Going forward, sooner or later (Expressions to talk about the future)

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by Kate Woodford

This post takes a look at a group of phrases that we use when we talk about the future.

Some of the phrases that we use when we talk about our future plans and ideas simply mean ‘at some time in the future’, (without mentioning a particular time), for example at some point: At some point, we’ll look into buying a new laptop. Continue reading “Going forward, sooner or later (Expressions to talk about the future)”

Stir-crazy and climbing the walls (Life during lockdown)

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by Kate Woodford

As COVID-19 continues to force so much of the world’s population into lockdown (= a situation in which you are ordered to stay at home), I thought it might be interesting to look at the language that we use to describe what we are now doing with our days. 

Continue reading “Stir-crazy and climbing the walls (Life during lockdown)”

Learning from home with Dictionary +Plus

by Kate Woodford

Many of you are still confined to your homes as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Studying or working on your own can be tough. We at Cambridge Dictionary are also working remotely and we feel your pain!

Without the presence of teachers and classmates, it’s sometimes hard to get motivated. One useful strategy is to set yourself an achievable daily or weekly objective, for example, ‘I’m going to learn ten adjectives that describe food.’ Another approach is to persuade yourself that you’re not actually studying, but having fun. With Cambridge Dictionary +Plus, you can do both of these at the same time! Continue reading “Learning from home with Dictionary +Plus”

Off-colour and on the mend (Talking about health)

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by Kate Woodford

On one thread of this blog, we look at the phrases that people use in daily conversation. This week, we’re focusing on expressions that people use to talk about health – both their own health and that of their family and friends. We won’t be looking at individual symptoms. These were covered by my colleague, Liz Walter, in her post My leg hurts: Talking about illness. Instead, we’ll consider the phrases that people use in conversation to talk more generally about health.

Continue reading “Off-colour and on the mend (Talking about health)”

Heads-ups and wake-up calls! (The language of warnings)

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by Kate Woodford

Today, we’re looking at words and phrases that are used to tell people about possible dangers or problems. Let’s start with immediate, physical danger. You might shout or say Look out!, Watch out! or (UK) Mind out! to warn someone that they are in danger: Look out! There’s a car coming! / Watch out! You nearly hit that bike! / Mind out! You nearly banged your head!

Continue reading “Heads-ups and wake-up calls! (The language of warnings)”

Making the best of it (dealing with life during the coronavirus pandemic)

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by Kate Woodford

All over the world, people are adjusting to a new way of living as a result of COVID-19. At the time of writing, around a third of the world is on lockdown, permitted to leave home only for such reasons as food and medicine shopping. Even those of us who are lucky enough to be well and virus-free may be finding the sudden changes to our lifestyles challenging. With this in mind, I thought we’d focus on words and phrases around the theme of dealing with difficult situations.

Continue reading “Making the best of it (dealing with life during the coronavirus pandemic)”

Vast, spotless and awesome (Extreme adjectives, Part 2)

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by Kate Woodford

Earlier this month, we published a post on extreme adjectives used to describe the weather and emotions. (Extreme adjectives are adjectives that we use when we want to really emphasize a particular quality.)  This week, we’re focusing on adjectives that emphasize a high degree of other qualities, for example, size and age.

Continue reading “Vast, spotless and awesome (Extreme adjectives, Part 2)”

Scorching, furious and delighted! (Extreme adjectives in English, Part 1)

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by Kate Woodford

Are your English adjectives sometimes not strong enough? Perhaps you’re eating something that is so good, the word ‘good’ just isn’t enough. In this case, you might want to describe the food as delicious or even (informal) scrumptious. As you’ll have guessed by now, this post looks at extreme adjectives – that is, adjectives that we use to emphasize a high degree of a particular quality.  Remember that we don’t usually put the adverb very before extreme adjectives. Instead, to add even more emphasis, we might use adverbs such as absolutely, totally and completely. Continue reading “Scorching, furious and delighted! (Extreme adjectives in English, Part 1)”

Beds of roses and sore thumbs (Newspaper idioms)

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by Kate Woodford

Readers of this blog often ask us for posts on English idioms. Understandably, they also tell us that it’s important that the idioms are used now. One way that we make sure we focus on up to date idioms is by looking at expressions used in current newspapers. The expressions in this week’s post are taken from a range of national newspapers that were published on February 5th, 2020. Continue reading “Beds of roses and sore thumbs (Newspaper idioms)”

Outlooks and forecasts (The language of predictions)

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by Kate Woodford

It’s February – still more or less the start of the year – and you may still be thinking about the months ahead and predicting what’s likely to happen. With this in mind, we’re looking today at the words and phrases that we use to say what we think will – or might – happen in the future. Continue reading “Outlooks and forecasts (The language of predictions)”