small number of people entered the competition# 'ote that small also combines readily with very and few as well as with too# 0ew cannot be combined with little and little is not normally used with very or too: " noticed that there were a few small mistakes in your essay# $he phone box was very small but we all managed to s/uee*e in# "1ve heard the term 13oho nail bomb attack1# .hat does the term nail 'om' mean! " know the word 'om'# .hat does the addition of nail do to the meaning! A nail 'om' is a bomb which is filled with nails# .hen the bomb explodes the nails fly out and cause serious injury# <n 0riday M@ April ITTT a massive explosion devastated a gay pub in 3oho in the heart of Condon# $he blast tore through the Admiral ;uncan pub at L#MP p#m# when the area was crowded with people enjoying the evening sunshine at the start of a holiday weekend# $hree people were killed and more than one hundred were injured many of them very seriously# "t was the third in a series of three bombings in the capital in which ethnic minorities and homosexuals had been targeted# $he 3oho nail bomb caused particularly horrific injuries as a conse/uence of the confined space in which it exploded and because of the shrapnel effect of the long nails contained within it#

8ormal, Ordinary and Isual " have studied 7nglish in high school for three years but " can1t tell the difference between normal


ordinary and usual# ,i ,oa .ell this is a good /uestion( $here are so many words in 7nglish that have similar meanings which " know can be confusing for learners# "n the examples you give normal and ordinary do have very similar meanings but usual has a slightly different meaning# " think itAs useful here to talk about vocabulary collocation which means words that are often used together# And when youAre studying 7nglish vocabulary itAs worth spending some time just studying collocation# You can do this by looking at a good /uality monolingual 87nglish57nglish9 dictionary which explains collocation# You can also study collocation by reading texts 8fiction or non5fiction9 in 7nglish and looking carefully at the combinations of adjectives and nouns and verbs and their objects# And itAs also possible to purchase specialist vocabulary books and collocation dictionaries# &ut to get back to the words you asked about ,oa " think normal and ordinary have ]a^ very similar meaning which is probably: Bhow you expect something to be not unusual or specialA# 3o if we had a normal or ordinary day at work it would mean that nothing particularly special happened# A normal or an ordinary meal in a restaurant doesnAt sound very exciting but " suppose itAs better than having an awful one( $here is a slight nuance in meaning however when we talk about normal people and ordinary people# "f we mention normal people it probably means Bpeople who think and behave in the same way as most other peopleA# &ut the phrase ordinary people may carry a nuance in meaning about wealth and social status meaning Bpeople who are not particularly richA# 3o we might say: <hese houses have been built for ordinary people to buy. Kwhich contains an indirect reference to wealth# " donAt think weAd say: <hese houses have been built for normal people to buy. K because this seems to be commenting on behaviour rather than income# 3imilarly if we make a comment like 5is new watch is very ordinary. K it would be a slightly rude or negative comment# And the opposite of ordinary is of course e)traordinary and if we described a watch as e)traordinary it would mean Bvery special or unusualA# 'ow letAs get back to the other word you mention usual# $his is slightly different because it implies habit or regular behaviour# 0or example my usual bus would be the one " always take at the same time every day# Fy usual newspaper would be the one " always buy# You can arrange to meet someone at the usual meaning the usual bar cafZ or place where you meet# "n this case it would be impossible to use


normal or ordinary# 0inally regular customers in pubs often ask for their usual meaning the drink they usually order( .ell thank you for your /uestion and " hope this has helped( no A not 2 not any "n the sentences: 5ong !ong's goal; %ero accidents on the road. 5ong !ong's goal; no accidents on the road. shouldn1t the plural form be changed to singular! 5ong !ong's goal; %ero accident on the road. 5ong !ong's goal; no accident on the road. _ero means no and the noun that follows it should surely be in singular form# -lease answer my /uestion# $ero A not any .ith countable nouns $ero is always followed by plural nouns# .ith uncountable nouns the singular form is used# Compare the following: _ero degrees centigrade is the same as M6 degrees fahrenheit# .e are likely to see *ero growth on the stock market this year# .e are not likely to see any growth on the stock market this year# no A not a 2 not any .ith countable nouns no is normally followed by plural forms# "t sounds more natural and makes better sense to say: "t was early ;ecember and there were no leaves on the trees# 'o dogs unless they are on a lead are allowed in the flower garden# 'o road accidents were reported in Chelsea throughout August# than: "t was early ;ecember and there was no leaf on the trees# 'o dog unless it is on a lead is allowed in the flower garden# 'o road accident was reported in Chelsea throughout August# 3ometimes no may be followed by singular or plural nouns depending on whether one is thinking of one or more than one: "t was T a#m# yet there was no policeman on duty outside the embassy# "t was T a#m# yet there were no policemen on duty outside the embassy# "n the -remiership last 3aturday no players were sent off# "n the -remiership last 3aturday no player was sent off# "n the -remiership last 3aturday not a single player was sent off#


3ometimes it is more natural to combine singular and plural use: ,e must lead a lonely life in that village: he has no wife and no children# 8A man normally has one wife but often has more than one child(9 no A em hatic use 'ote that we tend to use no rather than not a or not any when we want to emphasise a negative idea# "n the lonely man example above no is more effective than not a 2 not any# Compare: ,e must lead a lonely life: he doesn1t have a wife and he doesn1t have any children# .ith subject nouns when no is used emphatically not a 2 not any are not possible: 'o politician tells the truth all the time# 'o writer has won the &ooker pri*e more than once# 'ote that singular use sounds more natural in these examples# no collocations $here are a number of common nouns that normally combine with no rather than not a or not any# +ost of them are uncountable and include no amount, no time, no idea, no dou't, no reason, no need, no evidence, no ro'lem, no way, no oint, no use# 3tudy these examples of use: 'o amount of washing could remove the stain from the garment# $here1s no time to lose# .e must leave immediately# " have no idea how you solve this problem# "t1s /uite beyond me# $here was no doubt she had lied# All the evidence pointed to her guilt# "1ve no reason to think he won1t return# ,e needs me as much as " need him# $here1s no need to cry# .e can sort this out together# 3he complained of chest pains but the doctors found no evidence of infection# Can you help me with the ironing! : 'o problem# "1m not busy this evening# Can you help me with the cleaning! : 'o way# " have to be out by seven# $here1s no point in shouting# ,e1s deaf and can1t hear you# "t1s no use complaining# $hey won1t bother to answer your letter# once, twice, thrice "Am a little confused because "Ave found the word thrice in a book# A few teachers told me there is no such word or that " cannot use it and that " should use three times instead# Can " use this word and in what circumstances! .eAll take this opportunity to look at a number of complications with the expression of numbers and fre/uency in 7nglish#


once, twice, thrice $he norm here is to say once 8rather than one time9 to say three times 8rather than thrice9 in current usage# =hrice is definitely old5fashioned although you may still come across it in certain contexts: $his vehicle travels at thrice the speed of sound# $hey play football thrice weekly# &etter to say: $his vehicle travels at three times the speed of sound# $hey play football three times a week and train every night# .hen it comes to twice this is more often used than two times although two times is also /uite common in informal usage# Compare the following: "Ave visited her twice already this autumn and sheAs visited me once# "Ave visited her two times already this autumn and sheAs visited me once# =nemployment in the north of 7ngland is twice the national average# $eachers say they would be twice as effective if they had no administrative tasks# One time is occasionally possible as an alternative to once# Compare the following: ,e had only ever seen his great5aunt once before# ,e had only ever seen his great5aunt one time before# .e go out with our colleagues for a drink once a week or once a fortnight and have a staff party once a year# You will hear the recording only once# "Am only going to say this once# Once 8not one time9 can also mean at some time in the ast:

" once ran a fish5and5chip shop in &righton# : .hen was that! : &efore " bought this business# <ur house in the village was once the train station# : .hen was that! : .hen the trains used to run here# ;o you know the different references to these numbers! nought 2 $ero 2 nil 2 o 2 love 8@9 half a do$en 8L or approximately L9 a do$en 8I6 or approximately I69 a score 86@ or approximately 6@9 a 'illion 8I @@@ @@@ @@@ or a very large number9 'ote how they are used:


,ouse prices rose by nought point two per cent last month# Gisibility was almost *ero at the City Airport last night because of the fog# 7ngland won their recent match against Ciechtenstein by two goals to nil# +y phone number is o two o eight seven o seven nine nine o three# Eoddick was leading by two sets to love and forty love in the first game of the third set when rain stopped the match# Can you set out the arguments for and against capital punishment in half a do*en paragraphs! " bought two do*en eggs but weAve only used four# : .hy didnAt you buy half a doxen! 3cores of volunteers offered to help in the search for the missing child# ,ow many *eros do " write down for a billion! "s it six or nine! &illions of dollars need to be invested to re5build this country# "Ave told you billions of times to lock the door before you go to bed# ma7imum 2 minimumR ma7imal 2 minimal $o express the idea of the largest amount possible we would normally use ma7imum as both adjective and noun# /a7imal as adjective or ma7imally as adver' are more rarely used# Compare the following: Arsenal now head the -remiership table with maximum points from five games# $he maximum sentence for armed robbery is twenty years# ,ow long are the shifts for this type of work! : 0our hours is the minimum and twelve hours is the maximum# ,ow long should " sit in front of the computer screen! : +aximally three hours# /inimal however meaning very small in /uantity is much more often used as an adjective# 'ote the slight difference in meaning# /imimum describes the smallest amount possible# Compare the following: ,e managed to pass all his exams with minimal effort# $here may be one or two delays on this service but they are expected to be minimal# $he minimum wage in &ritain is now four pounds fifty an hour# $he minimum height for a policeman used to be five foot ten# =he language of love

/ojca <ela- from (lovenia asks: ,ow old can a boyfriend%girlfriend be! A friend who is ?@ recently sent me an email gladly informing me that he now has a girlfriend# "n 3lovenian this sounds really funny# .hich could be the alternatives 4 if there are any! B-artnerA didnAt seem to be accepted so what ;< you say for somebody who is not in his%her teens or twenties any longer and is in a relationship but they are not married!


.e donAt have very much choice in the matter +ojca# B&oyfriend%girlfriendA and BpartnerA are the words that we normally use to describe somebody who is in a sexual relationship# Although boyfriends and girlfriends are often associated with teenager years as in: 1" remember my first 'oyfriend was a very spotty individual whose voice had only just broken#1

it is also /uite common for people in their twenties thirties forties and even fifties to use the words 1boyfriend1 or 1girlfriend1 to describe someone that they are in a relationship with but do not necessarily live with# -artnerA is perhaps the preferred term to describe the person you are living with on a more permanent basis but are not married to: 1" donAt think youAve met my artner# $his is Fuy .ilkinson#1

"t is unlikely that teenagers would have BpartnersA although people from their twenties onwards may well have# ,owever 1partner1 can sound rather formal because partnerships of course are not only of a sexual nature# "f you play a game against another pair of people or dance then you would do so with a BpartnerA# Consider the following: 1After their .imbledon experience it looks as if sister 3erena will be Genus .illiamsA doubles1 artner for some time to come#1 1,e is such a good dancer that he has no difficulty in finding appropriate artners for all the Catin5American competitions#1 1.ill you be my artner at bridge this afternoon!1

And BpartnersA in a firm or business are the people who share the ownership of it: 1,e was partner in a firm of lawyers#1

$here are some other expressions that can be used such as 1lover1 and 1other half1 but it1s true to say that in 7nglish there is no one preferred term(

arts of the 'ody / 3amesh ;umar from :ndia writes:


Could you please give me the arts of the 'ody from head to toe with exact pronunciation of native 7nglish speakers! ,ere1s a chart which shows the major parts of the body: obviously not to be used for an anatomy lesson( 3ome words are used mainly in the medical profession 5 others are more popular# You can use this list for pronunciation practice particularly the practice of vowel sounds#

I 5 hair 6 5 head M 5 eye V 5 ear ? 5 nose L 5 lips P 5 face O 5 neck T 5 shoulder I@ 5 arm II 5 elbow I6 5 wrist IM 5 hand IV 5 thumb I? 5 fingers IL 5 breast IP 5 chest IO 5 stomach%tum% tummy IT 5 abdomen 6@ 5 bottom 6I 5 thigh 66 5 leg 6M 5 knee 6V 5 ankle 6? 5 foot%feet 6L 5 big toe 6P 5 toes


