Right word wrong word

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					Right Word
Wrong Word
Words and structures
confused and misused
by learners of English

  L. G. Alexander

Addison Wesley Longman Limited
 Edinburgh Gate, Harlow
 Essex CM20 2JE, England
 and Associated Companies throughout the world.

© Longman Group UK Limited 1994
All rights reserved; no part of this publication
may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system,
or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic,
mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise,
without the prior written permission of the Publishers.

First published 1994 Fifth impression
1997 Illustrated by Chris Ryley

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
Alexander, L. G.
   Right Word Wrong Word: Words and
   Structures Confused and Misused by
   Learners of English. - (Longman
   English Grammar Series)
   I. Title II. Ryley, Chris
   III. Series
   ISBN 0-582-21860-8

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Alexander, L.G.
   Right word wrong word: words and structures confused and misused by learners
   of English/L.G. Alexander.
      p.    cm.
  Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-582-
  1. English language-Usage. 2. English language-Errors of usage. I. Title.
 PE1460.A48 1993
 428.2'4-dc20                                                93-11963

We have been unable to trace the copyright holder of the text for Exercise 52
Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, Nobody and would appreciate any
information that would enable us to do so.

Set in Times New Roman, TrueType Produced through

Longman Malaysia, ETS ISBN 0 582 21860 8
I would express my sincere thanks to the following people who supplied extremely useful data
while this work was being developed:

Julia Alexander
Mohamed Eid, Cairo, Egypt
Professor Jacek Fisiak, O.B.E., Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland
Cristina Germanis, Verona, Italy
Jurgen Kienzler, Ludwigsburg, Germany
Roy Kingsbury
Professor Hanna Komorowska, University of Warsaw, Poland
Gottfried Kumpf, Vaihingen, Germany
Chris Lynch, Tokyo, Japan
Penelope Parfitt
Professor T. Takenaka, Kagawa University, Japan

Longman English Grammar Series
by L. G. Alexander

Longman English Grammar: a reference grammar for English as a foreign language
Step by Step 1-3: graded grammar exercises (beginners' to pre-intermediate level)
Longman English Grammar Practice: reference and practice (intermediate level)
Longman Advanced Grammar: reference and practice (advanced level) The Essential
English Grammar: a handy reference grammar (all levels)
 Introduction                                          viii
 Reference Section                                    1-201

Test Yourself                                          203

    Up to Intermediate Level
  1 Social exchanges                                   204
  2 Cars and driving                                   205
  3 Adjectives: opposites                              206
  4 Adjectives and noun modifiers                      206
  5 Asking, requesting, commanding                     207
  6 Telephoning                                        207
  7 Appearance, etc., of people and things             208
  8 Descriptions, etc.                                 208
  9 Containers                                         209
10 Countable and uncountable nouns                     210
11 Time and frequency                                  211
12 Health                                              212
13 Holidays                                            212
14 'Be','get','go','make', etc.                        213
15 Work and jobs                                       214
16 Buildings and parts of buildings                    214
17 Verbs/verb phrases with and without prepositions    215
18 Occupations, etc.                                   216
19 Words easily confused, misspelt, etc.               217
20 Prepositional phrases                               218
21 Only one negative                                   218
22 -ed/-ing                                            218
23 Addressing people                                   219
24 Names of places                                     219
25 Doing things for people                             220
26 Movement to and from                                220
27 The human body                                      221
28 Furniture                                           221
29 Money                                               222
30 Adverbs                                             223
31 Comparatives and superlatives                       223
32 Four topics:                                        224
      1 The weather
      2 The news
      3 Luck and misfortune
      4 Keeping clean
 33 Questions and exclamations                         225
 34 Quantities and amounts                             226
 35 Travelling by train                                227
 36 Outside                                            228
 37 'Do', 'make' and 'have'                            229
38   Dressing and clothes                                     230
39   Food and drink                                           231
40   Countable and uncountable nouns                          232
41   Education                                                233

     Upper Intermediate to Advanced Level
42  Greetings, conventional social utterances and exchanges   234
43  Comparing and contrasting                                 235
44  Socializing, entertainment, etc.                          236
45  What goes with what?                                      236
46  Phrasal verbs                                             237
47  Adjective + preposition                                   237
48  Verb +'to'or verb +'-ing'?                                238
49  Approval and disapproval                                  239
50  Red tape                                                  240
51  Character and reputation                                  241
52  Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, Nobody                      242
53  Regular and irregular verbs which are easily confused     242
54  Animals, birds and plants                                 243
55  Shopping                                                  244
56  Counting and measuring                                    245
57  Verbs with and without prepositions                       246
58  Household equipment, power, etc.                          247
59  Expressing feelings of approval                           248
60  Writing, literature, language                             249
61  Items of clothing, etc.                                   250
62  Nouns ending in's'                                        251
63  Food                                                      252
64  Health                                                    253
65  Behaviour                                                 254
66  Two topics                                                255
  a) War and peace
  b) Geography, natural phenomena
67 Adjectives and -ly adverbs                                 256
68 Communicating                                              257
69 Reflexive pronouns after verbs                             258
70 Food and drink                                             259
71 Two topics                                                 260
       1 Entertainment, leisure
       2 Games, sports, outdoor activities
72 What comes after the verb?                                 261
73 Newspapers, broadcasting, publishing                       262
74 'Do', 'make', 'have' and 'take'                            263
75 Education                                                  264
76 Buildings, parts of buildings, surroundings                265
77 Countable and uncountable nouns                            266
78 Fear, worry, embarrassment, etc.                           267
79 Crime and punishment                                       268
80 Clothes, materials, etc.                                   269
81 Are you a hypochondriac?                                   270

82   Housework, gardening, maintenance           271
83   Degree and intensifying                     272
84   -ic/-ical                                   272
85   Inversion after negative adverbs            273
86   Adjective + preposition                     273
87   Words easily confused, misspelt, etc.       274
88   Experiences, perception, thought            275
89   What sort of person are you?                276
90   Politics and government                     277
91   Stative and dynamic uses of certain verbs   278
92   Travelling                                  279
93   Prepositional phrases                       280
94   Cars, driving, maintenance, traffic         281
95   Referring to facts, the truth               282
96   A campaign against litter                   283

Answer Key                                       284

Technical Terms                                  289

Index                                            291

About Right Word Wrong Word
Little green men
In 1877 the Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli (1835-1910) observed some
markings on the planet Mars which he referred to as canali. This was mistranslated
into English as canals, suggesting man-made structures and the existence of
intelligent life on Mars, instead of channels, which occur naturally. The idea of
canals appealed to the imaginations of scientists and novelists alike. The astronomer
Percival Lowell used it as the basis for his 'scientific observations', recorded in such
works as Mars and its Canals (1908). The novelist H.G. Wells was inspired to write
his powerful story about the invasion of the earth by Martians, The War of the
Worlds (1898). In 1938, a simulated newscast of this novel was broadcast, describing
the Martian invasion of New Jersey, which reduced millions of listeners to a state of
near panic. The idea of Martians was not exploded till 1965 when the US spacecraft
Mariner 4 sent back close-up pictures of Mars, which proved conclusively that there
were no canals and no little green men!
The story shows how powerfully mother tongue interference can affect our
understanding of a foreign language, with unpredictable consequences. It also shows
how we have to suppress our own language if we want to acquire a foreign language.

What is Right Word Wrong Word?
Right Word Wrong Word is a Reference and Practice Book based on common errors
in English. It covers items like the following:
• Words often confused, where the student's native language interferes with
  English (false friends): for example, benzine/petrol.
• Word-confusions that exist within English itself: for example, rob/steal/burgle.
• Structures in the student's language that interfere with English structures: for
  example, it has compared with there is/it is.
• Confusions of structures within English itself: for example, must/had to.
• Particular words and structures which are a well-known source of error: for
  example, get and enjoy.
Right Word Wrong Word is therefore a comprehensive usage book that provides
answers to students' questions that are not easily available from any other source.

Who is the book for?
The book is suitable for students of English as a foreign or second language at
intermediate level and above, whether they are preparing for examinations or not. It
is also suitable for teachers. It extends the knowledge of non-native teachers by
clarifying the meanings and uses of related items; it sensitizes native-speaking
teachers by making them aware of mistakes that students really make. For both kinds
of teachers, it is a handy reference for dealing with awkward questions on the spot.

The basis of the selection
I have been collecting 'right word wrong word' items since the early 1960s and my
collection has grown into a large database. This database was checked against the
Longman Learners' Corpus (drawn from 70 countries) and then filtered through a

 representative spread of languages, including Arabic, European (Germanic,
 Romance, Greek, Slavonic) and Asiatic (Japanese). The words in this collection are
 the survivors of the original database that followed this investigation and number
 more than 5,000 items.

