Going forward, sooner or later (Expressions to talk about the future)

Tomas Rodriguez/Stone/Getty Images

by Kate Woodford

This post takes a look at a group of phrases that we use when we talk about the future.

Some of the phrases that we use when we talk about our future plans and ideas simply mean ‘at some time in the future’, (without mentioning a particular time), for example at some point: At some point, we’ll look into buying a new laptop. Continue reading “Going forward, sooner or later (Expressions to talk about the future)”

Learning from home with Dictionary +Plus

by Kate Woodford

Many of you are still confined to your homes as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Studying or working on your own can be tough. We at Cambridge Dictionary are also working remotely and we feel your pain!

Without the presence of teachers and classmates, it’s sometimes hard to get motivated. One useful strategy is to set yourself an achievable daily or weekly objective, for example, ‘I’m going to learn ten adjectives that describe food.’ Another approach is to persuade yourself that you’re not actually studying, but having fun. With Cambridge Dictionary +Plus, you can do both of these at the same time! Continue reading “Learning from home with Dictionary +Plus”

No smoke without fire: proverbs in English (3)

mrPliskin/E+/Getty Images

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.

Continue reading “No smoke without fire: proverbs in English (3)”

Same old same old: talking about things that don’t change

Art Wolfe/Mint Images RF/Getty Images

by Liz Walter

Whilst writing about proverbs (see previous posts), I came across the phrase ‘A leopard doesn’t change its spots’, which means that a bad person never changes their character. That set me thinking about other ways of talking about people or things that don’t change.

Continue reading “Same old same old: talking about things that don’t change”

Don’t count your chickens: proverbs in English (2)

Stephen Simpson/DigitalVision/Getty Images

by Liz Walter

In my last post, I introduced a few proverbs that are common in English, especially in conversations. In this one, I am going to look at some common uses of proverbs: to give warnings, to criticize, and to comfort people. I mentioned last month that some proverbs are so well-known that we often use only the first part. Where this is the case, I will show the part that can be omitted in brackets.

Continue reading “Don’t count your chickens: proverbs in English (2)”

Scorching, furious and delighted! (Extreme adjectives in English, Part 1)

westend61/Getty Images

by Kate Woodford

Are your English adjectives sometimes not strong enough? Perhaps you’re eating something that is so good, the word ‘good’ just isn’t enough. In this case, you might want to describe the food as delicious or even (informal) scrumptious. As you’ll have guessed by now, this post looks at extreme adjectives – that is, adjectives that we use to emphasize a high degree of a particular quality.  Remember that we don’t usually put the adverb very before extreme adjectives. Instead, to add even more emphasis, we might use adverbs such as absolutely, totally and completely. Continue reading “Scorching, furious and delighted! (Extreme adjectives in English, Part 1)”

Beds of roses and sore thumbs (Newspaper idioms)

Chevanon Wonganuchitmetha/EyeEm/GettyImages

by Kate Woodford

Readers of this blog often ask us for posts on English idioms. Understandably, they also tell us that it’s important that the idioms are used now. One way that we make sure we focus on up to date idioms is by looking at expressions used in current newspapers. The expressions in this week’s post are taken from a range of national newspapers that were published on February 5th, 2020. Continue reading “Beds of roses and sore thumbs (Newspaper idioms)”

Outlooks and forecasts (The language of predictions)

pidjoe/E+/GettyImages

by Kate Woodford

It’s February – still more or less the start of the year – and you may still be thinking about the months ahead and predicting what’s likely to happen. With this in mind, we’re looking today at the words and phrases that we use to say what we think will – or might – happen in the future. Continue reading “Outlooks and forecasts (The language of predictions)”

Let down and look after: the difference between phrasal verbs and prepositional verbs

JAG IMAGES/DigitalVision/GettyImages

by Liz Walter

My colleague Kate Woodford and I have written many posts about phrasal verbs because students find them difficult but know they need to learn them. These posts often include prepositional verbs, and readers sometimes ask about this. Continue reading “Let down and look after: the difference between phrasal verbs and prepositional verbs”

Donating and allocating (Verbs that mean ‘give’)

vejaa/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

by Kate Woodford

This is the second part of a two-part blog post focusing on words meaning ‘give’. The first post looked at phrasal verbs with this meaning. Here, we look at single words in this area. Continue reading “Donating and allocating (Verbs that mean ‘give’)”