-arts of the body 0rom head to toe &ut for the sake of rhyme And pronunciation practice $his time they are not in order# <n your head is your hair You can wear your hair long <r you can wear your hair short <n your face your eyes nose and lips are placed# And at the side are your ears to help you hear# You hear with your ears You see with your eyes You smell with your nose And kiss with your lips# Your lips are about one metre from your hips 5 shake your hips( And your nose is nearly two metres from your big toe if you grow full5si*e# And don1t forget your eyes 5 they1re about one metre from your thighs# And your lovely white teeth 5 about two metres from your dainty feet( Cet1s add them together: $wo lips and two hips <ne nose two big toes $wo eyes and two thighs Cots of lovely white teeth And two dainty feet $hat1s well over thirty body parts " suppose( Add on fingers two thumbs And every other toe# $hat1s well over sixty as far as " know( Your breast is the upper part of your chest# &etween your chest and your legs is your abdomen# At the front is your tum


5 short for tummy At the rear is your bum 5 short for bottom( &etween your bum and your tum Are your thighs 5 roughly speaking# Joints are formed where two bones meet Your upper and lower arms are joined at your elbows Your upper and lower legs are joined at you knees Your wrists join your hands to your arms And your ankles your feet to your legs# Your bones are covered by flesh blood and skin# And it1s the skin that holds it all in# Your organs are all inside 5 don1t let them escape# $hey1re all very busy 5 fully awake# .e1ll touch them in order# Fet as close as you can: V V V V V 'rain: make me think lungs: breathe in and breathe out heart: " can feel you beating stomach: " can hear you rumbling when "1m hungry 'ladder: "1ll empty you when you1re full

.e sometimes say that we are only flesh and blood And made up of feelings which we cannot touch# Dlossary* =um: your tum or tummy is the part at the front of your body just below your waist# "1m going to be doing a lot of sunbathing this summer so " don1t want my tummy to show# "t can also be used to refer informally to stomach i#e# the parts inside your body where food is digested# "n this sense tummy as an alternative to stomach is often used by children or by adults talking to children: Jonathan1s got tummy ache from eating too many unwashed strawberries# <um: your 'um is the part of your body which you sit on# "t is fre/uently used in informal 7nglish and is slightly rude: ;o you think my bum looks too big in these jeans! +ore neutral alternatives would be 'ottom or 'ac-side# Bainty feet: feet which are dainty are small delicate and pretty#


A question from Numi in Ca an* ,i " would like to know about the difference between 1epidemic1 and 1pandemic1 related to the bird flu#

&atherine Walter answers* Yumi that1s a very topical /uestion# .e hope that we won1t be talking too much about pandemics in the next few months# $he answer is actually very simple# 17pidemic1 is the word that we use when we1re talking about a large number of people or animals in a certain place that are affected by disease or illness# 1-andemic1 is the word we use when almost all the people and animals in a certain place are affected by a disease or illness# And that1s the short answer# &ut that little 1pan51 prefix is something that you might want to remember because we often use it to mean 1all1# 3o people make up new words by putting 1pan51 in front of something ! you might hear about a 1pan5Asian1 conference for example# 3o don1t forget 1pan51 but let1s hope we can forget the pandemic# $hank you#

+y full name is Yaciel 7delio $elle* $oledo# " come from Cuba# " wrote to you because " am in doubt with the correct use of 1person1 and 1people1# $hat was my /uestion 5 because " know that 1person1 and 1people1 both are nouns and " would like to know when "1m going to use 1person1 or 1people1#

;aren Adams answers* ,i Yaciel and thank you for your /uestion there are several points to make here# $he first one os to do with singular and plural nouns "1m sure you know that most nouns in 7nglish are made plural by putting an s on the end so for example girl 4 girls boy 4 boys# &ut some nouns have irregular plurals for example child 4 children# And 1person1 is one of those nouns that has an irregular plural# 1-eople1 is in fact the plural form of person# 3o for example we talk about one person and two people# 3o in normal everyday speech you will hear people talking about 1many people1 1there were a lot of people at the concert1 for example# ,owever it becomes slightly more complicated because sometimes you do see the word 1persons1# 0or example if you1re in a lift or elevator you might see the sign 10our persons only1# And sometimes if you1re listening to the news to news reports you may hear news reports talking about persons# 3o for example V persons were injured in the accident or police are looking for ? persons# -ersons is normally a more formal use a more formal plural form# "t gets slightly more complicated when you find the word peoples# -eople can be used to mean a nationality 4 all of the people of one country 4 so for example 1the people of Cuba1# And when you1re talking about a group of nationalities you may find the word 1peoples1 for example 1the peoples of 3outh America1# 3o that1s another slightly more complicated and not so common use of the word 1peoples1#


0inally you may find the word 1person1 attached to a number# 0or example 1a two5 person car1 1a three5person room1# $his is where 1person1 is being used to describe the noun# 16 4 person1 is the adjective describing 1car1 and as you know we don1t put an 1s1 on an adjective# 3o far example we talk about a 1two5week holiday1 not a 1two5 weeks holiday1 or a 1three5year course1 not 1a three5years course1# 3o hear we use 1two5person car1# 3o in summary normally you find 1people1 as the plural form of 1person1 4 one person three people# 3ometimes you1ll find people used to describe the nationality so you1ll find 1peoples1 to describe different nationalities and sometimes you1ll find the word 1persons1 in more formal styles of writing or in signs for example# " hope that answers your /uestion#

>ro'lems and trou'les

A Writer from &ameroon in West Africa writes: "1m having difficulty distinguishing between ro'lems and trou'les# Can you please explain to me how to use both terms correctly! >ro'lem -roblem is a counta'le noun and describes something that causes trouble or difficulty# .e talk about having a ro'lem or having ro'lems with something not about having a trou'le# Compare the following: I've got a big problem with my computer. +an you come and have a look at it? @?M<; I've got a big trouble with my computer. +an you come and have a look at it.C I can't meet him in 6aris and he can't meet me in 'ondon. It's a real problem. @?M<; I can't meet him in 6aris and he can't meet me in 'ondon. It's a real trouble.C ro'lems of various

.e also talk about mathematical ro'lems and solving sorts# =rou'le cannot be used in this way:

+hildren with learning difficulties find mathematical problems impossible. We couldn't solve the problem of getting across 'ondon in less than two hours.


.ith the verb cause we can use both trou'le and ro'lems, ro'lem as a counta'le noun and trou'le as an uncountable noun# Compare the following: 8o <he recent football hooliganism in .underland caused the police a lot of trouble. <he current drought is causing serious problems for the farmers in this area. ro'lemS 0 What's your ro'lem+

.e also have the expressions 8o ro'lem( which we use to say that we will be ha y to do something or are happy for something to happen and What's your ro'lem! which we use in a threatening way to ask someone about something we disapprove of# Compare the following: +ould you look after "immy for me for five minutes while I pop out to the shops? ~ ?o problem I'll finish this off tomorrow, if you don't mind. ~ ?o problem. I don't like people wearing face *ewellery. ~ What's your problem? It's 7uite harmless. I think it could cause health problems in later life. ~ Well, that's their problem

trou'le =rou'le is mainly used as an uncounta'le noun and describes problems worries or difficulties# =rou'le can also be used as a verb# Compare the following: I'm having trouble with the printer now. +an you come and have a look at it? I'm a bit deaf and I had trouble hearing what she said as she spoke very softly. Why are you crying? What's troubling you? ~ It troubles me that I haven't heard from him for five weeks. I'm sorry to trouble you, but could you move your car forward a bit. It's blocking my drive.

"n addition to cause the ver's that the noun trou'le collocate with include the following: ut to, ta-e, go to, save, get into, run into and 'e in# $hese verbs cannot be used with ro'lem in the same way# Compare the following: I'm sorry to put you to all this trouble ~ It's no trouble at all I'm going to take the trouble to bake my own bread, rather than buy it from the shop. If you buy a dishwasher, it will save you the trouble of washing your dishes by hand.


We ran into trouble as soon as we reached the motorway. It was *ammed all the way from 9pping to +ambridge. I shall get into real $ big trouble, if I lend you my brother's bike. I was in serious trouble. I had run out of water and was still ten miles from the nearest oasis.

8o trou'leS 'ote that the expression 8o trou'leS is used in a similar way to 8o ro'lem(

I'm sorry to have kept you waiting for so long ~ <hat's no trouble

ro'lem 2 trou'le @ adjs 'ote from the examples above that the adjectives 'ig, real and serious collocate with both trou'le and ro'lems# 'ote that fundamental insolu'le and intracta'le collocate only with problem: : fundamental problem in the design of this car is the transverse engine. It was an intractable $ insoluble problem. <here was no way out of it.

A question from Cean0Hrancois from Jimoges, Hrance* " find it difficult to understand the word 'quite' in a conversation# ;oes it mean 1partially1 or 1totally1! -lease help(

Ale7 Dooch answers* ,ello Jean50rancois thanks for your /uestion# You asked whether 'quite' means 1partially1 or 1totally1# $he simple answer is that it has both meanings# "f we say: >I am quite happy>... $his can mean that "1m partially fairly somewhat happy but not completely happy 5 or it can mean "1m totally entirely completely I@@N happy# Your next /uestion will probably be: ,ow can we tell the difference! .hen somebody says: >I am quite happy>... ,ow do we know if they mean partially happy or totally happy! .ell "1m sorry but simply reading the sentence on the page can1t help us with this# "f " read the words 1" am /uite happy1 " really don1t know if this means1partially1 happy or 1completely1 happy# ,owever don1t despair 5 there are some clues that can help us solve this problem# 0irstly we have some adjectives in 7nglish which include the idea of 1very1# 0or example: 1delighted1 means 1very pleased1


1exhausted1 means 1very tired1 1enormous1 means 1very big1 and so on# 1)uite1 is often used with one of these adjectives and in this situation it always means 1totally1# 3o if we say: >I am quite e)hausted>... $his means "1m absolutely completely I@@N exhausted# "f you think about this it1s logical because it1s impossible to be 1somewhat very tired1 5 that doesn1t make any sense# 3econdly we have to think about the context# <ften we can clearly understand which meaning of 1/uite1 the speaker intends by looking at the meaning of what he or she is saying# .illiam1s here with me### 8.illiam: ,ello(9 Cet1s imagine that .illiam has recently been ill: Ale7* re you feeling better now5 William* .es- I'm feeling quite healthy- thank you. In fact- I feel great? ,ere .illiam probably means that he has fully recovered and he1s feeling I@@N healthy# <n the other hand we could have a conversation like this: Ale7* re you feeling better now5 William* Well- I'm feeling quite healthy- but I still have a terrible headache. "n this case .illiam probably means that he feels partially healthy but not completely healthy# Also when these sentences are spoken we can often get a clue from the speaker1s tone of voice and intonation: "f he or she speaks in a positive definite tone of voice going down at the end of the sentence that probably means that he or she feels totally happy or healthy or whatever# ,owever if the speaker1s tone is more uncertain and if it rises at the end of the sentence that probably means that he or she is partially happy or healthy but not completely# "n fact it1s /uite old5fashioned to use 1/uite1 to mean 1totally1 or 1completely1 5 at least in spoken 7nglish# "t1s still used this way sometimes in writing especially in formal writing so you might read that in a novel for example# &ut in modern conversational 7nglish 1/uite1 normally means 1partially1#


A question from Alice in Hrance* 1Eaise1 and 1rise1 5 it1s difficult to use them# .ill it be possible to explain these two verbs in &&C learning 7nglish! $hank you#

Amos >aran answers* .ell the basic meaning of the two verbs 1raise1 and 1rise1 is almost the same 5 moving up from a low position to a higher position either physically or metaphorically# $he difference between them is a grammatical one# 1Eaise1 needs an object and 1rise1 cannot take an object# 3o for example " can say that " personally think that the government of this country needs to raise taxes 8and 1taxes1 is the object of the verb9U another way " can say that is that " think that taxes need to rise# .e are always talking about the need to raise standards 8and 1standards1 is the object of the verb9 5 another way of saying it is that standards need to rise# ,ope this helps(

3elative 2 relation E relationshi Benis <ai$eau from Hrance writes* " do not feel comfortable when " have to use the words relation and relationshi # Could you please help me to clarify the main usages and differences of these two closely related words# +any thanks in advance# 3elationshi s A relationshi is a close friendship between two people especially one involving romantic feelings: <hey had been together for two years and Fike wanted to carry on, but "enny felt that their relationship wasn't really going anywhere.

3elationshi can be used in two other ways# "t can describe two things and the way in which they are connected: (octors now believe that there may be some relationship ( connection between autism and the FF& vaccine.