 A description of the material
 The material consists of the following sections:
 • A reference section (pages 1-201)
 • Test Yourself (pages 203-283)
 • Answer Key (pages 284-288)
 • Technical Terms (pages 289-290)
 • Index (pages 291-308)

 How to use Right Word Wrong Word
 If you are in doubt about the use of a word, look in the index to find it, then go to the
 reference section. You may have to do this more than once to locate the meaning you
 are looking for. When you find the word you want, check whether the mistake listed
 is one you are likely to make yourself and which you must train yourself to suppress.
 The reference section
 The 'wrong word' is generally listed first, followed by the 'right word'. For example:
                 block * pad
                 - I've brought this nice new pad to take notes
                   during the meeting. (Not *block*)
                   (pad/writing pad = sheets of paper held
                   together, used for writing or drawing)
                 - How did the ancient Egyptians cut and move
                   such huge stone blocks ?
                   (= stone, wood, etc., cut with straight sides)
Some words appear in different places. For example, mark has its own entry, but is
also listed under grade/mark/degree, note down/mark and speck/spot/mark. The
reference section focuses sharply on particular problems of contrast or use. It is not a
dictionary and so does not deal with every possible meaning of a particular word.

Technical terms
The terms used in the reference section are briefly explained on pages 289-290.

 Test Yourself
Exercises 1-41 are suitable for students of all levels, but especially for intermediate;
exercises 42-96 are upper intermediate and advanced. The exercises deal with topics
(e.g. health), functions (e.g. doing things for people) or grammar (e.g. phrasal verbs).
You may work through the exercises in the order they occur, or pick and choose,
according to level.
1. Attempt an exercise, then check your answers in the answer key.
2. Look up any item or items you aren't sure of in the index, which will refer you to
   the reference section.
Practise using the items you have learned in your own speech and writing.

a* an
- Kirsty's got an MA. in history.                       - The fax was received at around/about 8 pm.
  (Not *a MA. in history*)                                (= approximately; but approximately in
- She's got a Master's degree.                            place of around and about is very formal)
  (Not *an Master's degree*)                            - The journey took about/around an hour.
   (a + consonant sound; an + vowel sound)                (Not *an hour about* *an hour around*)
                                                          (preposition + object)
 a/an * one
- I need a screwdriver to do this job properly.         about • on • over
   (Not *one screwdriver*)                              - Have you read this article on the Antarctic?
- It was one coffee I ordered, not two.                 - There's an article about tourism in today's
   (Not *a coffee*)                                       paper. (preferable to on)
   (a/an = 'any one', 'it doesn't matter which'; one,      (on for serious and specific information; about
   two, etc., when we are counting)                        for general interest)
                                                        - Let's agree to differ. Let's not have an
a/an • some                                               argument over/about it. (Not *on*)
- Please bring me a glass/an envelope.                    (over after argument, concern, dispute)
- I want some glasses/some envelopes.
- I want some water. (Not *a water*)                    abroad
- I'd like a coffee please.                             - John has gone/is abroad on business.
  (some = an unspecified number or amount is the          (Not *has gone to abroad/is at abroad*)
  plural of a/an where the reference is to quantity;      (abroad is an adverb, not a noun; be/live/go
  we normally use a/an only with countable nouns.         abroad are fixed phrases, otherwise we have
  We also use a/an for all drinks seen as a complete      to say come/return from abroad, where
  measure: a coffee, a beer, but use some for fluids      abroad is used as a noun)
  of which there is more in the tap, bottle, etc.:      absent oneself * absent
  some water, some wine)                                - Where's Jane today? - She's absent. I think
 a/an • (-)                                               she's ill. (Not *She has absented herself*)
- Lucy wants to be a doctor.                            - The soldier absented himself without leave
   (Not *wants to be doctor*)                             for three weeks and was arrested.
- Kevin wants to be an electrician.                        (be absent from = 'not present'; absent oneself
   (Not *wants to be electrician*)                         implies deliberate rule-breaking)
   (a/an + singular countable noun)                     absent • away
 ability to                                             - I'm going on holiday and I'll be away for a
- I wasn't happy at school until I found I had            fortnight. (preferable to absent)
   the ability to make people laugh.                    - How many students were absent from your
   (Not *ability of/on making*) (from                     class today? (Not *away*)
   able to)                                                (away = elsewhere; absent = not present)

able • possible                                         abstracted • absent-minded • distracted
- It will be possible to see you on Friday.             - Professor Boffin is generally very absent-
  (Not *It will be able*)                                 minded. (Not *abstracted* *distracted*)
- I'll be able to see you on Friday.                      (= not paying attention to present reality)
  (Not*I`ll be possible*)                               - Sorry, I didn't hear what you said. I was
  (It + possible; human subject + able)                   abstracted for a moment.
                                                           (= thinking about something else)
about•around                                            - Sorry, I didn 't hear what you said. I was
- Few people can afford to go on a cruise                 distracted by the telephone.
  (a)round the world. (Not *about*)                        (i.e. something claimed my attention)
  ((a)round for circular movement)
- They've built a motorway (a)round London.             abuse • insult • swear at • curse
  (= surrounding, encircling)                           - The sergeant major abused the soldiers
                                                           (= shouted at them and called them names)
                                                        - Mrs Tomkins insulted the bride's family by
                                                          refusing to attend her son's wedding.
                                                           (= behaved in a way that caused offence)

- Traffic wardens rightly ignore motorists            accident * incident * episode
  who swear at them.                                  - Someone rammed the back of my car. It was
  (= use foul language)                                 an unfortunate accident. (Not *episode*)
- Before he died, the religious leader cursed           (= an unplanned happening, often bad)
  all enemies of the faith.                           - There was an unpleasant incident on the
  (= asked God to do them harm)                         train this morning when a drunk attacked
- Don't curse/swear under your breath.                  one of the passengers. (Not * episode*)
                                                        (= a single happening, good or bad)
accede to • comply with                               - That was an episode/incident in my life
- You'll get into trouble if you don't comply           which I'm not proud of.
  with the planning laws. (Not * accede to*)            (episode - one part of a continuing story)
  (= obey, go along with)
- I acceded to his request for a reference.           accidentally • unfortunately
  (Not *complied with*)                               - I knocked on your door, but unfortunately
  (= agreed to, consented to; formal)                   you were out. (Not *accidentally*)
                                                        (= unluckily)
accept • agree to/with                                - I've accidentally dialled the wrong number.
- They invited me to their wedding and I've             (= by chance, by mistake)
  agreed to go. (Not *accepted to go*)
  (agree to do something)                             accommodation
- She offered me some clothes her children            - While touring Britain, we found (some)
  had grown out of and I accepted them,                 excellent accommodation in old inns.
  (accept + object = take what is offered)              (note the spelling, not *accomodation*
- I don't accept your opinion/agree with your           *acommodation*; uncountable: not *an
  opinion that we can't control inflation.              accommodation*; the plural form
  (agree with an opinion)                               accommodations is AmE only)
accept • allow • admit                                accomplish • perform
- They won't admit anyone to the theatre/             - Soldiers must perform their duties without
  allow anyone into the theatre after the               asking questions. (Not *accomplish*)
  performance has started. (Not *accept*)               (= do a task, a service)
  (= give someone the right to go in)                 - Churchill accomplished a great deal while
- If the performance has started, they just             he was Prime Minister. (Not *performed*)
  won't allow you in/admit you. (Not * admit            (= succeeded in doing)
  you in* *allow you* * accept you*)
  (= let you go in)                                   accomplishment • achievement • completion
- I applied to join the club, but they won't          - The re-unification of Germany was a great
  accept me. (Not *admit* *allow*)                      achievement. (preferable to accomplishment)
  (= let me join)                                       (= something successfully done)
                                                      - She has many accomplishments, including a
accessories • spare parts • reserve • spare tyre        command of three foreign languages.
- My car hasn't been repaired yet because the           (= acquired skills)
  garage is still waiting for spare parts.            - Did the completion of the Eurotunnel go
  (Not *accessories* *reserves*)                        according to plan ?
   (= essential replacement parts to keep a machine     (Not *achievement* * accomplishment*)
   in running order)                                    (= finishing)
- My new car has a whole lot of accessories,
  including a roof rack. (Not *reserves*)             accord • behalf • account • part
   (= additional, but not essential parts)            - We 're acting on behalf of our client/on our
- Where is the spare tyre kept in this vehicle?         client's behalf. (Not *accord* *part*)
  (Not *reserve* *reserve tyre*)                      - Don't go to all that trouble on my behalf/on
- Does this motorbike have a reserve fuel               my account. (Not *on my accord*)
  tank? (Not * spare*)                                  (= for me)
  (i.e. which could be used if needed)                - That was a mistake on my part.
                                                        (= by me)
                                                      - I didn't ask her to do the washing-up. She
                                                        did it of her own accord. (Not *of/on her

