woman sitting in a library reading a book and writing notes

Learning by heart and cramming (Learning words)

woman sitting in a library reading a book and writing notes
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by Kate Woodford

Each year in January, the Education World Forum brings together delegates from all over the world to discuss the future of education. To mark this important annual event, we thought we’d take a look at some useful words related to learning. Continue reading “Learning by heart and cramming (Learning words)”

two girls in martial arts clothing holding a trophy and cheering

Going from strength to strength (The language of success, Part 3)

two girls in martial arts clothing holding a trophy and cheering
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by Kate Woodford

In previous posts in this thread, we looked at nouns, verbs and phrasal verbs meaning ‘success’ and ‘succeed’. In this post, we focus on idioms in this area. Continue reading “Going from strength to strength (The language of success, Part 3)”

smiling young woman showing A+ test results to the camera

Smashing it and scraping through (The language of success, Part 2)

smiling young woman showing A+ test results to the camera
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by Kate Woodford

In the first of our ‘success’ posts, we looked mainly at nouns in this area (Triumphs and success stories). Today, we’re focusing on verbs and phrasal verbs that mean ‘succeed’ and, as ever, looking at the important differences in meaning between them. Continue reading “Smashing it and scraping through (The language of success, Part 2)”

a man wearing a tuxedo and holding a trophy, with stage lights in background

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

a man wearing a tuxedo and holding a trophy, with stage lights in background
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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 and phrases. Continue reading “Triumphs and success stories (The language of success, Part 1)”

Close-up of the words 'The End' typed on an old-fashioned typewriter

Conclusions and last hurrahs (Words and phrases meaning ‘end’)

Close-up of the words 'The End' typed on an old-fashioned typewriter
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by Kate Woodford

In a recent post, we focused on different ways of talking about the start of things. We looked at phrases such as ‘from the get-go’ and considered more formal words for ‘start’ such as ‘genesis’ and ‘advent’. As the saying goes, ‘all good things must come to an end’ and this week, we’re looking at the opposite – words and phrases for the end of things. Continue reading “Conclusions and last hurrahs (Words and phrases meaning ‘end’)”

finger pressing a button labelled 'start'

Outsets and onsets! (Words meaning ‘start’)

finger pressing a button labelled 'start'
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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. Continue reading “Outsets and onsets! (Words meaning ‘start’)”

The canopy of a banyan tree seen from below, with the sun shining through the leaves.

Root and branch (Idioms with nature words, Part 3)

The canopy of a banyan tree seen from below, with the sun shining through the leaves.
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by Kate Woodford

Today, in the third and final post of our nature idioms series, we look at idioms that feature the words tree, bush and hedge and also words for parts of these things, such as root and branch. Continue reading “Root and branch (Idioms with nature words, Part 3)”

girl reading a book lying on the grass

Gratitude and me-time (words around staying positive)

Close Up Of Handwritten Gratitude Text With Notebook, Pen, Cup Of Tea, Flowers And Oil Burner
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by Kate Woodford

Today we’re looking at language around being positive and relaxed, and the things we do in order to stay that way. Continue reading “Gratitude and me-time (words around staying positive)”

Green shoots and fertile ground (Idioms with nature words, part 2)

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by Kate Woodford

Part 1 of this ‘nature idioms’ post looked at flower idioms. Today, we’re lowering our gaze to the ground and looking at idioms that feature mud and grass. We’ll start, appropriately enough, with phrases that include the word ‘seed’, (= the tiny thing from which a plant grows). Continue reading “Green shoots and fertile ground (Idioms with nature words, part 2)”

Shrinking violets and tall poppies (Idioms with nature words, part 1)

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by Kate Woodford

Like many people, I spent a good deal of 2020 out in nature, walking my dog along the local stream and through the woods. Surrounded by trees, hedges, and flowers, I started to think about all the nature idioms and phrases that we use. This week, we’re looking specifically at flower-related idioms. (By the way, if anyone wants to identify the flowers in these idioms, there are pretty photos at most of our dictionary entries for them.) Continue reading “Shrinking violets and tall poppies (Idioms with nature words, part 1)”