"t can also describe close ties between people or groups of people and the way they feel and behave towards each other: <he .miths placed great emphasis on close family relationships and always went on holiday together.


*he relationship between the leaders of the two countries has never been closer.

3elations 3elation also describes the link between people groups or countries and the way they behave towards each other# "n this sense there is very little difference between relations and relationship# 0or instance we could also say: 0elations between @the leaders ofC the two countries have never been closer.

+ost of the differences are context specific in this sense# 0or example we talk about diplomatic relations and race relations not di lomatic relationshi s or race relationshi s: 4iplomatic relations between the two countries were broken off over this incident and their ambassadors were sent home. <he need to improve race relations in Inner 'ondon boroughs is of paramount importance.

Your relations are also members of your family: I invited all my friends and relations to my twenty-first birthday party. Fark <otterdale and .imon <otterdale @no relationC are both head teachers in 8ristol.

Your 'lood relations are the people who are related to you by birth not through marriage# "f you say that they are your own flesh and 'lood you are emphasi*ing that they are members of your own family: 5e's my own flesh and blood. I can't leave him to fend for himself when he needs my help.

3elatives 5noun6 0 relative 5adj6 'ote that we also use the term relative to describe members of your family: .he couldn't get any of her relatives ( relations to look after the children, so had to employ a childminder. <he chimpan%ee is native to e7uatorial :frica and is believed to be the closest living relative to man.

$he adjective relative and the adver' relatively are used when you are comparing the /uality or si*e of something in relation to something else: 8oth cactuses were relatively small and I wanted one that was larger to fit into the pot.


Jitness is a relative concept. #ou must always ask the 7uestion; fit to do what? <hey were discussing the relative ( comparative merits of 'iverpool and 'eeds as places to live when I entered the room. 5e was able to smuggle the animals out of the country with relative ( comparative ease.

3elated 5adj6 .hen two or more things are related there is some kind of connection between them# .hen people are related they are members of the same family: 5e was arrested for theft+related offences. In the social sciences anthropology and ethnography are closely related disciplines. I had all the e7uipment needed for gymnastics and related activities. :ren't you two related? ~ ?o, we're not. ~ Mh, I thought 5enry was your cousin.

3ise, arise and raise

.ould you please be so kind as to explain the difference between the following verbs: rise and arise! $hank you so much#

3ise 0 rose 0 risen Fenerally if something rises it moves u wards# "f you rise this is a rather formal way of saying that you get of out 'ed, get u or stand u : I needed to catch the S.A4, so I had risen early. 5e rose to greet me when I entered his office.

.hen the sun and the moon rise they a ear in the s-y# "f the water in a river rises it 'ecomes higher# "f the wind rises it 'lows more strongly: I hope to be out in the desert on my horse as the sun rises behind the 6yramids. <he water in the river had risen to a dangerous level and everyone had to be evacuated from the village. *he wind rose later in the night and kept me awake as it howled through the trees.


"f an amount rises, it increases# "f you get an increase in your wages or salary this is also known as a rise# 8"n American 7nglish it1s known as a raise#9 "f you rise to a higher osition in your organisation you 'ecome more successful or powerful:

Inflation rose by 4.3 percent last year, the lowest increase since /002. Industrial use of oil rose by over 244 B in the /0S4s whilst industrial use of coal fell by the same proportion. I got a rise of over 1G444 when I was promoted to a position of greater responsibility. :t the age of A2, she has risen to the top of her profession.

Arise 0 arose 0 arisen Arise is mainly used in a more abstract way# "f a situation or problem or something arises it comes into being and people become aware of it: I don't think the question of compensation will arise, but if it does, *ust give a vague reply. I shall certainly go to .cotland ne)t year, if the opportunity arises. : problem has arisen with the <- that I bought last week. I can't get telete)t.

.e can also use arise to mean to get u , get out of 'ed or stand u but it is even more formal than rise in this sense# 'ote that when a knighthood is bestowed in &ritain the monarch touches the recipient1s shoulders with a sword and then says e#g# rise, .ir William

meaning that he .illiam may now 8a9rise from his kneeling position as a knight of the realm# 3aise 0 raised 0 raised "f you raise something you move it to a higher osition# "f you raise your voice you s ea- more loudly# "f you raise the standard of something you im rove it: If you are in agreement with what Fr "enkins has put to you, would you please raise your hand.


*he flag on the roof of the palace is raised whenever the 7ueen is in residence. my was sitting at the back and had to raise her voice in order to be heard. We want to raise standards of literacy in 8ritish schools. Fake no mistake about it; standards will rise.

'ote that raise is a regular ver' whereas rise is irregular# 'ote also that raise is a transitive ver' in other words it must always be used with a direct object# You always raise something# 3ise on the other hand is an intransitive ver': it does not involve anything or anyone other than the subject# 'ote the following idiomatic expressions with raise: to raise the alarm K warn people of danger not to raise or lift a finger K do nothing to help to raise a smile or a laugh K say something which makes people smile or laugh to raise the roof K make a building reverberate with loud singing, shouting, clapping etc I decided to raise the alarm and alerted the rescue services when my companions had not returned by nightfall. 5is wife does everything around the house. 5e never raises ( lifts a finger to help her. I thought it was a good *oke, but it didn't even raise a smile, let alone a laugh. <he female audience raised the roof when the boy band appeared on stage.

remind 0 remem'er 2 recall 2 recollect

Agustin from ( ain writes* " have a /uestion about verbs which appear very similar# Could you possibly explain the differences between remem'er remind recall and recollect! $hank you very much#



3emind and remem'er are not the same# "f you remind somebody about something you make them remember it# $hus remind is a transitive verb i#e# it always has an object which may be followed by to D infinitive or a that5clause# Compare the following: 0emind me to send (enny an email about the change of dates. I reminded them that the dress rehearsal had been brought forward to Wednesday. I shouldn't need to remind you to wash your hands before you sit down to eat. .hen you say that somebody or something reminds you of something you associate it with a memory from your past: .he reminds me of <he 6rincess &oyal. <hey are so alike in looks and appearance. (oesn't this countryside remind you of +ornwall? It does me. I think I know which one it is, but remind me of your house number. 3emem'er "f you remem'er something you recall people or events to your mind# 3emem'er can be used transitively with an o'ject or intransitively without an o'ject# "t is often used with to @ infinitive and with when5 where5 or that5clauses# Compare the following: 4o you remember the first time we sat under the stars, listening to 8eethoven's ?inth? 4o you remember when we first ate wild mushrooms? ~ #es, I remember. I can't remember where I've put the spare set of car keys. 5ave you seen them? Will you remember to collect your suit from the dry-cleaners or shall I do it? 1he remembered that she was going clubbing that evening and cheered up. remem'er @ infinitive or remem'er @ ver'0ing+ A lot of readers ask about verbs that are followed by verb5ing forms or to D infinitive# 3ome like want decide agree are always followed by to @ infinitive# 3ome like loo- forward to enjoy finish are always followed by ver'0ing forms# : decided to turn off the computer and go home# " would finish writing the report tomorrow# 3ome verbs can be followed by either verb5ing forms or to D infinitive sometimes with some difference in meaning# 3emem'er and forget are two such verbs# Eemember and forget with an infinitive always refer forward in time# Eemember and forget D verb5ing forms always refer back in time# Compare the following: I don't remember talking to you about <erry's divorce. I don't even remember you asking me about that. I shall always remember flying to :merica on +oncorde. 0emember to close all the windows and lock all the doors before you leave the house. I forgot to warn him about the dangerous dog and he was bitten.


I shall never forget sharing a bottle of iced water with you beside the 6yramids in 9gypt.

recall .hen you recall something you remember it and tell others about it: $he -rime +inister recalled his visits to 0rance and the six meetings he had had with the 0rench -resident# We often say* as far as : can recall or as : recall or : seem to recall to refer 'ac- to something that you have 'een tal-ing a'out* I seem to recall that you were against the idea of 5enry *oining the 8oard of (irectors. s far as I can recall, you were warned three times that you would lose your *ob if you persisted in being late. I distinctly recall warning you about this. "f a com any recalls a to be defective* roduct it asks for it to be returned because it has found

<he pharmaceutical company is going to recall one of its drugs because of possibly dangerous side effects. "f a layer is recalled to a team s%he is included in the team again after being left out: +any people in "reland still hope that Eoy Jeane might be recalled to the "rish s/uad in time for the .orld Cup# recollect "f you recollect something you remem'er it and usually tal- a'out it# $here is little difference between recollect and recall in this context# .e could also use remem'er here as the most common of the three verbs although remem'er would not imply that the experience was talked about# .he recollected $ recalled that she had been living in 6aris when 6icasso and Fatisse were both working there.

A question from Bahlia. " just want to know the meaning of this word: rote learning what1s the exact meaning!

/artin >arrott answers* .hat is 1rote learning1 ! Eote learning is learning something by repeating it over and


over and over againU saying the same thing and trying to remember how to say itU trying to say it fluently and fast# 'ow it doesn1t help us to understand 5 it helps us to remember 5 and often we learn a poem or a song or something like that by rote learning# .hat have you learnt by rote learning ;ahlia! ;ahlia: +y most studying is like rote learning# +artin: <h is it! ;ahlia: " just keep saying it to pass my exam without understanding most of what " read or study# +artin: .ell if you need to remember it for the examination then "1m sure that1s very useful# "t1s an interesting term rote learning# "t describes the techni/ue for learning 5 but often we say S" learnt something by roteS and we use the expression Sby roteS# Muestion* :f Bahlia wants to learn some useful voca'ulary, that could also hel her to ass the e7am, 'ut she wants to -now the meaning as well, what else can you do a art from rote learning then+ +artin: Eeading and underlining words and words that come up several times looking them up and then perhaps putting them on a list and perhaps using some rote learning# &ut ;ahlia "1m interested in what you learnt by rote for your exams 5 is this your 7nglish! ;ahlia: 'o it1s not my 7nglish# "t1s something related to my studying# "1m studying economicsK +artin: Yes### ;ahlia: ###and there is a lot of subjects /uite difficult to understand every single word# +artin: Yes! ;ahlia: 3o we just keep just rote learning it 5 you know to pass the examK +artin: Yeah ;ahlia: ###but erm many words is hard to know the meaning of# +artin: $hat1s right and it doesn1t actually help to understand it does it! ;ahlia: Yeah# +ost of our books are translated from from Eussian to ArabicK +artin: Yeah! ;ahlia: Kso### /uite difficult sometimes to understand everything# +artin: "t is# " think sometimes in learning a language rote learning can be useful# " know that " worked in China at one time where my students astonished me by how good they were at rote learning and " used to set lists of words for them to learn


and the next day "1d discover that they remembered them# And then as a teacher "1d just have to help them understand them# Muestion* :n terms of learning a language, could you offer an alternative to a student at home who may'e does want to learn voca'ulary and im rove their voca'ulary, and may'e isn't finding rote learning good. (o, : mean just as a ractical ti , what other ways of learning are there+ +artin: " think rote learning may be useful for remembering it 5 to understand it we have to see vocabulary in a context 5 so we need to be not necessarily reading a long book but reading text in which those words occur# $he best is when perhaps the word is used several times in different contexts and we can understand from the context what it means# A good bilingual dictionary is such a useful tool as well#

A question from ,a in 9ietnam* Could you tell me the difference between SsatisfyingS and SsatisfactoryS! $hank you#

Deorge >ic-ering answers* .ell ,a thank you very much for your /uestion about the difference between SsatisfyingS and SsatisfactoryS# S3atisfactoryS means that something is ade/uate or acceptable# .hereas SsatisfyingS means that something meets your needs or re/uirements and has positive associations# 3o what would be the difference between a SsatisfactoryS meal and a SsatisfyingS one! "n the first case the meal was ok in the second case it was one that you enjoyed# 3o generally we prefer to have SsatisfyingS experiences to SsatisfactoryS ones#

(ee and watch "1d like to know the different meanings of see and watch and the typical uses of these two verbs# (ee 2 Watch (eeing is noticing something or somebody with your eyes usually with no explicit intention or purpose behind the action# "f you watch something or someone you loo- at them deli'erately usually for a longer period# Watch is often used with progressive tense forms# (ee is not used with progressive forms but may be used with can to suggest something in progress# Compare the following: Can you hear me at the back! Am " speaking loudly enough!