  own behalf* *on her own accord*) (=                 ache • hurt • pain
  without being asked)                                - My head hurts. (Not *pains*)
                                                        (intransitive use: you feel pain, possibly
according to • by • in my opinion                       from injury)
- It's 4.30 according to/by the station clock.        - I hurt my foot. (Not *ached* *pained*
  (= as shown by; both possible when                    *hurted*; irregular verb: hurt - hurt - hurt)
  referring to clocks and watches)                      (transitive use = injured)
- According to many scientists, the level of the      - My head aches. (Not *pains*)
  oceans is rising. (Not *By*)                          (intransitive; you feel dull, constant pain)
  (= as stated by other people)                       - It pains me to recall my schooldays.
- In my opinion, scientists take a pessimistic          (= makes me feel sad)
  view. (Not * According to my opinion/To
  me* *To/After/By my opinion*)                       acoustics
                                                      - The acoustics in ancient Greek theatres are
account: on any/no account                              amazing. (Not *acoustics is* *acoustic is*)
- You mustn't disturb him on any account.               (plural form + plural verb for specific
  On no account must you disturb him.                   references)
  (Not *with no account/in any account*)              - Acoustics is a branch of physics.
account • deposit                                       (Not *The acoustic is*)
- They won't accept an order for goods                  (plural form + singular verb to refer to the
  without a deposit.                                    academic subject)
  (= part payment in advance)                         acquire • gain/increase in value
- I've opened an account with Westland Bank.          - Property has gained/increased in value
  (Not *a deposit*)                                     considerably over the last ten years.
- I've just transferred money to my (current)           (Not *acquired (in) value*)
  account from my deposit account.                    - As our company is expanding, we've had to
  (a bank account = where money is paid in or out;      acquire more office space. (Not *gain*)
  a deposit at a bank or anywhere else is a sum of      (= obtain, e.g. by buying or renting)
  money held by someone who is not the owner)
                                                      across • over • through
accusation                                            - They're laying a pipeline across Siberia.
- I want to know who made this accusation               (Not *over* *through*)
  against me. (Not *did this accusation*) (some         (across = from one side to the other of a
  other nouns that combine with make: an                surface area)
  agreement, an announcement, an apology, an          - We skated over the frozen lake.
  application, an appointment, an attempt, a            (over = on or above a surface, not
  change, a choice, a claim, comments, a criticism,     necessarily from one side to the other)
  a difference, an effort, an escape, an exception,   - Water flows through this pipe.
  an experiment, a fortune, a gesture, a habit of     - It was difficult to cut through the forest.
  something, a law, love, a mistake, a name for         (through = movement within a solid or
  oneself, an offer, peace, plans, progress, a          enclosing medium)
  proposal, room for someone, a start, a success of
  something, a suggestion, war, a will, a wish)       act * action * deed
                                                      - The situation requires immediate action.
accused: the accused                                    (Not *act* *deed*)
- The accused have nothing to say for                   (= doing something, often as a response)
  themselves.                                         - I shall always remember her many acts of
- The accused has nothing to say for                    kindness to me. (Not *actions* *deeds*)
  himself/herself.                                      (act of+ noun phrase, not *action*; act =
  (the accused is used in formal legal contexts to      specific thing done; action = a move to do
  refer to one person or more than one, but we have     something; act/action are interchangeable
  to say he's/she's accused, not *he's/she's an         after adjectives: It was a kind act/action.)
  accused* * they're accuseds*)                       - Visiting Mrs Hollis in hospital was a good
                                                        deed that had to be done. (Not * act/action*)
                                                        (deed is only used in a context where an
                                                        action is being judged: a good/evil deed)

act • take effect                                       adapt (to) • adopt • adjust (to)
- Has the medicine taken effect yet?                    - We have adopted the same sort of assembly
  (Not *acted*)                                           methods they use in Japan. (Not * adapted*)
   (= had a specific effect)                              (= taken and used)
- This drug acts/takes effect quickly in the            - We have adapted the assembly system they
  system.                                                 use in Japan to suit our circumstances here.
   (= has a general effect on)                            (Not * adopted*)
   (Compare: This drug acts on/affects the                (= changed it to suit our needs)
   central nervous system.)                             - I have found it difficult to adapt to/adjust to
                                                          living in the country after living in a large
action • campaign                                         city. (Not * adjust myself to*; preferable to
- The government is launching a campaign                  adapt myself to)
  against smoking. (Not *an action*)                      (= become used to)
   (= a planned series of actions)                      - The picture is out of focus. Could you adjust
- The government's action to control interest             it slightly please? (Not *adapt*)
  rates has been very prompt.                             (= change it in order to correct it)
   (= a move to do something)
                                                        addition • bill • account
actual • news                                           - Would you bring me the bill please ?
- Have you seen the news report on malaria?               (Not *addition* *account*)
  (Not *actual report*)                                   (= the account for immediate payment)
   (= the one reported in the news)                     - I've just received a bill/an account from my
- I've read the actual report on malaria.                 solicitors. (Not *an addition*)
  (= that report, the real thing)                         (= a formal application for payment)
                                                        - Old-style grocers were good at addition.
actual • real • topical • up-to-date                      (= adding numbers together)
- Public transport is a highly topical issue at
  present because of the row over the new               adieu • goodbye
  bypass. (Not *actual*)                                - It's time to say goodbye. (Not *adieu*)
   (i.e it's in the news)                               - We bade them adieu/goodbye and left.
- The real/actual problem is the civil war.               (bid adieu is old-fashioned, literary)
  (= true, the one we are concerned with)
- I can't comment before I have read the                - I admire Mozart's music more than anyone
  actual report. (Not *real report*)                      else's. (Not *I'm admiring*)
   (= the report itself)                                  (stative use: my admiration is involuntary)
- Magazines in doctors' waiting rooms are               - Where's Fred? - He's admiring your
  never up-to-date. (Not *actual* *topical*)              garden. (Not *He admires*)
actualities • the news • current events                   (dynamic use = at this moment he's looking
- You should take a daily paper if you want to            at your garden with admiration)
  keep track of the news/of current events.             admire • wonder • admiration
  (Not * actualities*)                                  - I wonder why she's left. (Not *admire*)
   (= facts that are reported)                            (= I'm puzzled)
- Before you pass judgement, you should                 - I admire the Pompidou building in Paris.
  consider the actualities of the case.                   (Not *wonder* *wonder at*)
   (= the true conditions, circumstances)                 (= I look at it with approval/pleasure)
actually • at present/for the present • at the moment   - Rowland Emmet's creations fill me with
- Frank's been travelling for a month now. At             wonder/admiration. (Not *admire*)
  present/For the present/At the moment, I                (wonder, noun = astonishment; admiration
  have no idea of his whereabouts.                        = strong approval)
   (Not *Actually* *To the present*) (= now,            admit (to)
   for the time being)                                  - Sally admits to using your computer.
- Do you realize that Martin has actually been            (admit to = confess)
  off work for a month now?                             - Sally admits using/that she used your
   (= as a matter of fact, really)                        computer. (Not *admits to use*)
                                                          (admit + object = agree something is true)

- The man admitted his guilt to the police.           - When we rowed out to sea in our dinghy, we
  (Not *'admitted the police his guilt*                 didn't expect to have such an adventure.
  *admitted to the police his guilt*)                   (= an unusual, dangerous experience)
admittance • admission                                adventure • experience
- What's the admission ? - £3 a head.                 - People who have been tortured can't forget
  (Not *admittance*)                                    the terrible experience. (Not *adventure*)
  (= the cost of entry)                                 (= what happened to them)
- You need to be accompanied by a member to           - Jim had many adventures in the jungle but
  gain admission/admittance to the club.                lived to tell the tale. (Not * experiences*)
  {admission = being allowed in; admittance -           (= unusual, exciting experiences)
  being allowed in by the authorities; note No
  Admission = 'you won't be allowed in' and           advertisement • warning
  No Admittance = 'the authorities won't allow        - I haven't paid my gas bill and have received
  you in'; compare entry/entrance, which don't          a final warning. (Not * advertisement*)
  refer to the idea of permission)                      (i.e. bringing attention to a possible penalty)
                                                      - How much does it cost to place a large
 adore • worship                                        advertisement in the paper?
- At which church do you worship ?                      (= an announcement that makes it
   (Not *adore*)                                        known that something is for sale, etc.)
- 1 adore staying in Rome. (Not *worship*)
   {= I really love it)                               advice • advise • opinion
- As far as Sylvia is concerned, her son is           - She gave me (some) good advice about jobs.
   perfect. She adores/worships him.                    (uncountable noun spelt -ice, pronounced
    {adore and worship with reference to people are     /ais/; not *an advice* *(some) advices*
    usually interchangeable)                            * advice for*)
                                                      - She advised me about applying for jobs.
advance•progress                                        (verb spelt -we, pronounced /aiz/; not
- Now that we've mastered this step, we can             *adviced me*)
  progress to the next one.                           - Mr Foley advised me to apply to your
  (preferable to advance)                               company. (preferable to advised me I should;
- We began our new course book in May and               and note: He advised (me) against applying.
  advanced/progressed rapidly.                          = He advised me not to apply.)
- Advance two squares. (Not *Progress*)               - I took your advice and applied for
  (both advance and progress mean'go                    promotion. (Not *took your opinion*)
  forward', but advance is usually physical/           - I don't know whether my essay is good or
  concrete, while progress means go forward              bad and I'd like to have your opinion.
  in the sense of 'improve')                             (advice = what you think I should do;
 advantage: take advantage of                            opinion = what you think about something)
 - Take advantage of our offer of a 50%                 affair • case * liaison
   reduction in package tours.                         - Even Inspector Wiley couldn't solve the
 - If you're having to work every weekend, your           case.
   boss is taking advantage of you.                       (Not *affair*)
   {take advantage of something = make the most            (= an event or events that the police
   of; take advantage of someone = make unfair use         are looking into)
   of; it can also mean 'exploit sexually' as in:      - What I do in my spare time is entirely my
   Doctors are forbidden to take advantage of             own affair.
   their patients.)                                        (= a matter that concerns me, my business)
 adventure • by chance • incidentally                  - Their (love) affair became known after his
 - We met by chance/incidentally at an office             death. (Not *case*; liaison here would
   party. (Not *by adventure*)                            mean
   (= without expecting to: by accident)                  'improper relationship')
 - I've just opened the back door, which,                  (= a sexual relationship, outside marriage)
   incidentally, was unlocked all night.               - There's always been a close liaison
   (Not *by chance*)                                      between
   (= by the way)                                         our two organizations. (Not * affair*)
                                                           (= a link, relationship)

