Outsets and onsets! (Words meaning ‘start’)

by Kate Woodford One of several things that we like to do on this blog is look at the many different ways that we express the same thing in English. This week we’re focusing on nouns and phrases that we use to refer to the start of things.

It’s kicking off! (Phrasal verbs for starting things)

by Kate Woodford This week we’re looking at the many phrasal verbs that are used to refer to things starting. Let’s begin with the verb ‘start’ itself as it has a number of phrasal verbs. If you start off a meeting, you begin it by doing something: I’d like to start off the meeting with a …

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Hitting it off and befriending people (Words for making friends)

by Kate Woodford In these troubled times, I thought you might enjoy a post with a positive subject matter so today I’ll be looking at words and phrases around the subject of making friends and being friendly. You’ll notice there are several phrasal verbs in the post. Starting with a phrasal verb, if you begin a …

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Weighed down or perking up? Phrasal verbs to express emotions, part 1

by Liz Walter Phrasal verbs are a very important part of English (even if students hate them!) and I have written several posts explaining useful ones. I realised recently that there is a surprisingly large number of phrasal verbs and prepositional verbs relating to emotions. Today I am going to concentrate on happiness and sadness. …

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Triumphs and success stories (The language of success, Part 1)

by Kate Woodford We like positive posts on the About words blog, so this week we’re looking at language connected with success. As there are so many useful words and phrases in this area this post, focusing mainly on nouns, is the first of three. As ever, we’ll look at the most frequent and useful words …

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Divulging and disclosing (The language of giving information)

by Kate Woodford We tell each other things all the time, whether it’s our news, some important information or just interesting facts. This week we’re focusing on the language that we use to describe giving information. Starting with a really useful phrasal verb, if you pass on a message or a piece of news that someone …

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Setting up and mapping out – the language of planning part 1

by Kate Woodford January and February seem like the right months of the year for a post on the language of planning. Since there’s so much useful vocabulary in this area, this will be a two-part blog post. Starting with near-synonyms for ‘arrange’, a handy phrasal verb is set up. To set up a meeting or …

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Working flat out and flagging: describing how we work

by Kate Woodford How was your day at work or college? Was it useful (=giving positive results)? Did you get a lot done? Perhaps you had a lot of work to do but, for some reason, found it hard to get down to it (=start working with effort). Some days, we work effectively, finding it easy to …

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Flaring up and bouncing back: phrasal verbs relating to illness

by Kate Woodford A recent blog that we published on phrasal verbs meaning ‘argue’ was very popular, reminding us to keep providing you with useful sets of these important items! This week, then, we’re looking at phrasal verbs and prepositional verbs connected with illness and recovery.

Getting the hang of it (Words and phrases for getting used to things)

by Kate Woodford Getting used to things is a part of life. We all deal with situations, tasks or tools that are new to us. At first, they may seem difficult or strange. With time or practice, they become familiar and normal.  In this blog, we look at the language for expressing this idea. Starting with …

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