This week we’re looking at the words we use to describe buildings and rooms. Since there are lots of useful words, the post will be in two parts. Continue reading “Palatial or cramped? (Words to describe buildings and rooms, part 1)”
How would you describe your mood day? Are you feeling pretty chilled (= relaxed and not worried about anything)? Perhaps you’re slightly on edge (= anxious about something and not able to relax)? Our moods change all the time, sometimes for no obvious reason. With this post, I aim to provide you with some nice adjectives and phrases for describing the way we feel. Continue reading “In high spirits or down in the dumps? (The language of moods)”
by Liz Walter
In my last post, I looked at general language for home improvements. This post will focus on one specific area: decorating. As you will see, there are lots of nice collocations associated with this topic. Continue reading “A new coat of paint: the language of decorating”
by Liz Walter
Apparently, a lot of people who are either in lockdown or working from home because of the pandemic are using their extra time to do jobs in the home, so this post offers some words and phrases to talk about these tasks.
It may not surprise you to hear that the weather features in a lot of English idioms. In many of these, the weather words are used metaphorically, in a way that makes the meaning quite obvious. For example, a storm often features in idioms as something negative, referring to a period of trouble, and a cloud is something that spoils a situation. This post will focus on idioms related to storms, of which there are many! Continue reading “‘Cooking up a storm’ and ‘faces like thunder’ (Idioms with weather words, Part 1)”
by Liz Walter
With many people around the world in some form of lockdown and almost everyone affected by the pandemic in some way, I thought it might be useful to offer some language suitable for talking about living in a climate of uncertainty (a general situation of not knowing what is going to happen). Continue reading “I feel like my life’s on hold: Language for describing uncertain times.”
In these troubled times, I thought you might enjoy a post with a positive subject matter so today I’ll be looking at words and phrases around the subject of making friends and being friendly. You’ll notice there are several phrasal verbs in the post.
Starting with a phrasal verb, if you begin a friendship with someone, you can say that you strike up a friendship:
He’d struck up a friendship with an older guy on his course.
If you are friendly towards a stranger, often in order to help them, you might say you befriend them:
Luckily, I was befriended by an elderly man who showed me where to get a cup of coffee.
If two people like each other and get on well as soon as they meet, you can say, informally, that they hit it off:
We met at Lucy’s party and hit it off immediately.
I didn’t really hit it off with his mother.
The verb click has a similar meaning, with the additional suggestion that the people understand each other and think in a similar way:
We met at a work party and clicked right away.
If two people develop a friendly or loving connection with each other, you can say they bond:
She didn’t really bond with the other team members.
If people become friends because of a shared interest, you might say they bond over that thing:
We bonded over our love of birds and vegan cake.
Someone who makes an effort to be friends with a person or group, often because it will give them an advantage, may be said to get in with them:
She tried to get in with the cool kids at school.
Something, (often a bad thing), that causes people to become friends may be said to bring them together:
As so often happens, the disaster brought the whole community together.
Of course, relationships may end as well as start. If two people stop being friends after an argument, you can say, informally, that they fall out:
Unfortunately, the sisters fell out over money.
If a friendship between two people gradually ends over time, you might say the people drift apart:
You know how it goes – our lives took different directions and we just drifted apart.
If someone suddenly ends a friendship with someone, you can use the slightly informal verb drop:
I don’t know what I did to offend her, but she just dropped me.
Finally, to end on a more cheerful note, if you start to be friends with someone that you used to know well in the past, you may be said to rekindle the friendship:
I was glad of the opportunity to rekindle an old friendship.
by Liz Walter
My last post introduced the topic of adding words to uncountable nouns so that they can be used in a countable way. In that post, I concentrated on food words. Today, we will look at some other topics. Continue reading “An article of clothing and a ray of sunshine: making uncountable nouns countable (2)”
Readers of this blog often ask us for conversational English. They want to learn phrases for chatting informally with friends and colleagues. To help with this, some of our blog posts focus on the sort of conversations that we all have during the course of a day or a week. In this post, we’re looking at what you can say on a Monday when someone asks ‘How was your weekend?’ Continue reading “Did you have a nice weekend? (Chatting about the weekend)”
by Liz Walter
Many of us will have given and received gifts over the holiday period. This post looks at some of the language around this custom.