" could hear a dog barking but apart from that there was no sound# "1m surprised to hear you say such awful things about her# " thought you liked her# " could hear them talking in the next room but " tried not to listen to what they were saying# You need to listen to the tape very carefully if you want to understand what she is saying# " didn1t hear the phone ringing because " was listening to a +ahler symphony on the radio# (ee 2 ,ear @ that0clause .e often use : hear and : see with a that0clause to indicate that we have noted something or that we understand or gather that something has happened or will happen# " hear % understand % gather that you1re planning to /uit your job with "&+ and go freelance# ,ave you heard that Jenny1s gone freelance! : 'o "1ve heard nothing about that# " see % understand % gather that the postal workers are threatening another one5day strike in <ctober# " can1t see % understand what all the fuss is about# "t1s only a one5day strike# 'ote these further more specific uses of see and watch: see A meet 8note that in this meaning progressive forms are often possible9 "1ll see you outside the hospital at eleven o1 clock# ,e1s seeing the doctor about his bronchitis tomorrow# "1m sorry but he1s not well enough to see you now# 3he must really stop seeing him# ,e has a bad influence on her# see A find out 8note progressive forms never possible9 "1ll go and see if " can help them# ,e went back to see if they needed any help# As we saw when he went back to help them these guys are totally independent# see A accom any You may not be able to find your way out# "1ll just see you to the door#


,e1s old enough to come home by himself but can you just see him across the busy road! watch A 'e careful a'out ... .e must watch the time or we shall be late# .atch that you don1t spend too much money in <xford 3treet# .atch your purse too# .atch out for pickpockets# watch A loo- after Can you just watch my bags while " go to the loo! You may also watch your weight if you decide to be careful about the things you eat or watch the world go 'y if you stand or sit somewhere and watch people as they pass by# (ituation 2 >osition 2 &ondition All three nouns are similar in meaning but they have different nuances or shades of meaning and are used in different contexts in different ways# &ondition &ondition describes the hysical state of something or some one# .e talk about people or things being in good 2 'ad 2 terri'le 2 etc condition# Condition can also refer to a health problem: Considering its age this house is in excellent condition# ,e was in a terrible condition and had drunk far too much whiskey# 3he has a severe heart condition and shouldn1t be smoking at all#

&onditions 8plural9 refer to the environment in which something occurs# .e talk about things happening in or under a alling 2 terri'le conditions# .e also talk about people1s living or wor-ing conditions: $he rescue was attempted under extremely difficult conditions and with little chance of success# $he refugees were living under appalling conditions with no access to clean water# Are you happy with your working conditions! : Yes they are excellent# " have no complaints#


$he extremely windy conditions made it difficult for either side to play decent football# &onditions also describe things that must be true or be done before something else can happen# .e talk about meeting or satisfying or im osing conditions# "n order to /ualify for a grant as a postgraduate student you will need to satisfy certain conditions# $he conditions imposed by the university meant that no one was likely to /ualify# =erms and conditions describe the business or financial arrangements of an agreement# +ake sure you read the terms and conditions carefully before you take out the student loan on condition that 'ote the expression on condition that for saying that one thing will happen only if another thing happens: You can have the day off tomorrow on condition that you agree to work on 3aturday# $hey spoke to the police about the incident on condition that they would not be called as witnesses# (ituation (ituation refers to a set of conditions that are in place at a particular time and in a particular place: "f the situation had been different our marriage might have succeeded# " am particularly concerned about the situation in the south of the country where the rules of law and order appear to have broken down#

.e also talk about an economic or financial situation: $he financial situation is dire 5 the company has failed to make a profit in each of the last four years#

situation comedies 2 situations vacant


'ote also the compound nouns situation comedies 8abbreviated to sitcoms9 which describe amusing television drama series revolving around a set of characters in a family or organisation and situations vacant which refers to a column or page in a newspaper where jobs are advertised: 1$he <ffice1 is regarded as one of the most original sitcoms the &&C has produced so far this century# "f you just want a clerical job look in the situations vacant column in the local newspaper#

osition >osition is used in a wider variety of contexts than situation or condition# 0irst and foremost it refers to the way or where somebody or something is laced# " was /uite badly injured in the demonstration but managed to drag myself to a sitting position under a tree# $his plant loves sunlight and should be placed in an open sunny position in the flower border# $his is /uite a detailed map showing the position of all the oil refineries# >osition can also describe a general situation and in this context can sometimes be replaced by situation: $he position % situation is that everyone must be interviewed about the break in by the security services# "f " were in your position % situation " wouldn1t dream of sheltering an escaped convict# >osition also means opinion i#e# where you stand or are placed on an issue: +y position on fox hunting is that it is a useful way of keeping the number of foxes down# >osition can also refer to a job in a company a place in a list or where you play in a team sport such as football: "s the assistant manager position still open! : 'o "1m sorry it1s already been filled# .hat is their position in the league! : $hey1re in forth position at the moment but if they win today they1ll move up to third# +y best position is on the left in midfield just in front of the back four#


A question from Jilia in 3io de Caneiro* 3ince "1m improving my 7nglish "1m trying to write my reports in 7nglish# " need to know the difference between the verbs 1solve1 and 1resolve1# $hank you#

(ian ,arris answers* ,ello Cilia thanks for getting in touch# $he simplest answer " can give you here is to say that in many contexts they are roughly synonymous 5 in other words similar in meaning and therefore sometimes used interchangeably where the basic meaning is to find a solution or answer to a problem# 0or example we could say either Swe have solved the problems in managementS or Swe have resolved the problems in managementS# $o resolve a problem argument or difficulty means to deal with it successfully# As in the example S$he cabinet met to resolve the dispute#S ,owever be aware that 1resolve1 can be used with the infinitive with a slightly different meaning# "f you resolve to do something you make a firm decision to do it# S$hey resolved to take action#S 1Eesolve1 also sometimes appears as a noun meaning a determination to do something# S.e must be firm in our resolve to oppose them#S 3o Cilia you1ll find more examples in your dictionary but in them meantime " hope "1ve clarified the key differences there#

's ort' or 'game'

/artina (otona from from =he &$ech 3e u'lic asks: $he <lympics are over and " would like to ask why we call them the <lympic Fames when they are about sports# Can you please explain in more detail the difference between s ort and game!

3ports are activities which re/uire physical effort and ability and some degree of mental skill usually# $hey are often organised competitively played outdoors and with a ball although not necessarily# $hus:


rug'y net'all golf

cric-et tennis motor racing

foot'all ta'le tennis cycling

'as-et'all squash s-iing

hoc-ey 'adminton running

'ase'all volley'all swimming

,owever we talk about games when two teams or individuals meet to play against each other# 83o for this reason they are called the <lympic Fames#9 Compare the following: 1;o you fancy a game of golf this afternoon!1 $he game 8or match for most ball games9 between +anchester =nited and Civerpool had to be abandoned at half time# $he pitch was waterlogged#1 1Cricket is my favourite s ort# " spend all weekend every weekend either watching it or playing it in summer#1

Fames are also activities involving skill knowledge or chance in which you try to win against an opponent or solve pu**les# $hus we have 1word games1 1card games1 1computer games1 and games like chess backgammon dominoes darts snooker mahjong and +onopoly# 0or games like these not so much if any physical ability or skill is needed#

seem, a

ear and looear

Are there any significant structural or semantic differences between seem, a and loo- in the sense of to give the impression of being or doing something! loo-, seem and a ear

Joo-, seem and a ear are all copular verbs and can be used in a similar way to indicate the impression you get from something or somebody# Copula verbs join adjectives 8or noun compounds9 to subjects: 3he looks unhappy# ,e seems angry# $hey appear 8to be9 contented# 'ote that adjectives not adverbs are used after copular verbs# .e do not say: 3he looked angrily ,e seems cleverly#


.e have to say: 3he looked angry# ,e seems clever# <f course when loo- is not used as a copular verb but as a transitive verb with an object an adver' will describe how someone looks: 3he looked angrily at the intruder# loo- 2 seem 0 as if 2 li-e After loo- and seem but not normally after a construction: "t looks as if it1s going to rain again# "t looks like we1re going home without a suntan# "t seems as if they1re no longer in love# "t seems like she1ll never agree to a divorce# seem 2 a ear to @ infinitive ear we can use an as if 2 li-e

After seem and a ear we often use a to @ infinitive construction 8 or a erfect infinitive construction for past events9# .e cannot use look in this way# Compare the following: $hey appear to have run away from home# $hey cannot be traced# " seem to have lost my way# Can you help me! "t seems to be some kind of jellyfish# ;o not go near it# $hey appear not to be at home# 'obody1s answering# $hey do not appear to be at home# 'o one1s answering# .e can also use a that0clause after :t seems+... and :t a ears..., but not after loo-. :t loo-s... has to be followed by an as if 2 li-e clause* "t seems that " may have made a mistake in believing you did this# "t appears that you may be /uite innocent of any crime# "t looks as if % like you won1t go to prison after all# a ear 2 seem 0 differences in meaning


You can use seem to talk about more objective facts or impressions and about more subjective and emotional impressions# .e do not usually use a ear to refer to emotions and subjective impressions# Compare the following: impressions % emotions "t seems a shame that we can1t take Jevin on holiday with us# "t doesn1t seem like a good idea to leave him here by himself# "t seems ridiculous that he has to stay here to look after the cat# more objective facts and impressions $hey have the same surname but they don1t appear % seem to be related# 3he1s not getting any better# "t seems % appears that she1s not been taking the medication# non0co ular use of a ear and looear and loo- have

'ote that seem is used only as a copular verb but both a other meanings and uses: appear H 8begin to9 be seen 3he has appeared in five &roadway musicals since 6@@@# Cracks have suddenly appeared in the walls in our lounge#

;igital radios for less than >?@ began to appear in the shops before the end of last year# look H direct your eyes % search "1ve looked everywhere for my passport but " can1t find it# "1ve looked through all the drawers and through all my files# ,e didn1t see me because he was looking the other way# 'ote that loo- is used in a wide range of phrasal verbs: Could you loo- after the children this afternoon while " go shopping! Could you loo- at my essay before " hand it in! "1m loo-ing for si*e ML in light blue# ;o you have it!


"t1s been a hard year# "1m loo-ing forward to a holiday now# "1ve written a letter of complaint and they1ve promised to loo- into the matter# Joo- out for me at the concert# "1ll probably be there by ten o1 clock# ;on1t you want to loo- round the school before enrolling your children! ,e1s a wonderful role model for other players to loo- u to. in a dictionary#

"f you don1t know the meaning of these phrasal verbs loo- them u

;rista (oenen from <elgium asks: "Am a student attending an 7nglish course in Fent &elgium# Eecently we had a discussion about the correct use and the difference between the following words: "s there any difference in use! (olicitor lawyer attorney 'arrister counsellor $hese legal terms all belong to the same family of words but are /uite different in use# (olicitors are lawyers who give legal advice to clients and prepare legal documents and cases# 3olicitors often specialise in different areas: there are for example family law solicitors and com any law solicitors# $hey do not usually to my knowledge appear in court# $he following would be an example of usage: 1.hen my husband left me " was advised to put the matter into the hands of a solicitor#1

Attorney is American 7nglish word for a &ritish 7nglish lawyer# $he ;#A# or Bistrict Attorney is a lawyer in the =#3# who works for the state and prosecutes people on behalf of it# $here are also of course defense attorneys in America who act on behalf of their clients# Consider the following: 1'obody wanted the position of district attorney 4 it was poorly paid in comparison with that of defense attorney#1

8'ote that in &ritish 7nglish defence is spelt BdefenceA and not BdefenseA#9


A lawyer then in &ritish 7nglish is a person who is /ualified to advise people about the law and represent them in court# .e talk about lawyers for the prosecution and lawyers for the defence# 3tudy the following: 1$he defence court case cost >?L@ @@@ in lawyersA fees alone#1

A 'arrister in &ritish 7nglish is a lawyer who operates in the higher courts of law in &ritain and speaks on behalf of either the prosecution or the defence: 1,e was regarded as an elo/uent and persuasive 'arrister and was much in demand for a period of over twenty years#1

.e also speak about the rosecution counsel or the defence counsel when referring to the team of lawyers who are operating on behalf of either the state or a client: 1$he counsel for the defence argued that the case should never have been brought to court as it relied only on circumstantial evidence#1

,owever please note that we do not use the term counsellor in the legal sense at all( A counsellor can be any person whose job it is to give advice care and support to those who need it# Consider the following: 1$his hospital employs I? counsellors whose job it is to deal with patients suffering from severe depression#1

A question from Arif ;i$ilay from =ur-ey* " have a /uestion 5 can you please answer it for me! .hat1s the difference between as such and such as! $hank you# '(uch as' and 'as such'

Ale7 Dooch answers* ,i Arif 5 thanks for your /uestion# $hese two phrases as such and such as look similar but in fact their meanings are very different# As such has two meanings# $he first is /uite difficult to explain so let1s look at an example# " could say "1m an 7nglish teacher and 'ecause :'m an )nglish teacher " hate to see grammar mistakes#


Another way to say this with the same meaning is like this: "1m an 7nglish teacher and as an )nglish teacher " hate to see grammar mistakes# ,owever in this sentence "1m saying the words 1an 7nglish teacher1 twice# An easier way to say it is like this: "1m an 7nglish teacher and as such " hate to see grammar mistakes# "n this example we use the word such to represent the words 1an 7nglish teacher1 the second time it appears# ,ere are some similar examples# You could say: 3he1s an athlete and as such she has to train very hard# $he film was a romance and as such it had the usual happy ending# .e can also use as such to mean something like 1exactly1 in a sentence like this: $he shop doesn1t sell books as such but it does sell maga*ines and newspapers# +aga*ines and newspapers are similar to books but they are not exactly books# <r: ,e isn1t American as such but he1s spent most of his life there# 3pending most of your life in America is similar to being American but it isn1t exactly the same as being American# (uch as is much easierU it has the same meaning as 1like1 or 1for example1 8but not exactly the same grammar so be careful there(9# .e use it in sentences like this: $here are lots of things to see in Condon such as the $ower of Condon the Condon 7ye and 3t# -aul1s Cathedral# <r: +any countries in 7urope such as 0rance and Fermany use 7uros#


ose and su

osed to

(anmati >ragya from :ndia writes: ,i( "Am an "ndian citi*en living in America# ,ere people use su ose and su osed to a lot of the time in conversation# Can you please tell me in which sense and where they should be used!


