Wednesday, November 30, 2011


The term is used to refer to the work that a student does at a college or university: ‘They are conducting a study of sex education in local secondary schools’. Use of studies: ‘After the war, he resumed his studies at the University of Cambridge’.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Suitable (for) = right or appropriate for a particular purpose: ‘The film isn’t really suitable for children.’ ‘We’d like to give her the job but her qualifications aren’t suitable.’

Suited to = having the qualifications, experience, personality etc. that make you suitable for a particular job or situation: ‘Her interest in poetry makes her better suited to a literature course.’

Be fit to eat/drink/live in etc. = of the condition or quality of something; good enough for the stated purpose: ‘The house hadn’t been cleaned for months and wasn’t fit to live in.’

Monday, November 28, 2011


Unless = except on the condition that; except under the circumstances that: ‘That’s all for today unless anyone has any questions.’ ‘Don’t say anything unless you have to.’
When you are talking about something that is done as a precaution, use in case (NOT unless): ‘You should take a book with you in case you have to wait.’

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Unknown= (i) not known or identified: ‘There are still some unknown species of animals in the South American rainforests.’ (ii) not famous or acclaimed: ‘His music is unknown outside India.’ (iii) never happen or exist before: ‘The disease is yet unknown in India.’

Something that you yourself have not seen, heard, or experienced before is unfamiliar (to you): ‘The voice on the phone sounded unfamiliar.’ ‘It took Caroline some time to get used to her unfamiliar surroundings.’

Friday, November 25, 2011


Uniform = clothing of distinctive design worn by members of a particular group as a means of identification: ‘Some children hate having to wear their school uniform.’

Costume = a set of clothes worn by actors or public performers: ‘She used to work for a theatre company, designing and making costumes.’ ‘She won the prize for best costume.’

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Stimulant= an agent (as a drug or substance), which makes the mind or body more active: ‘The caffeine in coffee acts as a stimulant.’

When you are not talking about drug or medicine, use stimulus (= something, which causes activity, growth, or greater effort): ‘The new textbook provided a good stimulus for both teachers and students.’

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Storey is usually used to describe the structure of a building: ‘These office blocks are usually three or four storeys high.’ ‘A multistoried car park.’ ‘A detached two-storey house.’

When you are talking about where someone lives/works/goes etc., use floor: ‘My flat is on the seventh floor.’ ‘We took the lift up to the third floor.’

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Stop sb/sth (from) doing sth (NOT to do) = prevent someone (from) doing something or restrain something from happening: ‘Her parents tried to stop her from going abroad.’

Stop doing sth (WITHOUT from) = put an end to a state or cease an activity: ‘It’s actually stopped raining at last.’ ‘Stop teasing your little sister.’

Stop doing sth = cease or discontinue an activity: ‘I stopped reading and turned out the light.’

Stop to do sth = halt or pause (in order to do something): ‘Although I was in a hurry, I stopped to talk to him.’

Monday, November 21, 2011


Statistic (singular) refers to one piece of datum that can be represented numerically: ‘This terrible crime will soon become nothing more than a statistic in police records.’

Statistics (plural) refers to a set of data: ‘Statistics shows that the population has almost doubled in the last twenty years.’

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Utterly= carried to the utmost point or highest degree; absolutely, completely: ‘The entire building was utterly destroyed.’

Utterly is usually used with words that have a negative meaning or express strong disapproval such as (adjectives) ridiculous, absurd, irrelevant, useless, wrong, impossible; (adjectival participles) confused, amazed, dejected, ruined; (verbs) reject, detest, destroy: ‘This new tin opener is utterly useless.’ ‘The whole idea is utterly absurd.’ ‘I’m utterly amazed.’

Utterly is used informally as an intensifier.

Friday, November 18, 2011


Spread = (i) to make widely known: ‘Spread the news.’ (ii) to distribute over an area: ‘He spreads fertilizer in the land.’ (iii) disperse widely: ‘The invaders spread their language all over the country.’ (iv) to open out something from a closed or folded state, especially over a flat surface (WITH out): ‘Spread out the map.’ ‘Clothes were all spread out on the bed, ready to be packed.’

When you mean ‘grow, develop, or become increasingly common’ use spread (WITHOUT out): ‘They could not stop the fire from spreading.’

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Speed= a rate at which something happens: ‘The project advanced in remarkable speed.’

Phases with speed are usually used in connection with vehicles and machines: ‘At the time of the crash, the train was travelling at full speed.’ ‘These cars are capable of very high speeds.’

At a particular speed (NOT with/in): ‘If we continue at this speed, we’ll be there in an hour.’

At great/ high/top/full/breakneck speed: ‘He jumped into the car and drove off at great speed.’

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Spectator = a close observer; someone who looks at something (such as an exhibition of some kind or an event: ‘The new stadium can hold up to 60,000 spectators.’ ‘The applauded the performance.’

