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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What’s the origin of the word ‘blackleg’?

February 9, 2013

When trade unions call for strikes, they expect all of their members to refrain from work. That is the norm. However, sometimes some members of the trade union go against the wishes of their leaders and go to work. These people will go to offices and factories while they fellow workers protest in the streets. […]

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Practice, practise, advice, advise etc.

January 8, 2013

These words are often confused. Those forms that end in ce or cy are nouns. The other forms that end in se or sy are verbs. That means ‘advice’ is a noun, whereas ‘advise’ is a verb. In the same way, prophecy is a noun, whereas prophesy is a verb. Examples He gave me some […]

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Phrasal verbs with break

October 20, 2012

Break is used in a number of common phrasal verbs. Here is a list of them. Each phrasal verb is followed by its definition. Example sentences are also given. Break away – become separate; (of members of a group) escape; run away Break down – a) fail to work; prove to be useless; b) become […]

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Prepositions after particular words and expressions

October 15, 2012

Bad at He is not bad at badminton. Believe When believe means accept as true it is used without a preposition. I won’t believe a word you say. Believe in Do you believe in ghosts? Belong in / on (= have its place in / on) Those books belong on the top shelf. Belong to […]

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Rather as an adverb of degree

October 1, 2012

Rather can be used as an adverb of degree. This use of rather is common in British English. As an adverb of degree, rather has a similar meaning to ‘quite’ or ‘fairly’. However, it is more emphatic. In American English, rather is not normally used as an adverb of degree. With adjectives and adverbs When […]

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