 affairs • business                                               (we cannot use afraid in front of a noun,
- Business hasn't been doing very well lately.                    only after a noun + be, seem to be, etc.)
   (Not *Affairs haven't*)
    (= work to do with buying and selling)                     after • afterwards • after that • behind
- You can keep your nose out of my affairs.                    - Come and see me after work.
   (= matters connected with my private or                        (Not *afterwards work*)
   professional life)                                             (after as a preposition + object; afterwards
                                                                  is an adverb and cannot govern a noun)
 affect • (have an) effect (on) • come into/take effect        - We'II discuss the programme after you
- This hay fever is having a serious effect on                    arrive. (Not *afterwards you arrive* *after
   my work. (Not *affect*)                                        you will arrive* *after that you arrive*
    {effect is the noun relating to the verb affect: have an      *after to arrive*)
    effect on something)                                          (after as a conjunction + present tense)
- This hay fever is seriously affecting my                     - We made the house tidy and our guests
   work. (Not *effecting*)                                        arrived soon afterwards/after.
    (affect is the verb relating to the noun effect)              (both possible, but afterwards is generally
- The new law comes into effect/takes effect                      preferable; after is used as an adverb only
   next Monday. (Not *has an effect/affect*)                      after soon and not long)
   (= will be in operation)                                    - We had dinner first. After that/Afterwards,
- Mr Court effected numerous changes while                        we went to a show. (Not * After, we went to a
   running this company. (Not *affected*)                         show* *After from that*)
    (= brought about, put into effect)                         - Stand behind me in the queue.
                                                                  (Not *after* *behind of*)
 affection • affectation • infection                              (behind for position)
- Ann is much nicer now that she's lost her                    - You're after me in the queue.
   silly affectations. (Not *affections*)                         (after for next in turn, sequence)
    (= unnatural behaviour to impress others)
- Don't come near me. I'm suffering from a                     after • in
   nasty throat infection. (Not * affection*)                  - /'// see you in a week. (Not *after a week*)
   (= disease caused by germs or virus)                           (= within, before the end of)
- His affection for his family is obvious.                     - I'll see you in a week's time.
   (= love, deep fondness for)                                    (Not *after a week's time*)
                                                               - It's hard to get back to work after a week on
affirm • maintain                                                 holiday!
- Despite the statistics, you still maintain that                 (= at the end of)
  inflation is falling. (Not *affirm*)
   (= claim, whether it's true or not)                         after • later
- The witness affirmed it was the same man.                    - / arrived at the party first, and my husband
  (i.e. said he/she believed it)                                  arrived later. (Not * arrived after* to refer to
                                                                  time, though we could say arrived after me
afford: can/can't afford • have the means                         to refer to sequence)
- We can/can't afford an exotic holiday this                      (= at a later time)
  year. (Not *We afford/don't afford*)                         - / can quote the first line of 'To be or not to
  (can/can't afford is preferable to have/don't                   be', but I don't know what comes after.
  have the means for/the means to buy)                            (Not Hater*)
afloat * floating                                                 (after as an adverb, for sequence)
- The raft was afloat/floating on the river.                   afternoon: this afternoon
- The pilot quickly spotted the floating raft.                 - They're arriving this afternoon.
  (Not *afloat*)                                                  (Not * today afternoon*; compare tomorrow
   (we cannot use afloat in front of a noun, only after a         afternoon, yesterday afternoon; similarly
   noun + be, seem to be, etc.)                                   morning, evening)
afraid (of) • frightened (of/by)                               again • back
- The children were afraid of/frightened                       - Sue invited us to dinner last month; it's time
  of/frightened by the wicked witch.                             we invited her back. (Not *again*)
- We did all we could to comfort the                             (i.e. returned her hospitality; compare phone
  frightened children. (Not *afraid*)                            someone back = return their call)

- We enjoyed having our neighbours to dinner                agenda • diary
  and we must invite them again.                            - I've made a note of your birthday in my
  (= on another occasion; compare phone someone               diary. (Not *agenda*)
  again)                                                       (= a book with spaces for days of the year)
                                                            - What's the first item on the agenda?
age • epoch • era • period • century                          (= schedule of business at a meeting)
- The whole period was marked by important                  - We had to work through three agendas!
  changes in the earth's surface.                             (Not *agenda*)
   {period is the best word to refer to geotime)
- Satellite TV brought in an epoch of                       agent • representative
  worldwide communication.                                  - Who's our company's agent/representative
   (an epoch is a period of time beginning with an            in Tokyo?
   important event)                                            (agent: usually someone self-employed who
- We live in an age/era where fast food is the                 works on a commission; representative:
  norm. (Not *epoch*)                                          usually an employee of a company)
- There's no way of knowing exactly when the
  Iron Age really began. (Not * Epoch*)                     ages • years
  (The Iron Age is a fixed phrase; compare in               - Children are so carefree in their younger
  the age of Shakespeare, etc. = at that time)                years, before they start school. (Not *ages*)
- The Industrial Revolution began in the 18th                 (= at that time, during those years)
  century. (Not *age*)                                      - A child's basic personality is formed
                                                              between the ages of one and five.
age • get old                                                 (referring to how old children are)
- Have you noticed how Mrs Briggs is getting
  old/is ageing? (Not *is aiding*; note the                 aggravated • annoyed
  spelling of ageing, though aging is often                 - / got really annoyed/aggravated by the bad
  seen, especially in AmE)                                    behaviour of Karen's children.
                                                              (many native speakers don't accept the
age • old                                                     widespread use of aggravate to mean annoy)
- How old is he ? (Not *age* *big*)                         - The bad situation was further aggravated by
- What age is he? (Not *old* *has he*)                        the reinforcement of troops at the border.
  (How old... ? is generally preferable)                      (Not *annoyed*)
- How old are you? - I'm ten (years old).                     (= made worse)
  (Not *I'm ten years. * *I have ten years.*)
- How old is your car? - It's ten years old.                agitate • shake • move
  (Not *It has ten years.* *It's ten.*)                     - / could feel the earth move/shake as the
  (we can't omit years old when referring to the age of a     earthquake began. (Not *agitate*)
  thing)                                                      (move suggests a single large movement;
                                                              shake = rapid movements from side to side)
aged • elderly                                              - We got really agitated when our daughter
- Who will look after us when we're elderly?                  didn't return from school at the usual time.
  (Not *aged*)                                                (Not *shaken* *moved*)
   (= in or near old age)                                     (= very anxious, worried)
- / was approached by an elderly man who                    - After the break-in, we felt really shaken.
  asked me for directions. (Not *an elderly*)                 (i.e. we were in a state of shock)
  (we cannot use elderly on its own to mean                 - Shake the bottle well before you take any of
  'an elderly person'; an elderly man is                      that medicine. (Not *Agitate* *Move*)
  preferable to an aged man, which is literary,
  and is more complimentary than an old man)                agony • anxiety
- Monica devotes a lot of her spare time to                 - He's in a state of anxiety waiting for the
  helping the aged/the elderly.                               result of his blood test. (Not *agony*)
  (Not *the ageds* *the elderlies*)                           (= fear of what may happen)
  (the + adjective for the group as a whole)                - I've twisted my ankle and I'm in agony.
- Constance looks after her aged parents.                     (= extreme pain; in agony is a fixed phrase)
  (= very old; aged can be used in front of a               agree
  few nouns: e.g. my aged parents, an aged                  - / agree with you.
  aunt, an aged friend of mine, etc.)                         (Not * agree to you* *agree you*)

