I can’t hear myself think: more interesting ways of saying ‘noisy’

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by Liz Walter

At the beginning of the month I wrote about words and phrases connected with being quiet. In this post, I’ll be looking at the opposite: how to talk about noise.

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You could hear a pin drop: more interesting ways of saying ‘quiet’

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by Liz Walter

Quiet is a word that English students learn early in their studies. Today we are going to look at some more specific and subtle ways of talking about quietness and silence.

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It makes my flesh crawl: idioms for Halloween

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by Liz Walter

The evening of October 31st usually sees hordes of children dressed up as ghosts, skeletons or other scary figures, excitedly collecting mountains of sweets on their ‘trick-or-treat’ expeditions. Covid-19 has paused many of these activities, but I hope you will still enjoy this post on spooky idioms! Continue reading “It makes my flesh crawl: idioms for Halloween”

Between you, me and the gatepost: idioms connected with secrets

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by Liz Walter

Everyone has secrets, and if someone confides their secret to you, that is a real sign of trust. Conversely, giving away someone’s secret is an act that can range from being a minor annoyance to a friendship-breaking betrayal. No wonder, then, that there are so many colourful and widely-used idioms and phrases that refer to this topic.

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Permanent, temporary, fulfilling and dead-end jobs: collocations for work (2)

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by Liz Walter

My last post looked at collocations for starting and leaving jobs. This one will look at collocations that describe the experience of having a job.

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Applying for a job or handing in your notice: collocations for work (1)

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by Liz Walter

One of our readers recently asked for a post on collocations relating to the world of work. Well, she’s lucky because she’s getting two of them! This first one focuses on starting and leaving jobs.

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It goes without saying: phrases with ‘say’

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by Liz Walter

I was writing some learning materials on the topic of communication the other day, when I noticed how many common phrases include the word ‘say’. This post looks at some of the most useful of them.

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Bringing in legislation and breaking rules: collocations connected with rules and regulations

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by Liz Walter

Many of us have had to live with unprecedented restrictions on our lives in recent months. Our freedom to travel and meet up with friends and family have been limited in ways we couldn’t have imagined possible just a few months ago. This post looks at the language of rules and regulations, and in particular their collocations (the words that associate with them).

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Beating up, ganging up on and putting someone down: phrasal verbs for bad behaviour (2)

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by Liz Walter

In an earlier post, I looked at phrasal verbs connected with children’s bad behaviour and with some general adult bad behaviour. In this post, I will cover phrasal verbs connected with bullying, violent and dishonest behaviour.

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Staying at home, going home or working from home: using the word ‘home’.

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by Liz Walter

Spending several weeks under (partial) lockdown has made me think more deeply about the concept of ‘home’. It’s a word that has a huge amount of implied meaning over and above its main literal meaning of ‘the place where you live’. It is also a very common word that can cause problems for learners because it acts in odd ways with regard to the use of prepositions.

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