a smashed plate on a tiled floor, next to a child's bare feet

Clatter and thud (Sounds, Part 3)

a smashed plate on a tiled floor, next to a child's bare feet
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by Kate Woodford

This is the last of a three-part post on words that we use to describe sounds that we hear in our daily life. In previous posts, I’ve covered sounds heard in the city and those heard in the country. This week, I’m staying indoors and thinking about sounds that we hear inside our homes and other buildings. Continue reading “Clatter and thud (Sounds, Part 3)”

yellow leaves being blown from a tree on a windy day

Rustling leaves and the howling wind (Sounds, Part 2)

yellow leaves being blown from a tree on a windy day
Blair Fethers/GettyImages

by Kate Woodford

In my last ‘sounds’ post, I looked at noises often heard in a city, such as the ‘hum’ of traffic and sirens ‘wailing’. Today I’m focusing on some more pleasant sounds – those often heard outdoors. Continue reading “Rustling leaves and the howling wind (Sounds, Part 2)”

girl reciting poetry from a book

Rhyme, rhythm and verse: talking about poetry

girl reciting poetry from a book
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by Liz Walter

March 21st is World Poetry Day and today’s post looks at language we use to talk about this extraordinary form of writing. Continue reading “Rhyme, rhythm and verse: talking about poetry”

blurred photograph of cars and an ambulance driving through a busy city

The rumble of traffic and the wailing of sirens (Sounds, Part 1)

blurred photograph of cars and an ambulance driving through a busy city
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by Kate Woodford

Have you ever wanted to describe a sound that you heard but found you didn’t have quite the right word for it? Then read on, because this post (and Parts 2 and 3) will provide you with a range of specific words and phrases to refer to the sounds we hear in our daily life. We’ll start by looking at noises that we hear in an urban environment. As you might imagine, many relate to vehicles. Continue reading “The rumble of traffic and the wailing of sirens (Sounds, Part 1)”

One blue and one red wooden figurine leaning into each other under speech bubbles on white surface, purple background

She’s a piece of work: talking about people you don’t like (1)

One blue and one red wooden figurine leaning into each other under speech bubbles on white surface, purple background
PM Images/DigitalVision/GettyImages

by Liz Walter

Looking at tweets about a UK politician recently, I was struck by how many colourful terms we have for insulting people, so I thought that would be a good topic for my next couple of posts! Continue reading “She’s a piece of work: talking about people you don’t like (1)”

a young woman solving equations on a glass screen in a laboratory

Genes, molecules and momentum: talking about science

a young woman solving equations on a glass screen in a laboratory
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by Liz Walter

11 February is the UN’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science, and, as a small contribution to this important topic, today’s post is all about science words. Of course, this is a vast field, but I have picked out a few key terms from the areas of biology, chemistry and physics, which I hope will be useful. Continue reading “Genes, molecules and momentum: talking about science”

a man wearing a tuxedo and holding a trophy, with stage lights in background

Triumphs and success stories (The language of success, Part 1)

a man wearing a tuxedo and holding a trophy, with stage lights in background
Hill Street Studios/DigitalVision/GettyImages

by Kate Woodford

We like positive posts on the About words blog, so this week we’re looking at language connected with success. As there are so many useful words and phrases in this area this post, focusing mainly on nouns, is the first of three. As ever, we’ll look at the most frequent and useful words and phrases. Continue reading “Triumphs and success stories (The language of success, Part 1)”

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”

girl reading a book lying on the grass

Gratitude and me-time (words around staying positive)

Close Up Of Handwritten Gratitude Text With Notebook, Pen, Cup Of Tea, Flowers And Oil Burner
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by Kate Woodford

Today we’re looking at language around being positive and relaxed, and the things we do in order to stay that way. Continue reading “Gratitude and me-time (words around staying positive)”

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”