   (agree with someone: agree is not an adjective:              air • wind • breeze
   not */ am agree with you.*)                                 - There's a lot of wind today.
- I agree to the proposal. (Not * agree with*)                    (Not *air* *breeze*)
  (agree to something)                                             (= moving currents of air)
- Surely we can agree on this.                                 - I love to walk in a nice sea breeze.
  (on = about)                                                    (= a pleasant, gentle wind)
- We live in difficult times. -I agree.                        - Is it warm enough to sit out/to sit in the
  (Not *I'm agreeing.*)                                           open/to sit in the open air?
   (stative use in 'declarations')                                 (Not *in the fresh* *in the full air*)
                                                               - Open the window. I need some fresh air.
agreeable • in agreement (with)                                   (air is what we breathe)
- I'm entirely in agreement with your                          - / want to send this letter by air.
  proposal. (Not *agreeable with*)                                 (Not *with air* *via/per air* * by plane*)
- / enjoy the company of the Robinsons.
  They're very agreeable.                                      air-conditioning/air-conditioner • air-
   (= nice; the opposite is disagreeable)                      conditioned
- I've discussed the idea with her and she                     - Turn off the air-conditioning/the air-
  agrees/she's in agreement/agreeable.                            conditioner. I'm freezing!
  (in agreement is preferable to agreeable)                       (Not * Close the air-condition.*)
                                                               - The whole building is air-conditioned/has
ahead (of) • in front (of)                                        air-conditioning. (Not * air-condition*)
- In most cars, the engine's in front.
   (Not *ahead*)                                               alarm • alert • alarmed
- Right up to the end of the race. College Boy                 - In case of fire, alert the hotel guests.
was just ahead of/in front of Red Fur.                            (Not *alarm*)
- College Boy was ahead/in front.                                 (= warn them of the danger)
    (in front (of)/behind/at the back for absolute position;   - Don't alarm us with awful tales about the
    compare ahead (of)/behind for position relative to            dangers of air travel.
    others)                                                       (= make us feel anxious)
                                                               - This door activates an alarm.
aid • help                                                        (Not *This door is alarmed. *)
- Please help me. (Not *aid*)                                  - We got alarmed when we found the door
    (aid as a verb is unusual; help is preferable)
                                                                  wide open. (Not *We alarmed*)
- Do you know anything about first aid?
(Not * first aids* *first help* *first helps*)                 alight • burning
(first aid is a fixed phrase)                                  - The bonfire was alight/burning and could
—They heard our cries and came to our                             be seen for miles around.
   aid/help. (nouns)                                           - / can smell burning rubber. (Not *alight*)
air • expression                                                  (we cannot use alight in front of a noun,
- The colonel had an odd expression on his                        only after a noun + be, seem to be, etc.)
   face as he listened to the news. (Not *air*)                alike • similar • same
   (= facial appearance at a specific moment)                  - We've received two similar offers.
- Colonel Fawcett has the air of someone who                      (Not *alike offers* *same offers*)
   has travelled widely. (Not * expression*)                   - The two offers are similar/alike.
  (= general appearance) * air • tune •                           (= nearly the same; we cannot use alike in
melody                                                            front of a noun)
- The main theme of the symphony is based on                   - The houses in this street are all the
   a well-known air/tune/melody.                                  same/are all similar.
    (an air often suggests 'an old melody')                    - Yours is the same as mine/similar to mine.
- Hum 'Yesterday' to me. I can't remember the                     (Not *the same with* *similar with*)
   tune. (Not *air* *melody*)                                     (the same = exactly alike; similar = they
    (melody has a narrower meaning than tune, suggesting          resemble each other)
    'a sweet tune')
                                                               alive • living • live
                                                               - Everything that is alive/living (that lives)
                                                                  needs air and water. (Not *live*)

- Are your grandparents still alive/living?                    - All we want/What we want/All that we want
  (Not *Do your grandparents live?* *Are                         is to prevent waste. (Not *All what/All
  they alives/livings?*)                                         which/That which we want*)
   (= not dead)
- All living creatures need air and water.                     all these things • all this
  (Not *alive* * live*)                                        - Who's going to pay for all this ?
- Careful! It's a live lobster./That lobster is                - Who's going to pay for all these things ?
  alive. (Not *living*)                                            (preferable to all these)
                                                                   (all these + noun)
- After midnight, there's a cabaret show and
  dancing to live music. (Not *alive* *living*)                all ways • always
  (living and alive both mean 'not dead', but                  - They always win.
  we cannot use alive in front of a noun; live,                   (Not *all ways* *allways*)
  pronounced /laiv/, can also mean 'happening                     (position: before a main verb or after be,
  now/active')                                                    have, can, etc.: She's always late.)
- Careful! That wire is live!                                  - We've looked at the problem all ways.
   (Not *alive* Hiving*)                                          (= from all sides)
   (adjective = electrically charged)
                                                               allowance • permission • pocket money
all • everyone • everything • every                            - The farmer gave us permission to camp in
- Everyone wanted Marilyn's autograph.                            his field. (Not *allowance*)
   (Not *All* *Every people* * Every person*                      (i.e. he allowed us to)
   *All (the) people*)                                         - We receive an allowance from the state for
   (we rarely use all to mean 'all the people', preferring        each of the children.
   everyone/everybody)                                            (= a regular payment of money)
- All/Everything 1 have belongs to you.                         - How much pocket money do your children
    (it's possible, but unusual, to use all to mean 'all the      get?
    things'; everything is the normal word; all things to          (generally refers to spending money given
    mean everything occurs only in poetic language)                regularly by parents to their children)
 - We all agree/All of us agree.                                almost • nearly
    (Not *All we* *All us*)                                     - / think there's almost/nearly enough food
 - The company entertained us all/all of us.                      here to feed a dozen people.
    (Not *all us*)                                              - Almost all cars/Nearly all cars use unleaded
 - Everyone/Every person over the age of                          petrol these days.
    eighteen must fill in this form.                            - There's not nearly enough food here to feed
 - Everything/Every thing in this flat is up for                  twenty people. (Not *not almost*)
    sale.                                                         (nearly and almost are only interchangeable
    (every (single) person and every (single) thing are           in the affirmative)
                                                                already • still • yet
all ready • already                                             - We must hurry. It's already 5 o'clock,
- / tried to get her on the phone, but she 'd                     (already = sooner than expected)
   already left. (Not *all ready* *allready*)                   - There's no hurry. It's still early.
   (i.e before that time)                                         (still is often used in the affirmative)
- We 're all ready. (Not * already*)                            - There's no hurry. It isn't 5 o'clock yet.
   (= all of us are ready)                                        (yet is often used in the negative)
all right                                                       - Has he arrived yet? (Not * still*) - No, not
- I feel all right. (preferable to alright)                       yet. (Not *not still*)
   (alright is a common alternative spelling,                      (yet in questions = up to this point in time)
   sometimes considered to be less correct)                     - Is he still angry? (Not *yet*)
                                                                   (still in questions, pointing to continuity)
all that • what • all                                           - He hasn't arrived yet.
- / didn't catch what you said.                                   (Not * still* in this position)
   (Not *all what* *all which* *that which*)                      (= up to this point in time)
- I didn't catch all that you said.                             - He still hasn't arrived.
   (Not *all what* *all which* *which*) (=                        (Not *yet* in this position)
   everything, the thing(s) which)                                 (still in negatives, pointing to continuity)