(u ose and su osed to are used very fre/uently in &ritish 7nglish too# .e shall see that su ose has a number of different meanings and uses and that su osed to is different again from su ose# su ose H thin-%'elieve%imagine%e7 ect

"n this sense su ose is often used in re/uests with negative structures when we hope the answer will be positive: " donAt su ose you could lend me your dinner jacket could you! : 3ure( .hen do you need it! " su ose itAs too late to see the doctor now isnAt it! : ,old on# Cet me see if " can fit you in# " donAt su ose " could see the doctor now could "!: " can fit you in at II#M@# Can you wait till then!

"t is also used in short answers with the same meaning of thin-%'elieve%imagine%e7 ect# 'ote that two forms of the negative are possible here: .ill Jeremy be at -eterAs this evening! : " donAt thin-%su ose%imagine%e7 ect so# .ill you try to see Jennifer when you get back! : " thin-%su e7 ect not# .ould you be prepared to stay on for an extra week! : " su ose%e7 ect%guess so#


'ote that su ose here describes a mental or emotional state and it is not normally used in the continuous form# (u ose%su osing H what if1+

(u ose or su osing can also be used in a /uite different way instead of What if1+ to introduce suggestions or to express fears# Compare the following and note that the verb that follows su ose or su osing can be in either present of past tense form: .e havenAt got strawberry jam for the filling so su ose % su osing we use8d9 raspberry jam would that be all right! (u ose % (u osing " come % came next $hursday rather than .ednesday will % would that be all right! .ill these shoes will be <J for tennis! : " donAt think so# (u ose % (u osing the court is wet and you slip8ped9! osed to @ infinitive A should

'e su

(u osed to in this sense means that something should be done because it is the law the rule or the custom# ,owever in practice it is often not done: "Am su osed to tidy my room before " go to bed at night but " always tidy it when " get up in the morning instead#


"n Fermany youAre not su osed to walk on the grass in the parks but in 7ngland you can# "Am su osed to return these books by 0riday but "Am not sure whether " can#

"n the past tense it is used to mean that something was planned or intended to happen but did not happen# 'ote that in these examples we can use should have as an alternative to was su osed to: su " was su osed to go to Cuba for a conference last year but then " got ill and couldnAt go# .asnAt $om su osed to be here for lunch! " wonder whatAs happened to him( " should have gone to Cuba for a conference last year but then " got ill and couldnAt go# (houldnQt $om have been here for lunch! " wonder whatAs happened to him( osed to 'e A generally 'elieved to 'e osed to 'e in this sense:

0inally we can use su

$his stuffAs su osed to 'e good for stomach cramps# .hy donAt you try it! $he castle was su osed to 'e haunted but " had a good nightAs sleep there nevertheless(

.hen you are practising these examples in speech note that the final d in su osed to is not pronounced# "t is pronounced as 'su ose to' but should always be written in its correct form grammatically as su osed to#

synonyms for* : 5don't6 understand

(tefan <a'ec from the (lova- 3e u'lic writes: Could you please explain to me the expression in this sentence: ###they do not cotton to the idea that### cotton to 2 cotton on to =o cotton to means to like to admire or to become attached to# $he allusion is to a thread of cotton which very easily attaches itself to clothing for example# "t is an expression which is not used very much any more in contemporary &ritish 7nglish#


+uch more common is the collo/uial expression to cotton on to which means to catch on or to gras a line of thought: $hey didn1t know much 7nglish and it was surprising how /uickly they cottoned on % caught on to what " was saying# ,e still hasn1t cottoned on to the fact that "1m not in the least bit interested in him#

$he allusion is the same as before: cotton fibres or threads which become attached to clothing# lose the thread 2 ic- u the thread5s6

<ther expressions which use the idea of cotton threads are to lose the thread of something and the opposite to ic- u the thread8s9# =o lose the thread means to lose one1s train of thought because of some sort of interruption or digression# =o ic- u the thread8s9 means to resume one1s line of argument or to get back into the way of things: " haven1t done this sort of work for over five years so it will take me a while to ic- u the threads# "1m going back to John and we1re going to try to ic- u the threads of our marriage# 3orry :'ve lost the thread of what you were saying# Could you go back over that last bit again!

: don't understand 7nglish and particularly &ritish 7nglish appears to be incredibly rich with informal expressions for : don't understand# ,ere are a selection of the most common# Can any of you answer these difficult /uestions! :f someone is descri'ed as 'sagacious', what does it mean they are+ " don1t know "1ve 8got9 no idea " haven1t 8got9 a clue osed to have im risoned his ne hews in the =ower

Which <ritish -ing is su of Jondon+

" haven1t 8got9 the faintest " haven1t 8got9 the foggiest


"1ve got no notion

8otion is another word for idea# <riginally we would have said: " haven1t got the faintest % foggiest % slightest idea#

&ut now it is sufficient to say: " haven1t got the faintest % foggiest#

Who made the first telesco e in the world+ You1ve got me there# You1ve stum ed me there# "1m a bit stymied there#

$he expression 1You1ve stum ed me1 or 1"1m stum ed1 derives from the game of cricket where if the batsman is stum ed he is out and his innings is over# .e can also use get in this /uestion to mean 1Bo you understand!1: ;o you get what "1m saying!

<r if you don1t understand something you can say: " don1t get it#

:n the <i'le, which is the second 'oo- of the Old =estament+ 3orry that1s beyond me# $hat1s 'eyond my -en# 3orry my mind1s gone blank#

"f something is 'eyond your -en you do not have sufficient knowledge to be able to understand it# ;en is much used in informal 3cottish 7nglish as both a verb and a noun for know and knowledge# &ut if your mind goes blank this suggests that you do know the answer which might even be on the tip of your tongue but it is not immediately available# :n music, what is the si7th note in the tonic sol0fa scale+ "1m not with you# Come again# 3earch me#

$hese last two synonyms for : don't understand are more collo/uial and not /uite in the same politeness register as the earlier alternatives# ,owever they are /uite acceptable in discourse among friends# $he idea of the last one is that if you did a body search on me you would not find the answer to the /uestions you have asked#


"f you do know the answers to all these /uestions please write to our /essage <oard and tell us# A score of I@@N would suggest that you might be a suitable candidate for a $G /ui* game(

: do understandS 0inally let1s finish on a more positive note with some synonyms for : do understand( .e don1t seem to have as many of these( "1m afraid " can1t agree to you borrowing >?@@ from your sister# " completely understand( $hat1s a'solutely clear( You1re /uite right( <f course(

A'solutely is currently one of our most favoured adverbs when expressing strong agreement with something: Are you going to Jim1s party on 0riday! : A'solutely( ;o you really want to wear that! : Yes a'solutely(

slang, idiomatic e7 ressions and eu hemisms slang (lang consists of very informal expressions or words which normally feature in speech rather than writing and are used by people who know each other well or who have the same jobs backgrounds or interests# $hey often relate to sex drink drugs relationships social groups etc# $hey are often fairly strong in emotive terms and may sometimes be found offensive to people outside the group# ,ave a look at some of the slang expressions on our =al- Jingo pages# ,ere are some more expressions: "t may be 'ig 'uc-s to you but it1s chic-enfeed to me# 3o who came to this -nees0u then! /y e7 was a'solutely 'on-ers# .e1ll have to get some 'oo$e in for tonight#

<ig 'uc-s denotes a large amount of money 8'uc-s are dollars9 chic-enfeed is small change# ;nees5u H party my e7 H former boyfriend or girlfriend# A'solutely 'on-ers is very cra*y or unpredictable# <oo$e is alcohol just as a 'oo$er is a pub or someone who drinks a lot of alcohol# "f you are exposed to slang expressions in your learning of 7nglish it is important for you to understand their meaning and the emotive force behind them# "t may be less appropriate for you to use them if you are not part of that group# "n fact it may sound strange and inappropriate if you do so# Also slang changes very /uickly#


idiomatic e7 ressions :diomatic e7 ressions are combinations or collocations of words which cannot be translated word for word# $hus: " could eat a horse#

is an idiomatic way of saying: "1m very hungry#

:diomatic e7 ressions are extremely common and are found in all kinds of 7nglish both formal and particularly informal# &ut do not make a special effort to learn them# $here are too many# You will learn the most common naturally through the learning material that you are using# And it is much better to be accurate when using non5idiomatic 7nglish than inappropriate when using an idiom# 0or example it is better to say: than: "t1s raining cats and dogs out there# "t1s raining very hard out there#

which has gone out of fashion# As a learner it may be difficult for you to know what idioms are in fashion and which are not# idiomatic e7 ressions with 'out' Food dictionaries will usually list idiomatic usage of words after the literal meanings are given# $hus after the literal definitions of out you may find the following idiomatic usages listed and illustrated: " was so tired " went out li-e a light# "1ve never seen such behaviour: he was completely out of order#

$hese two are in current use# 8As a rule of thumb if you come across idiomatic e7 ressions more than once in your study of contemporary 7nglish they are probably current#9 =o go out li-e a light is to fall asleep or unconscious instantly# $he allusion is to falling asleep immediately like switiching off a light# "f someone is out of order they have acted in bad taste or their behaviour is unacceptable# 'ote that the primary meaning of out of order relates to machines that are not working or are not in good order: Fo and put this out0of0order notice on the photocopier# "t1s not working again# ,e was totally out0of0order# " can1t believe he was so rude to her#


eu hemisms A eu hemism is a polite word or expression that people use when they are talking about something which they or other people may find unpleasant upsetting or embarrassing# .hen we use eu hemisms we are protecting ourselves from the reality of what is said# $here are many eu hemisms that refer to sex bodily functions war death etc# )u hemisms are often good examples of idiomatic language use: ,e assed away 8i#e# died9 after a long illness 8i#e# cancer9# " decided to come out 8i#e# admit to being homosexual9# " didn1t want to 'e outed 8i#e# allow others to let it be known that " am homosexual9# "t1s no good# " can1t hold it in# " shall have to s end a enny 8i#e# urinate9# .e keep the adult 8i#e pornographic9 maga*ines on the top shelf and the adult videos under the counter# You know that we1re in the middle of a rightsi$ing exercise 8i#e# compulsory redundancy programme9# .e have no alternative but to let you go 8i#e# sack you9# +any of the outlying villages suffered collateral damage 8i#e# civilian deaths9#

( end a enny derives from the days when there were door locks on the outside of cubicles in public lavatories which could only be opened by inserting one old penny into the lock# $his was not just the pre5euro era# "t was the pre5decimal era# $he expression is still in fre/uent use today# &ollateral damage is unintended damage and civilian casualities and deaths caused by the dropping of bombs in the course of a military operation# $he term is of =3 origin and was first used to describe deaths in the Gietnam .ar then in the Fulf .ar then in the action 8euphemism(9 in 3erbia at the end of the ITT@s and most recently in Afghanistan#