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Solution = (i) a way of solving a problem or dealing with a difficult situation (NOT of): ‘Let us hope that there will be a peaceful solution to these problems.’ (ii) the process of dissolving a solid or gas in liquid: ‘She made a solution of baking soda and water.’ (iii) a liquid in which something is dissolved: ‘Saline solution.’

Monday, November 14, 2011


Snack = a light informal meal or something that you eat between regular meals: ‘Instead of going out to lunch, I usually have a quick snack in my office.’

Snack bar = a cafe or similar place where you can buy a light meal: ‘The snack bar gets very busy at lunchtime.’

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Sink is used in connection with ships, boats, and objects, which go down and disappear beneath the surface of water: ‘The ship had been holed in the collision and was beginning to sink.’

Drown is used in connection with someone who dies because water stops them from breathing: ‘One of the boys had fallen into the river and drowned.’

Friday, November 11, 2011


Silent = (i) without any sound at all: ‘Apart from the regular ticking of the clock, the room was completely silent.’ (ii) not expressed with words or sounds: ‘They nodded in silent agreement.’

Quiet = without unwanted noise or activity; ‘peaceful: ‘After a few quite days in the countryside, we felt ready to face London again.’

Thursday, November 10, 2011


When talking about an imaginary situation, use should/would in the main clause after a first person subject: ‘I should/would accept the job if I were you.’

After a second or third person subject, use would in the main clause (NOT should): ‘He would accept the job if the salary were better.’

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Shadow = a dark shape that you see on a wall or surface when a light shines behind someone or something: ‘The setting sun cast long shadows down the beach.’

Shade = sheltered from the sun: ‘It’s too hot here. Let’s go and find some shade.’ ‘The branches provide plenty of shade.’

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Separate = (i) act as a barrier or stand between: ‘The river separates the two cities.’ (ii) pull apart by force: ‘He separated the fighting children.’ (iii) place or keep (people or things) apart from one another: ‘Break an egg into a bowl and separate the white from the yolk.’ (iv) move apart: ‘The friends separated after the party.’

Divide = cause something to consist of (or be seen as) a number of parts, groups, sections etc.: ‘The manufacturing process is divided into three stages.’

Monday, November 7, 2011


Seek= (i) to look for somebody or something: ‘The office is seeking for a salesperson.’ (ii) try to accomplish something: ‘He is currently seeking new ways of expanding his business.’ (iii) inquire for or ask somebody for something: ‘He sought legal advice to solve the land dispute.’

Seek is used mainly in formal styles. Use search for (and seek) only when someone or something is very difficult to find: ‘Investigators are still searching for clues as to the cause of the crash.’

Otherwise, use look for: ‘I’ll stay here with the bags while you go and look for a taxi.’

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Scientific = something of or relating to the practice of science; confirming with the principles or methods used in science: ‘Many scientific research projects are funded by the private sector.’ ‘We still don’t have a scientific explanation for these mysterious events.’

When you mean ‘used for, devoted to, based on or specializing in science’, use science + noun: ‘a new science laboratory’, ‘a science lesson’, ‘science fiction.’

Friday, November 4, 2011


Save (as a verb) = (i) to keep somebody/something safe from death, harm, or loss etc.: ‘This new drug is likely to save hundreds of lives.’ ‘He is trying to save their marriage.’ (ii) to keep up, reserve or accumulate for future use: ‘Save some money for future.’ (iii) to avoid unnecessary waste or expense: ‘This will save a lot of time.’ (iv) record data on computer: ‘Save all the data carefully.’

Safe (adjective) = free from danger or the risk of harm: ‘Since the break-in, I never feel safe in the house.’ ‘You should keep your passport somewhere safe.’

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Salute= (i) to greet or address with an expression of welcome, goodwill, or respect: ‘The players salute the fans.’ (ii) express commendation or admiration: ‘I salute your bravery.’ (iii) make a formal sign of respect, especially by raising the right arm (of member of the armed forces): ‘Always salute a superior officer.’

Welcome = to greet hospitably and with courtesy or cordiality: ‘The visitors were welcomed at reception and shown where to go.’

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Roof = a protective covering that covers or forms the top of a building: ‘If the rain is coming in, there must be a hole in the roof.’ ‘All the rooves were covered in snow.’

Ceiling = the top inside surface of a room: ‘When he stands on tip-toe, he can almost touch the ceiling.’ ‘The house has a low ceiling.’

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Richness = (1) magnificently impressive; sumptuous; the quality of having high intrinsic value: ‘She is impressed by the richness of the flora.’ ‘This color of her clothes and richness of fabric are distinctive.’ (2) if someone has a large has large amount of money, property etc., they are very wealthy or have considerable wealth (NOT richness): ‘The country’s wealth is in the hands of a small minority.’