also • thus/so                                                embarrassing, enchanted/enchanting,
- We went by bus and thus/so saved the price                  excited/exciting, exhausted/exhausting,
   of a taxi. (Not *also*)                                    frightened/frightening, horrified/horrifying,
   (= consequently; thus is more emphatic)                    interested/interesting, moved/moving,
- The bus is cheaper, but also slower.                        pleased/pleasing, relaxed/relaxing,
   (= in addition)                                            satisfied/satisfying, shocked/shocking,
                                                              surprised/surprising, terrified/terrifying,
alternate • alternative • possibilities                       tired/tiring; and note: delighted/delightful,
- We must choose from several possibilities.                  impressed/impressive, and upset/upsetting)
   (preferable to alternatives)
   (i.e. a choice between more than two)                    American
- We must choose between alternatives.                      - I'm learning/doing English/American
   (noun = choice between two)                                English. (Not *making American English*
- That's what we should do - unless you have                  *american english*)
   an alternative suggestion. (Not *alternate*)               (= the language: proper noun, capital letter)
   (adjective: i.e. a different suggestion)                 - He's/She's American.
- / visit my parents on alternate weekends.                   (preferable to an American)
   (adjective: i.e. every second weekend)                     (we generally prefer to use an adjectival
                                                              complement; the noun form is an American)
altogether • all together                                   - They're American.
- Let's sing it again. All together now!                      (adjectival form)
   (Not * Altogether*)                                      - They're Americans.
   (= everyone together)                                      (noun form)
- As far as I'm concerned, Frank's proposal is              - / was just speaking to an American/two
   altogether nonsensical.                                    Americans.
   (adverb of degree = entirely)                              (their sex is not stated, though a pronoun
am I not * aren't I                                           will often show whether they are male or
- Aren't I invited? (Not *Amn't I*)                           female)
  (the usual negative question form)                        - (The) American people/(The) Americans
- Am I not invited?                                           are wonderfully hospitable.
  (a formal negative question: full form)                     (= the group as a whole) (similarly to refer to
                                                              people: African, Chilean, Costa Rican,
am/is/are • have/has been                                     Cuban, Korean, Latin American, Libyan,
- / have been in Rio since May. (Not */ am*)                  Mexican, Paraguayan, Ugandan,
- / am in Rio at the moment.                                  Venezuelan, Zimbabwean)
- I am in Rio for two weeks.
  (this could mean 'I am in the middle of spending two      among/amongst • between
  weeks in Rio', or 'I will be visiting Rio soon and will   - There are quite a few talented artists
  stay two weeks.')                                           among/amongst the people I know.
                                                              (among many; among is always preferable to
amazed • amazing                                              amongst)
- I'm amazed at you. (Not * amazed with*)                   - It's hard to choose between these two
- I was amazed by what they told me.                          pictures. I like them both.
  (Not *amazing* *amazed with/from*)                          (between two)
  (-ed endings describe people)
- / heard an amazing story. (Not *amazed*)                  amount • number
  (-ing endings describe things, events, etc.)              - A large number of our students are
- Hemingway is an amazing writer.                             American. (Not *amount*)
  (a number of -ing endings can also be used to describe    - A large amount of our time is taken up with
  people, suggesting the effect they have on others)          administration.
  (some other pairs of -ed/-ing adjectives are:               (amount + uncountable noun; careless
  alarmed/alarming, amused/amusing,                           speakers often say e.g. *a large amount of
  annoyed/annoying, appalled/appalling,                       students*)
  astonished/astonishing, bored/boring,                     amuse • occupy
  confused/confusing, depressed/depressing,                 - Looking after the children occupies a great
  distressed/distressing, embarrassed/                        deal of our time. (Not * amuses*)
                                                              (= uses up)

- My children can amuse/occupy themselves                      - It's no good getting angry with the waiter
  for hours without getting bored.                               because the food is badly cooked.
   (= spend their time pleasantly)                               (angry with - sometimes at - someone)
 ancient * old                                                 anniversary • birthday
- You have to remember Mrs Briggs is very                      - How clever of you to remember my
  old/a very old lady now. (Not *ancient*)                       birthday! (Not *anniversary*)
- Property developers often have little regard                   (= the date of birth of a person)
  for old/ancient buildings.                                   - How on earth did you know it is our
    {old in terms of time; ancient = old in terms of history     wedding anniversary ?
    as in the ancient Greeks)                                    (= the date of an event, such as a wedding)
- Mr Briggs is an old friend of mine.                           announcement • advertisement • small ad *
   (Not *an ancient friend*)                                    commercial
    (= one I've known for a long time)                         - / saw the announcement of his death in the
and • and so                                                      paper. (Not *advertisement*)
- John can speak French and so can I.                             (i.e. it was made known in the press)
(Not *and me too*)                                             - Here's an advertisement/a small ad for a
- John speaks French and so do I.                                 two-room flat that might interest you.
(Not *and me too*)                                                (classified advertisements or small ads are
- John brought a present for my sister and                        placed in newspapers by people buying and
 (for) me (too).                                                  selling things; note the spelling with an 'e':
                                                                  not *advertisment*)
and * to                                                       - I turn the sound off during TV commercials.
- Go and buy yourself a paper. (Not *to*)                         (more usual than advertisements)
- Come and see the goldfish. (Not *to*)                            (= advertisements on TV)
But: Try and/to see my point of view.
(imperatives with go, come, wait, etc., are                     annoy • bother * disturb
followed by and where we might expect to;                      - There are quite a few unexplained matters in
go buy is also possible, especially in AmE)                       this case that bother me. (Not *annoy*)
                                                                   (= make me uncomfortable)
 anger • get angry                                             - Don't disturb your father now. He's busy.
- Don't get angry every time someone asks                         (Not *annoy*)
  you a question. (Not * anger (yourself)*)                        (= interrupt while he's working, etc.)
 - Even the smallest things anger him/make                     - If you want to annoy Mr Flint, just ring his
 hint angry. (Not *make him to anger*)                            front doorbell.
                                                                   (= make him angry)
                                                                annoyed (with/at/about)
                                                               - / think she's annoyed with/at me.
                                                               - Passengers are annoyed at/about the recent
                                                                  increase in rail fares.
                                                                   (in broad terms, annoyed with someone
                                                                   about/over something)
              bend'               '
                                      corner                   - The lecturer got annoyed when he was
 angle • corner • bend                                            asked the same question again and again.
 - /'// meet you on the corner under the clock,                   (Not *The lecturer annoyed*)
   just as we've arranged. (Not *angle*)                        another
 - An isosceles triangle contains three angles,                - Do you need another chair?
   each of 600.                                                   (= an additional one, one more)
 - Be careful when you drive along this road.                  - Give me another cup. This one's cracked.
   There are lots of sharp bends.                                 (Not *an other* *one more*)
   (Not *corners*)                                                 (= a different one)
 angry with • angry at/about                                   answer (to)
 - People in our town are very angry at/about                  - When can you give me an answer?
   the new parking charges. (Not *angry with*)                   (Not *make me an answer*)
   (angry at/about something)

- Will you please answer my question.                 - They've lived apart for years. (Not * lived
   (Not *answer to my question*, though we can          separate*, but we can say lived separately)
   use answer as a noun and say: That's the answer      (apart = at a distance from each other)
   to your question.)
- The police have picked up a boy who                  apart from • except for • except (+ object)
  answers (to) Rupert's description.                  - Everyone has helped in some way apart
   (= fits; corresponds with)                           from you/except for you/except you.
                                                         (Not *apart you* *apart for you*)
 antenna • aerial                                        (all three prepositions are possible)
- / think the TV aerial needs adjusting.              - Apart from you/Except for you, everyone
  {antenna: AmE only; plural: antennas)                 has helped in some way. (Not *Except you*)
- How does an ant use its antennae ?                    (we cannot begin a sentence with except +
    (- feelers; the plural is antennae when             object; we need except for/apart from)
    antenna is used as a biological term)
 antiquity • antique                                  - We live in a small apartment/flat.
- It must cost you a fortune insuring all these         (flat is more usual in BrE, apartment in
  valuable antiques. (Not * antiquities*)               AmE; note the spelling: not *appartment*
   (= furniture and objects made in the past; often     *apartement*', in AmE a flat is often used to
   rare and valuable)                                   mean 'a flat tyre' or a puncture)
- Much of the work of the great writers of
  antiquity has not survived.                          apology • defence
   (= ancient times, especially the Greek and         - The accused had nothing to say in his own
   Roman classical periods)                              defence. (Not *apology*)
- There's an excellent display of antiquities in          (i.e. to protect himself; AmE defense)
  the local museum.                                   - Lynn isn't prepared to speak to you unless
   (= items surviving from the distant past)             she receives an apology for what you said.
                                                         (i.e. unless you say you are sorry)
 anxious about
- Jackie's very anxious about her exam                 appear
   results. (Not *for*)                               - She appears to be aware of what's going on.
                                                         (Not * She's appearing*)
 any                                                      (stative use)
- This isn't just any cake.                           - She's appearing in 'Showboat'.
      (i.e. it's special)                                (dynamic use = she is or will be taking part
- He'll need any help he can get.                        in it as a performer)
      (= a/I the)
- Give me a plate please. Any plate will do.          appear • arise
(i.e. it doesn't matter which; any has special        - Problems should be solved as they arise.
uses in addition to its normal use as a                 (Not *appear*)
quantifier)                                             (= occur)
                                                      - You should be able to spot a mistake when it
any one • anyone                                        appears.
- There wasn't anyone at the party whom I               (= can be seen)
  knew. (Not *any one*)
  (= not any person)                                  appear • present • show • present myself
- / don't think any one of these plants will be       - You'II have to show/present your passport at
  suitable in a small garden. (Not *anyone*)            the frontier. (Not *appear*)
  (= one of)                                            (present = show is very formal)
                                                      - Our new washing machine hasn't presented
apart • separate                                        any problems. (Not * shown* *appeared*)
- The two houses are quite separate; each               (= given)
  house has its own separate entrance. (Not           - / can't appear in pyjamas. I must get
  *apart*; note the spelling, not *seperate*)           something on. (preferable to present myself)
  (adjective = different, distinct)                     (= be seen)
- Jill and Ben separated years ago.                   - Take great care how you present yourself at
  (Not *aparted*)                                       tomorrow's interview. (Not *appear*)
(= parted)                                              (= look and behave)

