two women talking and smiling as they sit together on a porch

Passing the time of day and talking shop: talking about conversations

two women talking and smiling as they sit together on a porch
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by Liz Walter

Talking is one of the most basic things we do. Back in 2019, I wrote a post about collocations connected with communication. This post looks at words that describe various types of conversation. Continue reading “Passing the time of day and talking shop: talking about conversations”

illustration of brightly-coloured hands reaching towards a globe

Stepping up efforts and phasing out coal: words connected with climate change.

illustration of brightly-coloured hands reaching towards a globe
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by Liz Walter

As people from all over the world gather in Glasgow, Scotland for the COP26 climate change summit, I thought it would be nice to look at language connected with this topic. Back in 2019, I wrote a post about collocations connected with climate change. For today’s post, I have looked at the official COP26 website and picked out a selection of words and phrases that are relevant to the conference but which are also useful in a broad range of situations. Continue reading “Stepping up efforts and phasing out coal: words connected with climate change.”

an artist's impression of red blood cells in a blood vessel

Blood, sweat and tears: phrases with ‘blood’

an artist's impression of red blood cells in a blood vessel
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by Liz Walter

We might not like the thought of blood, but there are lots of useful phrases that contain this word! Continue reading “Blood, sweat and tears: phrases with ‘blood’”

The day before yesterday: using time expressions

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by Liz Walter

We all need to talk about when things happened or when things will happen. There are lots of ways of doing this and learners often make mistakes with some of the most basic ones. Continue reading “The day before yesterday: using time expressions”

I wouldn’t trust them an inch: talking about people you don’t trust

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by Liz Walter

In my last post, I presented some words and phrases to describe people who are loyal and who you can trust. Today’s post deals with the opposite. Continue reading “I wouldn’t trust them an inch: talking about people you don’t trust”

As good as your word: Talking about trust and loyalty

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by Liz Walter

This post looks at words and phrases connected with the question of trust. I’ll start with ways of talking about people you are certain will keep their promises. You can depend on, rely on or count on them to do what they say they will do:

I know I can depend on Patrick to keep the business running while I’m away.

If you stand for election, you can count on me to support you! Continue reading “As good as your word: Talking about trust and loyalty”

Delusions of grandeur: talking about people with a high opinion of themselves

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by Liz Walter

My last post talked about words for describing levels of confidence.  This post looks specifically at some of the colourful derogatory phrases to describe people who are over-confident or have a very high opinion of themselves. Continue reading “Delusions of grandeur: talking about people with a high opinion of themselves”

Poised, humble, or cocky? Describing levels of confidence.

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by Liz Walter

Self-confidence, the belief that you can do things well and that other people respect you, is an important feature of a happy and successful life. However, it is noticeable that most of us dislike arrogant people (people who have too much self-confidence) and much prefer modest behaviour, when people don’t boast about their own achievements or abilities. Continue reading “Poised, humble, or cocky? Describing levels of confidence.”

Worth its weight in gold: phrases with ‘gold’

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by Liz Walter

Of all the elements in the periodic table, gold is the one that humans seem to love the most for its colour, its rarity and its physical properties (it is ideal for making coins). It’s not surprising, therefore that gold is a common metaphor for people or things of high quality. Today we will look at some phrases associated with this idea. Continue reading “Worth its weight in gold: phrases with ‘gold’”

The icing/frosting on the cake: differences between British and American idioms

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by Liz Walter

Differences between US and UK English are particularly pronounced in informal and idiomatic language. There are lots of idioms that are used in one variety but not the other, for example go pear-shaped (to fail or go wrong) is used in British but not American English and strike pay dirt (discover something valuable) is American but not British. Continue reading “The icing/frosting on the cake: differences between British and American idioms”