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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Playing up, showing off or letting someone down: phrasal verbs for bad behaviour (1)

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by Liz Walter

It struck me recently that there are rather a lot of phrasal verbs connected with people behaving badly so I thought this might be a useful topic. In fact, there are so many of them that there will be two posts: this one on children’s behaviour and general bad behaviour and one on more serious wrongdoing such as violence, bullying and dishonesty.

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From darkness into the light: metaphors of darkness and light

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by Liz Walter

‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.’

‘In the midst of darkness, light persists.’

These quotes, from Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, perfectly demonstrate the way darkness and light are used as metaphors in English (and many other languages), with darkness suggesting ignorance, evil and unhappiness and light signifying knowledge, purity and happiness. There are many common phrases that exemplify this, and this post will look at some of the most common ones.

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Dips, slumps, growth and peaks: talking about data (2)

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by Liz Walter

Last month, I spoke about general words connected with data. This post covers ways of talking about what we can see from data, particularly when numbers increase, decrease or remain the same. For anyone doing IELTS, this should be useful vocabulary to learn!

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Gathering, compiling and analyzing: talking about data (1)

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by Liz Walter

Has there ever been a time when we’ve been so dependent on data? All over the world, people are anxiously looking at graphs and charts tracking the progress of Covid-19. In this, the first of two posts, I look at the language associated with the word data itself. My next post will cover words and phrases used to describe what the data shows. While this language is particularly relevant at the moment, I hope you will find it generally useful too.

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No smoke without fire: proverbs in English (3)

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by Liz Walter

I have recently written two posts about proverbs, but there are so many more incredibly useful and common ones, I decided to write one more! It is difficult to choose from a long list of lovely, colourful phrases, but I believe that every reasonably advanced learner of English needs to know the ones that follow.

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