appear • seem                                                - As we came out of the cinema, a beggar
- You appear to/seem to think that nothing                     approached us asking for money.
  matters so long as you get what you want.                     (Not *approached to/from us*)
- It appears/seems odd that he hasn't written.                  (= came up to)
  (Not *appears oddly*)                                         (no preposition after approach)
   (= it is odd, strange)
                                                             approve (of)
- This seems wrong. (Not *is seeming*)
                                                             - Most people don't approve of smoking these
  (stative use only)
                                                                days. (Not *approve smoking*)
- He appeared from nowhere. (Not *seemed*)
                                                             - Smoking is still allowed in restaurants, but a
  (= arrived within view)
                                                               lot of people don't approve (of it).
applause * a round of applause                                  (we always need of after approve = 'like' if
- When she finished speaking the audience                       an object follows; compare approve = 'give
  responded with a round of applause.                           formal consent to', which is transitive: The
   (Not *an applause* *a round of applauses*                    Board has to approve the appointment.)
- There was loud applause at the end of the                  archives • filing system • files
  performance. (Not *were ... applauses*)                    - You must have my details somewhere in your
  {applause is uncountable)                                    filing system/files. (Not *archives*)
                                                                (= a system used for storing information)
appoint • hire                                               - A lot of the material in this documentary
- Farms always hire additional workers at                      film was found in the British Museum
  harvest time. (Not *appoint*)                                archives. (Not *archive*, but we can say It's
  (= employ, usually for a short period)                       archive material.)
- They've just appointed a new manager at my                    (= a filing system for documents, etc., of
  bank. (Not *hired*)                                           historical importance)
  (= chosen for a position or job)
                                                              argument/row • quarrel • discussion
appreciate                                                    • dispute
- We appreciate your help.                                   - Some married couples seem to spend a lot of
  (Not *We are appreciating*)                                   time quarrelling/having arguments/having
   (stative use: appreciate + object = a person recognizes      rows. (Not *disputing* *discussing*)
   the value of)                                                 (= disgreeing, often with strong feeling;
- Houses are appreciating in value.                              have a row is informal)
  (dynamic use, intransitive = a thing                       - We're having a big discussion about/
  increases/is increasing in value)                             argument about the date of the next
- We appreciate having such good friends at                     election. (Not *making/doing a discussion
  this difficult time. (Not *to have*)                          about/an argument about*)
- I would appreciate it if you could help me.                    (a discussion = a talk, exchange of
  (Not *appreciate if you could help*)                           information or opinions; an argument
  (= be grateful)                                                contains the idea of disagreement)
- Thank you for your help. I appreciate it.                  - We're having a dispute with our neighbours
  (Not */ appreciate. *)                                        over our property boundaries.
  (appreciate + object after a personal subject)                 (= a serious disagreement, often legal)
- We appreciate John's/his offering us a
  temporary loan. (Not *John/him*)                           arise • rise • raise
- Her kindness was appreciated by everybody.                 - The whole audience rose to cheer the
  (Not *very appreciated*)                                     soloist. (Not *arose* *raised*)
  (appreciated is part of the passive, not an                   (rise - rose - risen: intransitive = stand up)
  adjective)                                                 - If you'd like to ask a question, raise your
                                                               hand. (Not *rise* *arise*)
approach • come here • go near                                  (raise - raised - raised: transitive = lift up)
- 'Come here!' she said. (Not *Approach!*)                   - A serious problem has arisen which will
- If a stranger calls to you from a car, don't                 take time to solve. (Not *risen* *raised*)
  go near him/keep away from him.                              (arise - arose - arisen = come into being)
  (the use of don't makes approach too formal in this

arm • hand                                                    - Everyone should be taught a craft.
- This glove won't fit my hand. (Not *arm*)                     (= the knowledge and skill involved in
  The best basketball players have long arms.                   making something by hand)
  (Not *hands*)
                                                              artistic • art
aroma • flavour • taste • scent • perfume                     - A lot of art treasures were lost in the floods
- What flavour do you want, strawberry or                       of 1966 in Florence. (Not *artistic*)
  vanilla? (Not *aroma* *perfume* *taste*)                       (art treasures is a compound noun)
  (i.e. that has this taste)                                  - / hope my daughter can find work which
- Few things can beat the aroma of freshly-                     suits her artistic inclinations.
  ground coffee. (Not *perfume*)                                 (= concerned with art, literature, etc.)
  (= a strong appetizing smell)
- The room was filled with the scent of roses.                as • than • else
  (Not *flavour* *aroma*)                                     - You can wear clothes like that because
  (= a delicate smell, e.g. of flowers)                         you're taller than I am. (Not *as* *else*)
- Dorothy wears too much perfume/scent.                         (comparative + than)
  (Not *aroma*)                                               - As parents, we're responsible for our
  (= manufactured, sweet-smelling liquid; perfume is            children's actions. (Not *Else*)
  now the commoner noun) / love the sharp sour taste             (= in the capacity of)
  of lemon. (= experience of flavour)                         - We made the injured man comfortable, but
                                                                 there was little else we could do for him.
arrange • settle • sort out                                      (= more, additionally)
- We've settled/sorted out our differences and
  there won't be any more arguments.                          as • when
  (Not *arranged*)                                            - Nina started playing the piano when she
  (i.e. we've come to an agreement)                              was a child. (Not *as*)
- We've arranged a meeting to settle/sort out                    (when + clause of time)
  our differences.                                            - As Nina is a child, you can't expect her to
  (= set up)                                                     practise for more than half an hour.
                                                                 (as + clause of reason)
arrange • tidy
- It's time you tidied your room.                             as if to • as if/as though
  (Not *arranged*)                                            - Henry always looks as if/as though he's
  (= put everything in it in order)                              angry. (Not *as if to be* *as though to be*)
- I've arranged these books in alphabetical                   - Eleanor shrugged her shoulders as if to say
  order. (Not *tidied*)                                          she couldn't care less.
                                                                 (= in such a manner)
- I've come to/made an arrangement to leave                   as soon as
  early on Fridays.                                           - We'll discuss the matter as soon as he
   (Not *done an arrangement*) (=                                arrives. (Not *as soon as he will arrive*)
   agreed)                                                       (as soon as as a conjunction + present tense
- I've made arrangements for my holiday next                     form when referring to the future; also: after,
  month. (Not *done*)                                            before, directly, immediately, the moment,
   (= sorted out how something will be done)                     when)

art • skill • technique • craft                               ashamed (of/about)
- / don't think I'll ever master the art/skill of             - I feel really ashamed. (Not */ ashamed* *I
  public speaking. (Not *technique*)                            ashamed myself* *I have shame*)
   (= a skill is the knowledge and ability to do something;   - I feel really ashamed of myself. It was my
   art is the same, but 'higher')                               mistake and I'm ashamed about it.
- Some drivers never master the                                  (Not */ ashamed for/from myself. * *I
  technique/skill of reversing into a parking                    ashamed for/from it.*) (the verb phrase is be
  space. (art would be a bit overstated here)                    ashamed of oneself/ someone, be ashamed
  (= specific method)                                            about something)
                                                              - 'When does the train arrive ?' he asked.
                                                                (direct question with ask)

