Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Mood = a characteristic state of feeling at a particular time, such as happiness, anger, etc.: ‘He is in a bad mood.’

Atmosphere = the general impression that a place gives you: ‘Their house always has a warm and friendly atmosphere.’

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Moment= (1) a particular point in time: ‘The moment he arrived the party began.’ (2) an indefinitely short time: ‘Wait just a moment.’

In a moment= very soon: ‘I have to go in a moment.’

At that moment= at that particular time: ‘Just at that moment the telephone rang.’

When you are telling a story or reporting what happened, use at that moment: ‘At that moment the car skidded on the ice and went off the road.’

At the moment= now; at the present time: ‘At the moment I’m working in a restaurant.’ ‘She is studying at the moment.’

The moment= (WITHOUT at) = as soon as: ‘He fell in love with Samantha the moment he set eyes on her.’

Monday, August 29, 2011


When telling the time, minutes must be used after all numbers except five, ten, twenty, and twenty-five.

Compare: ‘its twenty (minutes) past ten.’ (Minutes can be used)

‘It’s twenty-three minutes past ten.’ (Minutes must be used)

The college is a twenty-minute bus ride from my flat.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Middle age

Middle age = the period in a person’s life between youth and old age: ‘People who live this type of life are lucky if they reach middle age.’

Middle Ages = the period in European history from about 1100 to 1500 AD: ‘Life in the Middle Ages was very simple.’

The adjective is middle –aged (WITH -d): ‘They would prefer a middle-aged woman to a young girl for this post.’

Friday, August 26, 2011


Mention= (1) make reference to: ‘His name was mentioned in connection with the project.’ (2) speak of something sth (WITHOUT about): ‘I don’t suppose she mentioned her new address?’ ‘They mentioned how helpful you had been.’

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Mend (or repair) a roof, fence, watch, mobile, camera etc.: ‘Once you’ve mended the kettle, we can have a cup of tea.’

Repair = restore by replacing a part or putting together what is torn or broken: ‘How will you get to work while your car is being repaired?’

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Medium = neither large nor small, neither tall nor short, etc.: ‘The waiter was of medium height and walked with a slight limp.’

Average = calculated by adding a set of quantities together and then dividing this total by the number of quantities in the set: ‘The average score was about 6 out of 10.’ ‘Price of gas has increased on average about 1%.’

If someone’s level of skill or ability is neither high nor low, it is average: ‘His work has been above the average.’ ‘My ability in English is about average.’

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


To refer to something in the past that was possible but did not actually happen, use might have or could have (NOT may have): ‘If you had worked harder, you might have passed the exam.’
May be = Instead of using may be …will, use may + infinitive: ‘They may decide that our offer is too low, of course.’
May be is used mainly in informal styles: ‘May be you should see a doctor.’
Perhaps is used in all styles: ‘Perhaps he’s gone home already.’ ‘Perhaps there are other factors that need to be considered.’

Monday, August 22, 2011


Material = (1) concerned with worldly or physical needs rather than spiritual, moral, and intellectual interests: ‘In material terms, they are very well off, but spiritually they are deprived.’ (2) The tangible substance: ‘Coal is a hard black material.’ (3) things needed for doing or making something: ‘ I need more related materials for writing this book.’

Materialistic = a great or excessive regard for worldly concerns rather than spiritual or intellectual things or moral values: ‘Modern society is becoming increasingly materialistic.’

Saturday, August 20, 2011


The majority of (= more than half) is usually used in formal styles: ‘The majority of the government voted against the bill.’

In other styles most (= nearly all) usually sounds more natural: ‘Most people have never even heard of him.’

The majority + singular/plural verb: ‘The majority is/are in favor of abolishing the capital punishment.’

The majority of + plural count noun + plural verb: ‘The majority of voters are in favor of abolishing the capital punishment.’

Friday, August 19, 2011


Use made from when the original materials have been completely changed and cannot be recognized: ‘Bread is made from flour and water.’

Use made of when the original materials have not been completely changed and you can still see them: ‘Their dining table is made of solid oak.’

Use made by when you mention the name of the company or person that has made something (NOT the names of materials): ‘This new razor is made by Wilkinson Sword.’

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Love = (1) have a great affection or liking for (WITHOUT very much): ‘I’m sure that once you see Venice, you’ll love it.’ ‘I love Tennis.’ (2) derive or receive pleasure from; get enjoyment from; take pleasure in: ‘I love reading books.’ (3) an intense, tender, ineffable feeling of affection for somebody; a feeling of attachment toward a person or a sense of underlying oneness: ‘He loves his wife deeply.’