:$maelov from Benmar- writes: ,i Eoger( Are you familiar with the words switch and change! " guess you are but me and my friends have had some pretty hot discussions about the meaning and different usage of these two wordsK change 5 ver' and noun "f there is a change or if something changes it becomes different in some way or it is replaced by something of a similar kind 5 and it in this respect that the meaning is most similar to switch# ,owever in all of these examples that follow only change is possible or normal# .e cannot easily replace change with switch# Foing out to work every day is /uite a change from university life " must admit#


" can1t go straight from work# " shall have to come home and change first# 8i#e# change clothes9 $here1s no direct 8train9 service to <xford after I@ p#m# You1ll have to change at Eeading# " was away for the whole weekend so " packed two changes of underwear# " hardly recognised her 5 she had changed so much# 8i#e# changed in a earance9 "1m the father of three children but " still don1t know how to change a nappy# Could you change the light bulb for me please! : <J# &ut "1ll change the oil in your car first# Can anybody change this >?@ note! 8i#e# give me the same amount of money in smaller coins or notes9 " had no loose change 8i#e# smaller coins9 so " had to pay with a >I@ note# You must wait till the 8traffic9 lights change 8i#e# from red to green9 before you cross the road#

.e also talk about: changing the su'ject 5 starting to talk about something else to avoid embarrassment changing your mind 5 deciding to do something else usually the opposite changing your tune 5 a more informal expression for saying or doing something else having a change of heart 5 reversing your opinions or attitudes a sea change 5 a complete change in someone1s attitudes or behaviour things which change hands 5 things which pass from one owner to another ;id you know that &renda1s se70change operation hasn1t been successful! : ;o you mind if we change the su'ject! : <f course we can but you should know that she1s going ahead with her plan to change her name from &renda to &rendan# " can1t afford to take everybody to this football match# : You1ve changed your tune haven1t you! You were going to get a season ticket three weeks ago( ,e suddenly became responsible for his actions# $his sea change in his behaviour surprised his parents#

switch 0 ver' and noun A switch is a device for making and breaking the connection in an electrical circuit in e#g# a light radio $G or heater# .e switch these things on and off# .e also turn them on and off# .e can turn them down or up but we cannot switch them down or up: You call that music! "t1s a terrible row( 7ither turn it down or switch it off#

"f you switch to something different you change suddenly to a different task or activity from what you were doing before# .e can use switch or change in all these examples but switch is more dramatic:


.ould you mind switching % changing places with me so that " can sit next to my child! " had to switch % change planes in 'ew York# $here was no direct service to +iami# " was going nowhere so " decided to switch % change jobs# " think you would create more space if you switched % changed % moved the furniture around#

&ecause of its dramatic /uality switch is fre/uently used in newspaper headlines# $hese three examples all appeared in the "ndependent daily newspaper on 6O or 6T January# 3ee if you can work out the meaning# $he answers are below: Abel `avair set to switch to Civerpool# (witch to euro uncovers "reland1s excessive prices# Fang switched signals to help refugees#

Abel `aviar the -ortuguese defender is ready 8H set9 to move from 7verton across town to Civerpool football club# $he changeover or switch from the "rish punt to the euro has revealed the high cost of certain goods# A criminal group of men 8H gang9 changed or switched train signals from green to red so that trains would stop to allow refugees to climb on board# 0inally note these more informal and idiomatic usages of switch and turn: to switch off 5 to stop paying attention to 'e switched on 5 to be well5informed or up5to5date about contemporary issues to turn someone on 5 to excite them to stimulate their interest especially when you find somebody attractive Whatever turns you onS 5 a stock%fixed response to a description of unusual practice ,is description of his working day was so boring that " just switched off# ,e is really switched on when it comes to fashion# ,e knows all about the "talian fashion houses# " thought you liked me but " don1t really turn you on do "! <h no 5 it1s a film about philosophy# .hat a turn0off( And then " became really interested in the triassic jurassic and cretaceous periods# : .hatever turns you on(

=ravel2journey2tri 2e7 edition2safari2 cruise2voyage

,aidar /irhadi from :ran writes* .hat is the difference between these words all concerning travel:


travel2journey2tri 2e7 edition2safari2 cruise2voyage! $hank you# "t1s the right time of year to talk about travel as the holiday season is now beginning in most countries north of the e/uator# travel2travelling 5nouns6 =ravel is the general term to describe going from one place to another# .e can talk about someone1s travels to refer to the journeys he makes: 5is travels abroad provided lots of background material for novels he wrote.

=ravelling is also a general term which refers to the activity of travel: *ravelling by boat between the islands is less tiring than travelling by road. I don't do as much travelling as I used to now that I'm retired. art of com ound nouns. Compare the following:

=ravel often crops up as

Fake sure you keep all your travel documents safely. #ou can obtain your travel tickets from the travel agents in the 5igh .treet if you don't want to order them over the Internet. .ome of you may suffer from travel sickness. ir travel may well give you a bumpy ride. If you don't have a credit or debit card, make sure you take plenty of traveller's cheques with you.

.e often use travel as a ver': I love to travel during the summer holidays. <his year I plan to travel all around the Iberian 6eninsula.

journey 5noun6 A journey is one single iece of travel# You make journeys when you travel from one place to another# 8'ote that the plural is spelt journeys not journies9: tri <he ,ourney from 'ondon to ?ewcastle by train can now be completed in under three hours. We can talk about *ourneys taking or lasting a long time; 5ow long did your ,ourney take? ~ Mh, it lasted for ever. We stopped at every small station. We occasionally use ,ourney as a verb as an alternative to travel, although it may sound a bit formal or poetic; We ,ourneyed $travelled between the pyramids in Fe)ico on horseback. 5noun6


A tri usually involves more than one single journey# .e talk about day tri s, round tri s and 'usiness tri s# .e ma-e journeys usually but we go on tri s: I went on a day trip to Jrance. We left at =.A4 in the morning and returned before midnight the same day. <he round+trip ticket enabled me to visit all the ma*or tourist destinations in India. Where's 'aurie? ~ 5e won't be in this week. 5e's gone on a business trip to Falaysia and .ingapore. *he trip went well. It was an old car, but we didn't break down in four weeks of travelling

e7 edition 5noun6 An e7 edition is an organised tri whose purpose is usually scientific exploration of the environment# You go on e7 editions just as you go on tri s# ?umerous e)peditions to <he :ntarctic have ended in disaster. :re you going to *oin the e)pedition up the :ma%on this year, like the one <om went on last year? 'ess dangerous and less adventurous are shopping e)peditions when you are hunting down particular goods or bargains and fishing e)peditions when you go in search of fish which are not easy to locate or catch.

safari 5noun6 A safari is a tri or expedition to o'serve wild animals in their natural habitat in Africa usually# You go on safari to safari ar-s# "n days gone by you might have worn your light cotton safari suit for this purpose: 5is one ambition in life was to go on safari to !enya to photograph lions and tigers.

cruise 5noun and ver'6 A cruise is a holiday during which you travel on a shi or 'oat and visit a number of places en route# .hen we cruise this is exactly what we do: <hey cruised all around the Fediterranean for eight weeks last summer and stopped off at a number of uninhabited islands. Fy parents have seen nothing of the world so are saving up to go on a world cruise when they retire. <hey are hoping to take a trip on the cruise liner, the L92, in 244G.

voyage 5noun6


A voyage is a long journey not necessarily for pleasure on a shi # .e don1t talk about voyages very much in the present time but historically they were very significant: 5is second voyage @/G0A - 0=C led to the discovery of several +aribbean islands. Mn his third voyage @/G0R - /344C he discovered the .outh :merican mainland. @+hristopher +olumbus, the great e)plorerC

ta-e care 2 ta-e a loo-* ver' @ noun collocations with ta-e +aria asks: -lease can you give me some information about collocations especially about verb D noun collocations with take! $hanks a lot# collocation &ollocations are words that habitually or typically occur together# $here are verb D adverb collocations like wave frantically 8not wave hecticly9# $here are adjective D noun collocations like regular e7ercise 8not steady exercise9# $here are adverb D adjective collocations like com letely or wholly satisfied 8not utterly satisfied9# And there are verb D noun or verb D object collocations like follow someone's e7am le 8not pursue someone1s example9# ta-e =a-e is one of the most commonly used verbs in the 7nglish language whose basic meaning is to move something or somebody from one place to another e#g: " too- him to the hospital because he was having difficulty breathing# =a-e plenty of warm sweaters# "t will be cold in 3cotland# $here are a large number of ta-e @ noun collocations of which " include a selection of the most common below# 'ote how much of the original meaning of take is retained in these examples# $he first five are relatively easy to understand: take a walk % a bus % a train take a minute % a while % ten minutes take exercise take an interest in take a photo


"1m not ready yet# .hy don1t you ta-e a wal- round the park! "t1s essential for your health to ta-e regular e7ercise# " too- "## hotogra hs when " was on holiday in -atagonia#

3ince 3harapova won .imbledon my son has ta-en an interest in tennis# Aren1t you finished yet! : 'o it will ta-e me a while "1m afraid $he middle five are a bit more difficult so an explanation of the meaning is given after each example: take steps % measures % action take advice take offence take cover take pity "f you ta-e my advice you1ll stop seeing him# .e should ta-e ste s to ensure that no more money is lost on this venture# $here1s no need to ta-e offence# " was only joking( $hey were firing over our heads so we had to ta-e cover# 3he tooity on the stray dog and be became a family pet#

ta-e ste s, measures etc: perform an action in order to achieve something ta-e advice: follow someone1s guidance 8on how best to achieve something9 ta-e offence: feel upset because of something someone has said or done ta-e cover: hide of shelter from e#g bad weather or gunfire ta-e ity: show sympathy for someone because they are in a bad situation#

$he final five are most difficult as they are idioms whose original meaning has been lost 8but which is explained in the notes below9: take the mickey out of someone take the axe to something take a raincheck take heart


take one1s breath away 3top ta-ing the mic-ey# "1m fed up with being the butt of your jokes# Can you manage 0riday! : "1ll have to ta-e a rainchec- on that "1m afraid# $he way she played Cady +acbeth was so compelling it too- my 'reath away# $ry to ta-e heart from the fact that he1s no longer in pain# $he company too- the a7e to senior management and abolished five posts# ta-e the mic-ey out of someone: to tease# +ickey represents +ickey &liss Cockney rhyming slang for piss# $he expression then is a euphemism for take the piss# ta-e the a7e to something: make drastic cuts particularly in workforce ta-e a rainchec-: politely decline an offer whilst implying that you may take it up later# A rainckeck was originally a voucher used in the =3 entitling one to see another baseball game if the original one was rained off# ta-e heart: take courage "n former times moral courage was supposed to come from the heart and physical courage from the stomach# ta-e one's 'reath away: be so surprised by something that it makes you hold your breath <nes that we have not worked on include: take a seat take a bath % shower take care take a look take milk % sugar in tea % coffee take a break take somebody1s word for something take your temperature take a risk take the credit take responsibility take the weight off ones feet


take a dim view of something take ones hat off to someone take a page out of someone1s book take a leak take stock that takes the biscuit( Check them out in a good dictionary if the meaning is not clear# 3tart with the most commonly used ones which " have listed first#

=eacher2trainer2instructor2lecturer etc. .ould you please tell me the different usage of the terms: teacher trainer instructor lecturer rofessor! $hank you in advance# =eacher =eacher is the general term for someone whose job it is to teach: "1d like to go into teaching and get a job as a teacher in an inner city primary or secondary school# $eaching assistants can only ever support the classroom teacherU they can never replace him#

=utor .e sometimes use the word tutor instead of teacher to describe somebody who gives personal or private lessons: +y son wasn1t making much progress in school so " hired a maths tutor to give him private lessons after school# "f you are enrolled as a student in a &ritish university you will have a ersonal tutor who provides you with close support throughout your studies and with whom you will have tutorials to discuss aspects of the subject being studied: $here are just six students in my tutorial group and we had a very interesting tutorial on global warming and climate change last week# <n all /uality distance learning schemes face5to5face support from trained tutors is essential#


Jecturer A lecturer is someone who gives a lecture or formal presentation particularly at a college or university ;r Fradgrind is our lecturer on the Gictorian novel and the course will be taught through a series of lectures and seminars#

'ote that a seminar at a college or university is a class for a small group of students to discuss the subject with the lecturer#

