close-up of a determined young man in a racing helmet

A class act and nerves of steel: talking about people you like and admire (2)

close-up of a determined young man in a racing helmet
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by Liz Walter

My last post looked at some general qualities of people we like, such as being pleasant and kind. Today’s post is about some more specific admirable qualities. Continue reading “A class act and nerves of steel: talking about people you like and admire (2)”

two older men laughing together in a park

Laid-back, likeable and jovial : talking about people you like and admire (1)

two older men laughing together in a park
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by Liz Walter

After three posts on criticizing people’s character flaws, it’s definitely time to balance that with some vocabulary for praising those we admire! Continue reading “Laid-back, likeable and jovial : talking about people you like and admire (1)”

portrait of an old man frowning angrily

Prickly, abrasive and churlish: talking about people you don’t like (3)

portrait of an old man frowning angrily
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by Liz Walter

This is the final post in a short series about words for people we don’t like. This post will concentrate on describing people who are bad-tempered, rude, or cruel. Continue reading “Prickly, abrasive and churlish: talking about people you don’t like (3)”

Two adorable border collie puppies sit in front of a veterinarian as one playfully growls at the other causing the other puppy to look scared.

Lily-livered or hard as nails: talking about people you don’t like (2)

Two adorable border collie puppies sit in front of a veterinarian as one playfully growls at the other causing the other puppy to look scared.
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by Liz Walter

My last post contained general insulting words and phrases. You can find words and phrases for people who are stupid, untrustworthy, boring or stubborn in previous posts by me and my colleague Kate Woodford, so today’s post looks at ways of describing some other character flaws. Continue reading “Lily-livered or hard as nails: talking about people you don’t like (2)”

girl reciting poetry from a book

Rhyme, rhythm and verse: talking about poetry

girl reciting poetry from a book
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by Liz Walter

March 21st is World Poetry Day and today’s post looks at language we use to talk about this extraordinary form of writing. Continue reading “Rhyme, rhythm and verse: talking about poetry”

One blue and one red wooden figurine leaning into each other under speech bubbles on white surface, purple background

She’s a piece of work: talking about people you don’t like (1)

One blue and one red wooden figurine leaning into each other under speech bubbles on white surface, purple background
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by Liz Walter

Looking at tweets about a UK politician recently, I was struck by how many colourful terms we have for insulting people, so I thought that would be a good topic for my next couple of posts! Continue reading “She’s a piece of work: talking about people you don’t like (1)”

a young woman solving equations on a glass screen in a laboratory

Genes, molecules and momentum: talking about science

a young woman solving equations on a glass screen in a laboratory
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by Liz Walter

11 February is the UN’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science, and, as a small contribution to this important topic, today’s post is all about science words. Of course, this is a vast field, but I have picked out a few key terms from the areas of biology, chemistry and physics, which I hope will be useful. Continue reading “Genes, molecules and momentum: talking about science”

wooden fence with a sign reading 'Private Property: No Entry'

Unless you leave now… : Using conditionals (2)

wooden fence with a sign reading 'Private Property: No Entry'
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by Liz Walter

My last post looked at the basic building blocks of first, second and third conditionals. This post gives a little bit more detail about common variations we can use. Continue reading “Unless you leave now… : Using conditionals (2)”

man lifting his hands up and smiling as money falls around him

If I had a million dollars: Using conditionals (1)

man lifting his hands up and smiling as money falls around him
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by Liz Walter

We use conditional sentences to talk about what will, might or could happen in various circumstances. There are three main conditionals which we call first, second and third. This post is intended as a brief reminder of how we choose which conditionals to use, and how we form them. Continue reading “If I had a million dollars: Using conditionals (1)”

a child dressed as a detective using a magnifying glass to examine footprints

Conclusive or anecdotal? Talking about evidence and proof.

a child dressed as a detective using a magnifying glass to examine footprints
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by Liz Walter

The English philosopher George Henry Lewes said ‘We must not assume that which is incapable of proof.’ Certainly, proof and evidence have an important role in many areas of our lives, so it is not surprising that there is a lot of vocabulary related to these concepts. Continue reading “Conclusive or anecdotal? Talking about evidence and proof.”