100 English comparatives

  The comparative forms of adjectives and adverbs are used when you want to compare two things in order to show the difference between them. (We use superlatives when we’re comparing more than two things) For example: Book A is $20 and Book B is $10. Book A is more expensive than Book B. Book […]

Dream vocabulary

dream (noun) – things such as thoughts, images, or emotions that you experience in your mind while you are sleeping ♦ Last night I had a strange dream about a parrot called Claude.   dream (noun) a dream is something good that you want to happen very much I have a dream that my four […]

Jargon words and phrases

jargon (noun) British/UK English pronunciation: /ˈdʒɑː(r)ɡən/ American English pronunciation: /ˈdʒɑrɡən/ from Old French jargoun   The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology  (my favourite etymology guide) has these definitions for jargon: meaningless talk speech specific to a trade or profession twittering or chattering of birds debased or hybrid language It’s one or both of the first […]

100 English superlatives

  A superlative is the form of an adjective or adverb that’s used to show that someone or something has the extreme or unsurpassed level of a particular quality – more than anyone or anything else. We use superlatives when we’re comparing more than two items, people, and places etc. We use the comparative form […]

Beware of German-English false friends!

Today’s post is from Angelika Davey of Angelika’s German Tuition & Translation. Angelika teaches German and also offers proofreading, interpreting, and translations from German to English and from English to German. She talks to us here about those pesky German-English false friends, and lists some common examples. Over to Angelika 🙂 “As a German teacher […]

Improve your English: euphemisms

A euphemism is a mild, indirect or evasive expression that takes the place of one that is taboo, offensive, unpleasant or embarrassing: especially words relating to death, sexual activity, bodily functions, and violence. euphemistic – adjective euphemistically – adverb   Here are some common euphemisms: ♦ terminate – kill We must terminate him before he […]

What’s an oxymoron?

  An oxymoron (noun) is a figure of speech combining two seemingly contradictory, incompatible or opposite words. The plural of oxymoron is oxymora. Oxymorons is also used. Oxymora are very common in everyday English.   Examples: ♦ an open secret ♦ a deafening silence ♦ act naturally ♦ old news ♦ a small crowd ♦ friendly […]

A short guide to English contractions

  A contraction (or short form) is an abbreviated form of a word or words: one from which one or more letters have been left out. They’re very common in spoken English. For example, we usually pronounce words such as I am as I’m; it is as it’s; we are as we’re etc. Contractions are […]

Wow, what’s a palindrome?

A palindrome is a word, phrase, number, sentence, verse etc that reads the same backwards as it does forwards. Examples of palindromes: civic dad deed Dennis and Edna sinned eye Eve kayak level LOL noon Madam, I’m Adam mum Never odd, or even nun radar refer solos wow 1881 1991   November 2nd 2011 was […]