>rofessor "n the =J rofessor is a university teacher of the highest rank in a subject area:

-rofessor 3tephen ,awking Cucasian -rofessor of +athematics at the =niversity of Cambridge is one of the most formidable intellects ever to theorise on the origins of the universe#

$he first step in an academic carrier is usually lecturer then senior lecturer then reader then eventually perhaps rofessor# 'ote that in the =3 a professor is a full5time teacher at university# A teacher at secondary school or high school or junior college is never a professor#

:nstructor "n &ritish 7nglish an instructor teaches you on how to learn or improve in a particular skill or sport: "f you want to learn how to drive you will need a driving instructor# "f you want to learn how to fly you will re/uire a flying instructor# "f you intend to ski this winter on the higher slopes you1ll need a ski instructor#

"n the =3 an instructor is a university teacher below the rank of assistant professor#



A coach is someone who trains individual sports players or a team# $he examples below are taken from tennis and football: $im ,enman &ritain1s 'o I has a new coach -aul Anacone who worked with -ete 3ampras for six years# -aul &racewell national coach with the 7ngland youth teams for the past two years has resigned#

=rainer A trainer can be someone who trains people for a particular job or profession or who trains someone in certain varieties of sport# "n5service teacher trainers are in very great demand here as there is no pre5service training for teachers# "f you can get Jevin as your personal fitness trainer you1ll work on a wide range of strategies and techni/ues#

'tell', 'say', and 's ea-' A question from Bmitrij in Jatvia* ,ello( " am learning 7nglish by myself 8excluding &&C Cearning 7nglish(9 +y /uestion was### what is the difference between 1tell1 1say1 and 1speak1! $hank you(

&atherine Walter answers* ,ello ;mitrij# "t1s not surprising that you find these confusing because as far as meaning goes these three words mean more or less the same thing# "t1s more a /uestion of how we use them of patterns of use# 3o let me try to tell you about those# .ith 1tell1 we usually say who is told# You could say there is a personal object so: 1Can you tell me what1s happened!1 .e say 1me1# .ith 1say1 we don1t usually say who is told# 3o you might say 1please say each word clearly and distinctly1# And if we do say who is told we use the word 1to1 so: 1,e said goodbye to me as if we would never see one another again1# 'ow### $here1s another limit on the usage of 1tell1# .e only use 1tell1 to mean instruct or inform# 1" told him to wait for me on the platform1### that1s an instruction# S+y father used to tell me wonderful storiesS 5 informing me# 13ay1 can be used for any kind of talking# 3o here are three sentences where you could not use 1tell1: .he said 'Where have you been?' .o I said what a good idea.


Faureen said 'What's the matter?' .e use 1tell1 without a personal object in a few expressions that are kind of fixed expressions like tell the truth tell the time and tell the difference# And we use 1say1 before words like a word a name or a sentence# An example would be: 1;on1t say a word#1 $hat1s 1tell1 and 1say1# You also asked about 1speak1# .e use 1speak1 to mean 1talk formally1 and when we do use 1speak1 we use the word 1to1 if there1s a personal object# 3o you could say 1" spoke to him severely1 or 13he spoke to our teachers1 association last year1# And of course we use it when we1re talking about people1s language ability: 1;o you speak 7nglish!1 And you do and " hope this will help you be happier with the way you speak it#

A question from Amir Dilani* ,i# Can you tell me what 1is anything to go by1 in the text below means! 1And if the experience of earlier Asian economic miracles like Japan and 3outh Jorea is anything to go by China should carry on growing at this hectic pace for another twenty or thirty years#1

(arah <radshaw answers* .ell Amir 1is anything to go by1 means 1in our experience1 or 1in the experience of the person writing1 or 1in the experience of the person speaking1# Another example of 1is anything to go by1 could be: you1re standing on a station platform you1re looking at your watch the train is late you go up to a guard and say: 1.hen is the next train to Condon!1 And the guard might say 1.ell if previous trains are anything to go by it will be half an hour late1 meaning that his previous experience of the trains running late is about thirty minutes# Another example would be if perhaps we invited a well5known pop star onto our programme &ritney 3pears for example and we said 1"f we had &ritney 3pears on the programme do you think we would get lots more listeners1 letters asking us /uestions!1 And our producer might say 1.ell if last week1s programme with -hil Collins is anything to go by yes we would#1 3o in his experience in something similar is anything to go by# 3o it begins with if: 1if x is anything to go by then### something else#1 3o remember how to construct that: it1s 1if1 and 1is anything to go by1 1then1 and then the concluding sentence#

=o 2 Hor A question from >aulo from <ra$il*


,i 3amantha my name is -aulo# " like to study 7nglish and my /uestion is about the use of the prepositions to and for in some special cases# As " wrote to you " know that " must say 5appy birthday to you and <hat>s a gift for you# &ut " just donAt know the reason " can say for example <hat>s a gift for you# " would like some guidelines to help me with this matter# $hank you 3amantha# ... and a similar question from 3enato from <ra$il* " am always confused when to use to or for# 0or example should " say an efficient method to solve my problem or an efficient method for solving my problem! .hy according to one American does it sound natural to hear 'et's go out for lunch! 3houldn1t to be used with go when followed by a verb! -lease enlighten me on this topic# Yours sincerely Eenato

,i -aulo and thanks for your /uestion# And as well as answering your /uestion "Am going to answer a similar one at the same time from Eenato# And the use of preposition is a topic that worries many of my students 4 " know because "Am often asked for advice about which preposition to use where especially around the time that assignments are due in( " do think that prepositions are one of the most difficult areas of 7nglish to master because there are so many prepositions and so many different combinations of verb and preposition that have to be memorised individually# &ut letAs begin with your first example -aulo when we say 5appy 8irthday. And when we use 5appy 8irthday weAre using a set expression or a greeting like 5appy +hristmas 5appy ?ew #ear or +ongratulations and if you wanted to follow this expression with a pronoun you would have to use the preposition to with it 5 5appy +hristmas to you , 5appy 8irthday to you 4 although it might be more common simply to use the greeting without a pronoun in speech# "n your second example -aulo for is followed by a pronoun you and functions as a preposition showing the intended recipient: <he parcel is for "enny# <he flowers are for mother# 5ere is a gift for you. 3o now to answer EenatoAs /uestion# "n the examples you give Eenato "Ad say that the first example with the infinitive verb is the better choice# YouAve only given me part of the sentence 4 an efficient method to solve my problem 4 but the phrase suggests an outcome or the solution to a problem# CetAs put this into a complete sentence by adding a verb: I discovered an efficient method to solve my problem#


"n this case the second verb always appears in the infinitive form because these are all examples of the infinitive showing purpose: I watched television all day to relieve my boredom. I made her a chocolate cake to make her feel better. 5e went into town to order his new computer. "n each of the examples above there is an outcome or an intention which is reported by the to clause similar to the one in your own example Eenato# 0inally to look at the last example if " said .hall we go out to eat lunch? the verb go out would be followed by a verb wouldnAt it! ,owever in your own example Eenato 4 'et>s go out for lunch 4 the verb is followed by a noun 8lunch9 so we have to use the preposition for in this expression( .ell -aulo thanks for your /uestion and " hope that both the answers will be useful to you#

'used to' 2 'get used to'

(u awadee from =hailand asks: " always confuse to 'e used to and used to especially the meaning of them# -lease kindly show me what the differences are#

.hen we use used to we are talking about something which happened regularly or was true at an earlier stage in our lives but which is now over# $hus it can only be used in the past tense# "f we want to talk about present habits or states we simply use the present simple tense# .ith the negative we often say never used to in preference to didn't use to or used not to 5 in an informal register# 3tudy the following examples:


1;o you remember! $here used to 'e fields of clover where those houses are now#1 1" never used to smo-e but now " smoke twenty a day#1 1You used to lay chess with your friends but nowadays you play chess with your computer#1 1" used to 'uy really expensive make5up but that was when " was working full5time#1

$o make /uestions we use the normal auxiliary did# 'ote that used to cannot be used in /uestion tag form# 'ote also the possible%probable replies to used to /uestions# 3tudy the following examples: 1;id you use to go ice5skating when you were young!1 1'o " never did#1 1;idn1t you use to ring the school to say you were ill and then play poker with 3am!1 1" sometimes did yeah(1 1You used to do ballet in the church hall didn1t you!1 1Yes " did# 7very 3aturday between the ages of nine and twelve#1

'e used to D noun or 5ing get used to D noun or 5ing "f somebody gets or is used to something he becomes or is fully familiar with it# "t is no longer strange or awkward# "t can refer to past present or future experiences# 3tudy the following: 1$hese are very high heels " know but "1m sure you1ll get used to 8wearing9 them#1 1" wasn1t used to living in such a small flat and " found it really hard at first#1 1"1m used to all the noise now but "1d always lived in the country before you see where it is very /uiet#1 1" never got used to shaking hands with people all the time when " lived there# "t1s just not the custom in our country#1 1Are you getting used to the accent now! "t1s very different from standard 7nglish isn1t it!

"n all of the above examples 'e or get used to can be replaced by 'e or 'ecome accustomed to which is very similar in meaning if a little more formal# Eead through them again using these replacement verbs# 3o just to recap and confirm: 1.hen " lived in +exico " used to drink te/uila at every opportunity#1 8A regular habit then but probably not now#9 1" found it /uite a strong drink at first but " soon got used to it#1 8"t /uickly became /uite palatable#9


ver's with adver'ial


Amin studying 7nglish in 8ew Oealand writes: +any times " have heard sentences like these: "1ll just o into the supermarket# You can o over to this office any time tomorrow#

" understand the meaning but " am not sure how to use them# .hat are the differences between Can we say o out somewhere! o into and o over! And how about o out!

" would be most grateful if you could tell me which sentences in those settings 8along with prepositions9 are most common#

$hese verbs with adverbial particles or prepositions are extremely common in informal idiomatic 7nglish and are often preferred to a single verb e/uivalent# Compare the following: " decided to lay on transport for everybody as the train drivers were on strike# " decided to rovide transport for everybody as the train drivers were on strike#

"nformally we would be more likely to say and write the first of these two possibilities whereas in more formal 7nglish we might write the second of these two: Alternative transport was laid on for all employees throughout the train driversA strike# Alternative transport was rovided for all employees throughout the train driversA strike#

$he problem with phrasal verbs 8verb plus preposition or verb plus adverbial particle9 is that the meaning of the two5word 8or sometimes three5word9 verb is very different from the meaning of the two parts taken separately# Jay on is not the same as lay @ on: " lay on the bed thinking about what to do next# 8lay on H was in a hori*ontal position on9 Caroline laid on a wonderful spread of food for everyone# 8laid on H provided9 o is used with either particles or prepositions:

CetAs have a look at how


o o

into over

o o

in round

o o

out down

o o

off u

"n all of these examples with o Amin all the prepositions function as adverbial particles not as prepositions with objects except for: ,e o ed into the shop#

$hey are all similar in meaning with the adverbial particle indicating direction except for o off which has a more distinctive meaning and is not /uite so common# Compare the following: +y new neighbours across the road had just moved in so " o ed over to see them# " was passing by noticed the light was on so thought " would just o in for a chat# "Am going to o out to the shops for ten minutes# ;onAt answer the door if anyone calls# +y friend ;ora lives in the flat above me# 3o she often o s down if she needs anything or " might o u to see her if "Am feeling lonely# " hadnAt seen him for years# $hen he just o ed u one day at the club we used to belong to# " may be O? and " may have to use a stick to get around but "Ave no intention of o ing off yet#

"n the first five examples above we might define o @ article as a earing or disa earing 8popping out9 'riefly and casually# "n the sixth example it means a earing une7 ectedly# And in the final example it is a euphemism for dying# <f course we can also use o with a short sharpish sound# in its original literal sense meaning to burst open

,e had shaken the champagne bottle and the cork was ready to pour#

ed out before he

.hen you are learning phrasal verbs it is safest to assume that for each one each particle introduces a different meaning and sometimes more than one meaning( CetAs compare the following pairs# Are they similar or different in meaning! dro off dro in2'y dro out dro over o off o in o out o over

Could you give me a lift in your car and dro me off at the station! 8H let me get out9 $he lecture was so boring that " dro ed off half way through# 8H fell into a light sleep9


Bro 'y any time youAre passing# You donAt need to phone first# 8H pay a casual visit9 ,e dro ed out after a term 5 he just wasnAt prepared to study# 8H left college early9 " opened the car door carelessly and my purse dro ed out# 8H fell out9 " dro ed over to see her because " knew she wasnAt feeling well# 8paid a casual call9#

