Idiomatic expressions with of

April 4, 2014

ESL students spend a lot of time memorizing prepositions and the words they go with. These expressions are purely idiomatic. That means there is no way we can explain why a particular word takes a particular preposition. For example, we use the preposition ‘on’ with ‘dependent’ and ‘of’ with ‘independent’. He is dependent on his […]

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Five foreign expressions you should know

February 9, 2014

Foreign expressions have become an integral part of the English language. While you don’t necessarily have to be familiar with all the foreign words in English, you should know the most common ones. Many of these expressions are commonly used in newspaper headlines. If you are not familiar with them, you will not be able […]

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Get and become

January 15, 2014

The word get and become are sometimes interchangeable. However, get has several different meanings. Become, on the other hand, is mainly used to talk about a development of some kind. Get is one of the commonest words in English. It is mainly used in informal English. Some people even believe that get should not be […]

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Confusing words exercise: mind, care, matter

November 21, 2013

The words care, mind and matter are often confused. See if you can use them correctly with this grammar exercise. 1. She looked as if she didn’t have a …………………… in the world. a) mind b) care 2. I don’t ……………………. what happens. a) care b) matter 3. Would you ………………….. my coming in late? […]

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Afraid, frightened and scared

October 31, 2013

These words are often confused. Although the words afraid, scared and frightened have similar meanings, the grammar is not the same. These are all adjectives and express nearly the same degree of fear. In many cases, they are interchangeable. Frightened is mainly used to talk about a sudden fear. Many children are afraid of / […]

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Vocabulary exercise

October 23, 2013

From the given list of words select the word closest in meaning to the underlined word. 1. There was one problem, though: the negotiations were all a charade. a) Series b) Charter c) Absurd pretense d) Spate 2. Her social activities are circumscribed by her work commitments. a) Limited b) Entangled c) Destroyed d) Eroded […]

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The words refuse, reject, decline and deny

October 15, 2013

The words deny, reject, refuse and decline are often confused. Of these, the words reject, refuse and decline have very similar meanings. Interestingly, the word accept can be the opposite of all of them. Deny has a different meaning. The opposite of deny is admit. To deny is to say that something is not true. […]

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Collocations with heavy

October 11, 2013

Collocations are word groups that sound natural to a native English speaker. Of course, ESL students often find it difficult to understand which adjectives best collocate with which nouns and which adverbs best collocate with which verbs. For example, we say heavy rains, but we don’t say strong rains. In order to learn collocations students […]

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Words confused

May 24, 2013

Complete the following sentences using appropriate words. 1. The robber …………………………. a pistol and threatened the passengers. a) waved                b) waived 2. If your style of writing is too ………………………….., you will have few readers. q) verbal              b) verbose 3. I went to buy some good …………………………….. for the office. a) stationary       b) stationery […]

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Easily confused words

April 15, 2013

The words breath, breathe, aid, aide etc. are often confused by English learners. In this lesson we will take a look at some of these easily confused words. Breath and breathe Breath is a noun. It rhymes with death. Breath denotes the air inhaled or exhaled during the process of breathing. Breath is a countable […]

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