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


If you do not attend a class, meeting, activity, etc. you miss it: ‘If you don’t hurry up, you’ll miss your appointment.’ ‘I’d hate to miss one of John’s parties.’

Waste your/sb’s time = (cause someone to) spend an amount of time without doing anything useful: ‘I wish they’d stop asking me silly questions and wasting my time.’

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Lie = tell a lie (NOT say or speak): ‘I always know when he’s telling lies.’

Lie (lying, lied, lied) = tell something that is not true with an intention to deceive: ‘I wonder why he lied about his age?’

Lie (lying, lay, lain) down = be in or get into a horizontal position: ‘I lie down on the bed and fall asleep.’


Lie = tell a lie (NOT say or speak): ‘I always know when he’s telling lies.’

Lie (lying, lied, lied) = tell something that is not true with an intention to deceive: ‘I wonder why he lied about his age?’

Lie (lying, lay, lain) down = be in or get into a horizontal position: ‘I lie down on the bed and fall asleep.’

Saturday, August 13, 2011


At a particular level (NOT in) = having a particular degree of intensity, power, proficiency etc.: ‘Students at this level need individual tuition.’ ‘Talks are being held at the highest level.’ ‘The volume of the radio should be kept at a low level.’

Friday, August 12, 2011


Learn = (1) gain knowledge or skills: ‘How long have you been learning Italian?’ ‘Today we’ve been learning about the functions of the human brain.’ (2) get to know or become aware of: ‘In the museum I learned about Balinese culture.’ (3) learn by heart; memorize: ‘Have you learned your lines for the play?’

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Laughter = the activity of laughing; the expression of joy, amusement; the sound of laughing: ‘The audience roared with laughter.’

Laughter is an uncountable noun: ‘There was always a lot of laughter and joking when Harry came to dinner.’ ‘His laughter filled the whole apartment.’

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Large= (1) above average in size, number, quantity, magnitude, or extent: ‘This law is supported by a large part of the population.’

When you are talking about the distance from one side to the other, use wide and broad: ‘The road is not wide enough for two cars.’ ‘How did you get such broad shoulders?’

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Lady is used when you need to be polite, especially in formal styles: ‘Ladies and gentleman, may I have your attention please?’ ‘Please show these ladies the way to the clock room.’

The usual word is woman: ‘Isn’t that the woman who teaches at the International School?’

Monday, August 8, 2011


Lack sth (verb + object, WITHOUT in/of) with be lacking in sth and (a) the state of needing something that is absent or deficient: ‘He lacks the confidence to start his own business.’ ‘I think I’m suffering from a lack of sleep.’

Lack is mainly used with abstract nouns: ‘a lack of support/sympathy/freedom/sleep/energy’ Avoid using lack with concrete nouns: ‘We don’t have any envelopes.’ ‘We’re short of envelopes.’ ‘There aren’t enough envelopes.’

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Kind= (1) showing a tender, considerate, and helpful nature (used especially of persons and their behavior) (Be kind enough to do sth): ‘Would you be kind enough to forward the enclosed documents to Mr. Tomkin’s new address?’ (ii) tolerant and forgiving: ‘Our neighbor is very kind.’

Friday, August 5, 2011


Jump = (i) a sudden increase (of an amount, price, level, etc.): ‘House prices jumped almost 20% in the first quarter.’ ‘The price of vegetables jumped overnight.’ (ii) leap over: ‘The thief jumped the fence and ran away.’ (iii) to form an opinion or judgment hastily: ‘Don’t jump to a conclusion.’

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Tell (sb) a joke (NOT say) = tell someone a funny story or a humorous remark to provoke laughter: ‘He told a very funny joke’

Crack/make a joke = say something funny: ‘He’s always laughing and cracking jokes.’

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Jealous of sb/sth: ‘It’s very common for older children to be jealous of a new baby.’ ‘His success made some of his friends jealous.’

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Involve= (1) involve (doing) sth: ‘A proper repair would involve stripping all the tiles off the roof.’ ‘My job involves dealing with customer complaints.’ (2) engage as a participant: ‘Don’t involve others in your family affairs.’

Monday, August 1, 2011


Invest money/time etc. in sth: ‘We should invest more money in education.’ ‘I’ve started investing in foreign currencies.’ ‘Businessmen invest vast amounts in local industries.’