Cearning phrasal verbs is probably a lifetimeAs work and if you want to do it well itAs probably worth getting hold of 8H obtaining9 or lashing out on 8H spending a substantial sum of money on9 a dictionary of current idiomatic 7nglish which pays attention to verbs with prepositions and particles# " emphasise the word BcurrentA as idioms come into and go out of fashion# $he reward is that if you can use them appropriately in context they are distinguishing marks of a native5like command of 7nglish#

wedding or marriage+

/orena Biego from :taly asks: Could you please explain to me the difference between wedding and marriage! wedding 2 wed A wedding is a marriage ceremony which is held in church or a registry office and also includes the party or special meal which follows the ceremony# All of this usually happens on your wedding day# $here are a number of other wedding compounds that are associated with wedding day: $he newlyweds had told everybody that they wanted no wedding presents as they were emigrating to Australia# $he predominant colour at 3ophie1s wedding was creamy white# ,er wedding dress was this colour and the icing on the three5tier wedding ca-e was this colour too# "s it true that in &ritain you wear your wedding ring on the third finger of your left hand! A silver wedding is celebrated after 6? years of marriage and a golden wedding after ?@ years#

"f you wed someone you marry them but wed is not used very much nowadays as a verb as it is rather old5fashioned# "t can sound /uite effective however because it is unusual# 3ometimes it has a poetic ring to it: .e got wed soon after the baby was born# " shall never wed as " like to be independent#


marriage 2 marry 2 get married /arriage describes the relationship between husband and wife or the state of being married: $hey enjoyed a long and happy marriage# +ost marriages these days do not last# $he bride1s parents did not approve of Gictoria1s marriage to Feorge#

"f you marry someone that person becomes your husband or wife and we use the verb marry in preference to wed normally# ,owever even more usual than marry is get married# $his use of get with a past participle is a very common structure in contemporary 7nglish and is used across a range of common expressions# "t has the same sort of force as reflexive verbs have in other languages# $hus in 7nglish we would say: Bon't get lostS '<$ Bon't lose yourselvesS Consider the following: " married the man next door % " got married to the man next door# $hey didn1t get dressed until two o1clock in the afternoon# " didn1t bother to get washed as " knew " would be working on the farm# Eemember it1s a big dark wood# &e careful not to get lost# .e had known each other for fifteen years before we got engaged# " never get invited to 3arah1s parties# .e got married on I@ June but by the beginning of the autumn both of us knew that the marriage would not last and that sooner or later we would have to get a divorce % get divorced#

"nterestingly although we can say they married and they divorced as an alternative to they got married and they got divorced we cannot say: they engaged# ,ere only they got engaged is possible#

A question from (ergio Dil 3ejas in >eru* " would like to know what is the difference between 1wait1 and 1await1# .hen should " use 1wait1 and 1await1! $hanks a lot and congratulations for the site# Jind regards#

Amos >aran answers* $hanks for this 3ergio# $here are two kinds of difference between 1wait1 and 1await1# $he first difference is in the grammatical structures that are associated with these two verbs# $he verb 1await1 must have an object 5 for example 1" am awaiting your answer1# And the object of 1await1 is normally inanimate not a person and often abstract# 3o you can1t say 1John was awaiting me1#


$he verb 1wait1 can come in different structures# 0irstly you can just use 1wait1 on its own: 1.e have been waiting and waiting and waiting and nobody has come to talk to us#1 Another structure that is very common is to use 1wait1 with another verb 5 for example 1" waited in line to go into the theatre#1 Gery often with 1wait1 you mention the length of time that you have been waiting 5 for example 1" have been waiting here for at least half an hour#1 0inally speakers often mention what or who they have been waiting for 5 so if a friend was really late you could say 1" have been waiting for you for two hours(1 $he other difference between the two verbs 1wait1 and 1await1 is the level of formality# 1Await1 is more formal than 1wait1 5 it would be used in formal letters for example# "f you want a tip about using these two verbs " would suggest that you should use 1wait for1U use 1await1 only in cases where you are absolutely sure that you have heard good users of the language using it and in cases where things are /uite formal#

Well off, 'etter off well0off .ell5off relates mainly to money matters# "f you are well0off you may not be rich exactly but you have enough money to live well and comfortably: &y central 7uropean standards they are /uite well5off $hey have their own flat and drive new cars# well0off for ,owever if you say you are well0off for something this means that there are many of them: .eAre well5off for coffee shops in this town# $hereAs one at every corner in the ,igh 3treet# 'etter0off $he comparative form of this adjective is 'etter0off which is used to talk about the varying degrees of wealth different people have: .eAre not as well5off as the JonesAs# $heyAre definitely better5off than we are# Just look at the way they dress( $o be 'etter0off as you suggest +ariano also has another meaning of being in a better situation and is used mainly in conditional patterns as follows:


"f youAve got heavy bags to carry youAd be better5off taking a taxi# "t says on the sign that the motorway ahead is blocked# YouAll be better5off if you leave the motorway at this junction which is coming up now# the 'etter0off =he 'etter0off is sometimes used as a noun to describe a category of people cf the rich % the poor: $he rich and the poor live side5by5side in this part of town# $he better5off should pay a higher rate of income tax while those who are worst5off should pay no tax at all#

rather and 'etter+

Omar studying 7nglish in &anada writes: "Ave just found this page which is for learning english and " find it ama*ing and easy to follow# "1d like to know the difference between refer and would rather# "1d rather do x than do y " prefer doing x to doing y

>refer and would rather can be used interchangeably# As you indicate <mar when we are talking about general preferences refer is followed by verb0ing thus: " prefer listening to music to watching $G# "1d rather listen to music than watch $G#

'd rather ,owever when we are talking about specifics would rather is used as an alternative to would refer to followed by an infinitive# .ould rather is very common in spoken 7nglish and is often abbreviated to 'd rather# "t is used in this form with all personal pronouns: :'d 2 you'd 2 he'd 2 she'd 2 we'd 2 they'd rather1 3tudy these examples:


.ould you like to go out for dinner tonight! : 'o " think "1d rather eat at home % "1d prefer to eat at home# .ould you rather drink beer or wine with the curry : "1d rather drink beer# .hat about you! $hey1d rather have the strawberries by themselves but "1d prefer to have them with cream#

'ote that would rather is followed by a bare infinitive without to whereas refer re/uires to D infinitive# Would rather 8but not would refer to9 is also followed by a past tense when we want to involve other people in the action even though it has a present or future meaning# 3tudy the following: 3hall we go out for dinner tonight! : 'o "1d rather we ate at home if you don1t mind# 3hall " write to ,arry and tell him that we1ve sold the car! : "1d rather you didn1t# +y mother would rather we caught the bus rather than walk home after the party#

3ather than means instead of and can be used in combination with would refer to and would rather# 3tudy the following and note the intricacies of the verb forms: Eather than lose precious sleep discussing it now " think we and talk about it in the morning# +y mother would prefer us to email each other once a week spend half an hour on the phone every night# +y mother would rather we emailed each other once a week spending half an hour on the phone every night# "n fact she we1d better do that " suppose# should go to bed rather than instead of insists on it# 3o

'd 'etter 'ote that 'd 'etter which is similar structurally to 'd rather is used to suggest necessary action# "n this case however 'd is the abbreviated form of had not would# Cike 'd rather 'd 'etter is followed by the bare infinitive without to# 3tudy the following: .e1d better not be late for the Ambasador1s party# "t would be unforgivable to arrive late# You1d better phone him and tell him that you1re not going# $hey1d better buy me a Christmas present or " shall never forgive them#

'ote that it is sometimes slightly threatening in tone as in the last example# ,ad 'etter is always more urgent than should or ought to and has the same force as : would advise you strongly toK# or We must 2 we mustn'tK#

injure2wound2hurt2harm2damage as ver's2adjectives2nouns


Agustin from ( ain writes: " would be very grateful if you could explain the difference between injure wound hurt harm damage and their associated adjectives: injured wounded hurt harmed and damaged# $heir meanings are so close that " have difficulty differentiating them#

You are /uite right Agostin# $hese verbs and related nouns and adjectives are /uite close in meaning and use but there are a number of distinguishing characteristics# hurt 5ver'6 "f part of your body hurts you feel pain there# "f you hurt someone you cause them to feel pain# 'ote that verbs that refer to physical feelings 8hurt ache etc9 can often be used in simple or progressive tenses with no difference in meaning: ,ave you been knocked over! $ell me where it hurts % it1s hurting# : +y arm hurts# You1re hurting my arm# <uch( ;on1t touch me# $hat hurts(

You can also hurt someone's feelings and cause them to feel emotional pain: " think she1s going to be hurt# " don1t think she1ll ever fall in love again# .hat hurt me most was the betrayal# ,ow could he behave like that!

hurt 5noun2adjective6 =he hurt that she felt was deep and would only be softened with the passing of time# $hey were suffering from shock but did not seem to be otherwise hurt#

injure 5ver'6 "n the sentence describing people suffering from shock above hurt could be replaced by injured# "f you injure somebody you cause physical damage to part of their body usually the result of an accident or through fighting: A number of bombs have exploded seriously injuring scores of people# $he demonstrators injured a number of innocent people when they started throwing stones#

injured 2 injury 5nouns6 2 injured 5adj6 =he injured were taken to hospital by air5ambulance# =heir injuries were thought to be serious# ,e was not seriously injured though his coach took him off at half5time as a precaution# $wo minutes of injury time were played at the end of the fist half#


wound 5ver'6 "f you wound somebody you inflict physical damage on part of their body especially a cut or a hole in their flesh caused by a gun a knife or some other weapon often in battle# $here was no escape# $hey were mortally wounded by the enemy fire# $he driver of the Eed5Cross ambulance was wounded by the shrapnel#

"n 7nglish it is often a matter of knowing which adjectives collocate with which nouns and which adverbs go with which verbs# "n this particular word family the adverb5verb collocations are normally as follows: 'adly hurt % seriously injured % mortally wounded# You will also have noticed that with these verbs the passive voice is often used# wound 5noun6 2 wounded 5adj6 $he o en wound really needed stitches and took a long time to heal# $he four wounded men were taken to the field hospital in the back of the Jeep#

.e also have the expressions: to ru' salt into the wound i#e# to make an unpleasant situation even worse and to lic- one's wounds i#e# to slowly recover after being defeated or made to feel ashamed or unhappy: " didn1t want to ru' salt into the wound so decided not to mention &ob1s infidelity# $he &ritish team could only retire and lic- their wounds after such a comprehensive defeat on 3panish soil#

damage 5ver'6 "t is things that are damaged not people# Bamage is the physical harm that is caused to an object# +ore abstract /ualities such as reputations and the economy can also be damaged# Compare the following: $he car was so 'adly damaged in the accident that it was barely worth repairing# .hen he got home he discovered that the vase he had bought had 'een damaged# "f he continues drinking like that his reputation as a defence lawyer will 'e damaged# ,igh inflation was damaging the country1s economy#

damage 5noun6 2 damaged 5adj6 ,owever we can also speak of someone being 'rain0damaged 8not brain5injured9 or suffering 'rain damage# &ut this is an exception# 'ormally damage relates to inanimate objects: -rofessional boxers sometimes suffer irreversible 'rain damage#


"t was a huge bomb and the damage caused to the shopping precinct was /uite extensive#

.e also have the informal expression: What's the damage+ meaning 1.hat is the damage to my purse or my pocket!1 in other words: .hat do " owe you in payment for this service or these goods!: $hanks very much for the work you have done on those curtains# What's the damage+

harm 5ver'6 -eople <E things can be harmed or hysically damaged:

$he bank robbers were anxious not to harm anyone# .ithout doubt the burning of fossil fuels harms the environment in which we live

harm 5noun6 .e have a number of expressions with the noun harm which are confusingly similar: will come to no harm it will do no harm toK there's no harm inK no harm done: .ill my dog be all right with you! : ,e1ll be fine# ,e1ll come to no harm in my garden# "t will do % can do no harm to remind him to take the medication before he goes to bed# 3he might not agree but there's no harm in asking her to postpone the meeting# "1m sorry to crash into you like that( Are you all right! : "1m fine# 8o harm doneS

harmful 2 harmless 5adjs6 ,armful and harmless describe something that has or does not have a bad effect on something else: ,e looks /uite ferocious and barks /uite loudly but he1s /uite harmless# $he harmful effects of smoking on people1s health is well5documented#