Welcome to About Words, a blog from Cambridge Dictionaries Online. We publish posts discussing different features of the English language, as well as dictionary entries for words and phrases that are new to English or that have new meanings. We hope you enjoy the blog, and that you’ll post your own comments and vote on the new words. Keep checking back here over the weeks for a fascinating range of posts.

15 thoughts on “Welcome!

  1. ratóncolorao

    Hello whoever is there,

    To see the difference between these two words is dead easy. Let’s start:

    “There” is the opposite of “Here”:

    “I am here, you are there”

    “Their” is a possessive adjective, which refers to the 3rd plural person:

    “All their notebooks are clean and tidy”

    Of course, “there” may be used in other constructions such as: there are / there is.
    But that should be a different topic.

    I hope my explanation will help you.

  2. Ngoc

    I find Cambridge Dictionary Online is a very useful tool to look up for new English words 😛 more explainable and crystal clear in the meaning for me. Thanks a lot for the work 🙂

  3. MD

    I need correct spelling of a word that is commonly used to describe reuse of water in flow through facilities. I am copy pasting text that includes the term below.

    Some of the effluent from the production raceways is pumped to a third aeration tower and recirculated with aerated well water for reuse in the production raceways. This reused water is referred to as recirculation water. Mixture of recirculated water and well water is controlled with valves at the head boxes.


  4. Why does the Cambridge on line dictionary persist in using American English spelling -ize, for words ending in -ise?
    For example “recognize” instead of “recognise”
    According to a booklet “Cambridge Books for Cambridge Exams; Common mistakes at Proficiency”. On page 27 it states “In British examinations, American spellings will be marked as incorrect”
    The Cambridge on line dictionary for Advanced English is misleading to people studying for CAE or CPE in the UK

    1. While the -ise ending is not permitted in US English and more prevalent in UK English, the -ize ending is permitted in UK English, and in fact was the more common spelling until fairly recently, only coming into prominence in the last 100 years, due to influence from French (so the idea that the -ize ending is an American ‘corruption’ is quite incorrect):


      Our policy is to show the spelling which is permitted in both varieties if there is one, then to show any variants unique to one variety or the other – so the ‘-ize’ spelling is given prominence in the dictionary. I can state with confidence that using an -ize spelling in a Cambridge exam will not be marked as incorrect – unless it is for a word like ‘compromise’ which does not take the -ize ending in either variety.

    2. Paul Guest

      I would like to add to above comments.
      PLEASE STOP using the American keyboard. As a company whose articles (and may I add, excellent) are “supposed to be” English – or not? It makes it very difficult to use these in class. (Kate Woodford – thanks). Firstly I have to change to text from American to English because my English spell checker doesn’t like American spelling and highlights these words. Then my own formatting to set up the article the way I want it.
      Changing the keyboard over to English is easy – go to Control Panel / Regional and Language options. Here you can change over to English UK 🙂 and delete the American keyboard if you want to.

      1. Hi Paul, I don’t think our authors have keyboards set to American, and in general they write in British English. Are there any particular words or constructions that you’re referring to that are a problem?

      2. Paul Guest

        “If you copy and paste this: http://dictionaryblog.cambridge.org/2015/08/26/do-you-have-what-it-takes-everyday-idioms-in-newspapers/#more-4838 you will see at the bottom that is says “English US”. This means that the text has been written on an American keyboard. The following punctuation “idioms – in other words” from the first paragraph gives a dash that is twice as long as an English dash and ….. is American punctuation.
        Your punctuation in the email is also American, as shown in the text “supposed to be” English – or not?
        Note that in my email the dash was English and your keyboard has changed it into a long American.
        I look forward to your comments.”

  5. Tamana

    well I’m not replying to anyone, just wanted to suggest something really good to CDO!

    I just wanna suggest you to please highlight the letter that is silent in a word so foreign speakers like me don’t pronounce it wrong.

    Listening to it is not enough


    1. Hi Charles,

      There was a similar question on this page: http://dictionaryblog.cambridge.org/about-new-words/

      Our response there was: you would need to get it used regularly in contemporary English before we would consider adding it to the dictionaries. Suggesting it to friends is a start, but to really get it out there you need to start using it on the internet – in social media, forums etc. If you can get it in such a format that it goes viral (such as a humorous cartoon that people will want to share with friends), it is possible for it to catch on very quickly.

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