- / asked my teacher when I would get my                      (Not *Organization*)
  exam results. (Not *when would I get*) (indirect            (an association looks after the interests of
  question with ask)                                          the people who are its members)
- Mr Foley asked me to call him today.                      - As one of the biggest US companies,
  (neutral) He asked that I call him later.                   General Motors is a huge organization.
  (formal) (Not *asked me that I should*)                     (= a business structure)
- Guests are asked to vacate their rooms by                 assorted • matching
  12.00 on the day of departure. (formal)                   - We chose a flower-patterned wallpaper with
  (Not *It is asked the guests to vacate*)                    matching curtains. (Not *assorted*)
- I asked a question.                                          (i.e. curtains which match, that is, have the
  (also: ask a favour, the price, the time)                    same or a similar colour and pattern)
ask for • ask about                                         - During the film, the woman beside me
- Mrs Wilmot asked me about the children.                     opened a big box of assorted sweets.
  (Not * asked me for*)                                       (i.e. different sweets packed together)
  (= enquired after)                                        assume
- The school is asking for contributions                    - / assume/I'm assuming our new assistant
  towards a new swimming pool.                                can write French as well as speak it.
   (= hopes to receive, is requesting)                        (stative and dynamic use = believe)
asleep * sleeping                                           - While the boss is away, I'll be assuming
- The children are asleep/sleeping.                           responsibility for her workload.
- The cat curled up beside the sleeping                       (dynamic use = having, taking on)
   children. (Not *asleep*)                                 assurance • insurance
   (we cannot use asleep in front of a noun, only after a   - I've taken out an insurance policy.
   noun + be, seem to be, etc.)                               (Not *assurance*)
 ass • ace                                                  - I'm insured with a big life insurance/
- What are your cards 1 - An ace and two                      assurance company.
   queens, a jack and a ten. (Not *ass*)                       (assurance is the old term to refer to
- Do you know Aesop's story 'The Miller, his                   protection against misfortune)
   Son, and the Ass'?                                       - He gave me his assurance that the bill
    (ass is an old-fashioned word for donkey)                 would be paid on time. (Not *insurance*)
                                                              (= promise)
ass • pig
- Morley has appalling manners and always                   assure (oneself) • insure (against)
  behaves like a pig, especially when he's been             - Most offices are having to insure themselves
  invited to a party. (Not *an ass*)                          against computer theft. (Not *assure*)
  (pig is an extremely derogatory and offensive                (= pay money to an insurance company to
  description of a person)                                     cover theft)
- Alan can be a silly ass at times, but he's                - Mr Biggs agreed to resign after he had
  quite likeable. (Not *pig*)                                 assured himself that he'd be compensated.
   (ass, donkey and bone head are all familiar for 'silly     (assure oneself = make certain)
   fool', sometimes friendly)
                                                            assure (oneself) • make sure • check • verify
 assist in • be present at/attend                           - I've checked the tyres and the pressures are
- / was present at/attended their wedding.                    OK. (Not *assured*)
   (Not *assisted at* *attended at*)                           (= examined)
 - I'd like to thank everyone who assisted in the           - / went back to assure myself/check/make
   making of this film.                                       sure/verify that I really had locked the door.
   (= helped; formal)                                         (= make certain)
                                                            - So far there's been no evidence to verify the
 association * club • organization
                                                              theory that there might be life on Mars.
 - / used to be a member of the School Film                    (= confirm, show it to be true)
   Club. (Not *Association* *Organization*)
   (a club consists of a number of people who               asylum • old people's home
   enjoy a particular activity)                             - When she could no longer look after herself,
 - If you buy such an old car, you'd better join              Aunt Alice went to live in an old people's
   the Automobile Association.

   home. (Not *asylum*)                                         at* to
   (= accommodation and care for old people)                    - Jim's gone to London Airport. (Not *at*)
- You can't turn away refugees who seek                           (to: direction towards)
  political asylum.                                             - Jim's at London Airport. (Not *to*)
   (= protection, shelter)                                         (at: destination or position after movement)
- The term 'psychiatric hospital' has now
  replaced the old-fashioned word asylum.                       at last • in the end • finally
  (= a hospital for mentally-ill people)                        - It was impossible to guess who had done the
                                                                   murder. In the end it turned out to be the
 at • against • into • to                                          cook. (Not *At last*; preferable to Finally)
- In the bad old days, the border guards had                       (= 'when the story ended')
   orders to shoot at people trying to cross the                - We searched everywhere for accommodation
   border illegally. (Not *against*)                               and at last/finally/in the end a farmer
- The bull ran straight at me. (Not *against*)                     offered us his barn for the night.
    (i.e. deliberately in that direction)                          (at last = after a long time; finally = after
    (at can sometimes have the sense of 'against', but             effort; in the end = 'when the story ended')
    cannot be replaced by it; at combines with other verbs      - During the meeting we always have sales
    to suggest 'aggression': e.g. aim at, shout at, shoot at,      reports, production reports, work in
    stare at, throw at)                                            progress, and finally any other business.
- We ran to our car to escape the rain.                            (Not *in the end* *at last*)
    (to = direction towards; compare shout to, throw to; no        (i.e. as the last thing in a series.)
    aggression is implied)                                      - / wonder whether Mallory finally got to the
- Who's for the idea or against it? (Not *at*)                     summit of Everest/Mallory got to the summit
    (= opposed to)                                                 of Everest in the end. (Not *at last*)
- He drove into a tree. (Not *against*)                         at once • immediately ■ coming
  (i.e. he accidentally crashed into it; into                   - 'Waiter!' - 'Coming, sir. I won't be a
  combines with other verbs to suggest                             moment.' (Not *At once* *Immediately*)
  collision: bump into, crash into, run into)                   - When a restaurant is so crowded, you can't
at • in • on (place and time) Place                                expect to be served at once/immediately.
- We waited at the door. (Not *in* *on*)                           (= without any delay)
    (at a point)                                                ate * eat
- There was an unpleasant atmosphere in the                     - / ate too much last night. (Not *eat*)
    dentist's waiting room. (Not *at* *on*)                     - I eat too much; I'm too fat. (Not *ate*)
    (in an area or volume)                                        (eat - ate - eaten)
- Don't leave your dirty laundry on the floor.
    (Not *in* *at*)                                             athletics
    (on a surface)                                              - The athletics (events) are nearly over.
- I'll meet you at/in the airport.                                (Not *The athletics is* *The athletic is*)
    (at refers to a meeting point; in suggests inside the         (plural form + plural verb for specific
    building)                                                     references)
- He's at school/his aunt's house/a wedding.                    - Athletics is an important part of physical
   (at refers to location, for events, addresses,                 training. (Not *The athletic is*)
    or to mean 'attending')                                       (plural form + singular verb to refer to
- They're in Paris/the Mediterranean/the                          athletics as a subject to be studied)
   kitchen/hospital. (Not *at*)                                 attached to * connected with
   (in for towns, large areas, rooms and                        - There's nothing coincidental about these
   particular nouns like bed, hospital) Time                       events. They're all connected with each
- I'll see you at 10. (Not *in* *on*)                              other. (Not *attached to*)
    (at 10, at lunch, at noon, at Easter, etc.)                    (= related to)
- /'// see you on Monday. (Not *in* *at*)
                                                                - The lamp is attached to the ceiling by means
  (on Monday, on May 1st, on that day, etc.)                       of a hook. (Not *connected with*)
- I'll see you in March. (Not *on* *at*)                           (= fixed in position, fastened physically)
   (in March, in 2020, in the morning, etc.)
                                                                - It's criminal to attack civilian populations
                                                                   during a war.

  (Not *attack against civilian populations*,         austere • strict • severe
  though attack used as a noun can be followed by     - My old headmaster was very strict/severe in
  on or against: It's time we launched a serious         applying the school rules. (Not *austere*)
  attack against/on this policy.)                        (= stern in his behaviour)
                                                      - My old headmaster was very austere.
attend • visit • wait for • go/come to                  (i.e. had a stern appearance, manner)
- You must visit the Louvre, (Not *attend*)           - There were severe/strict penalties for
   (= go to, spend time at)                             misbehaviour. (Not *austere*)
- I'll wait for you in the bar. I'll be there at 6.
   (Not *attend you* *attend for you*)                author/authoress
   (i.e. stay in that place till you arrive)          - Catherine Cookson is the author of 'The
- I'd like to attend a service at St Paul's.            Black Velvet Gown', (rather than authoress)
   (Not *attend to/at a service*)                       (author applies to both sexes; similarly
   (= go to, be present at an event)                    manager is preferable to manageress, etc.)
- I'd love to come/go to your party.                  autumn • autumnal
   (Not *attend* *attend to*)                         - It was a typical autumn day: clear, with a
   (attend is too formal here)                          slight frost. (Not *autumnal*)
attention (to) • care (for) • caution                    (an autumn day = a day in autumn)
- Pippa held the photographs by the edges,            - It's theoretically spring, but it's rather
  with great care. (Not *attention*)                    autumnal today.
   (i.e. very carefully)                                 (= like autumn)
- Could I have your attention for a moment?              (also: summer/summery, winter/wintry; and
  (Not *care*)                                           note spring/spring-like)
   (= concentration)
                                                      avenue • alley
- Notice the attention to/care for detail in this     - The shop is located in an alley that runs off
  painting.                                             Oxford Street. (Not *avenue*)
- Caution! Roadworks! (Not *Attention!*)                (= a very narrow street)
  (= warning, danger)                                 - Brasilia is a modern city with wide tree-
attract • attractive                                    lined avenues. (Not *alleys*)
- Flowers attract bees. (Not *are attracting*)        - There was a victory march down the Grand
  (stative use = draw)                                  Avenue. (Not *Alley*)
- The latest model of this sports car is                (= a wide street in a town or city, often with
  attracting a lot of attention.                        trees along the sides)
  (dynamic use = inviting interest)                   awake
- It's a very attractive car. (Not * attracting*)     - As soon as Samantha's awake she has to
  (adjective = good-looking)                            start thinking about work.
 audience                                               (we cannot use awake in front of a noun, only
- The audience was/were applauding wildly.              after a noun + be, seem to be, etc.)
   (collective noun + singular or plural verb;
   audience can also be used as a countable                                   B
   noun with a normal plural: audiences are;
   also: class, club, committee, company,             baby
   congregation, council, crew, crowd, family,        - Ivy had a baby yesterday. (Not *made/did*)
   gang, government, group, jury, mob, staff,
   team, union)                                         back • backside • behind (nouns)
                                                      - Some people need a kick in/up the
audience • auditorium                                   backside/a kick in/up the behind before
- The auditorium was packed for the first               they'll do any work. (Not *in the back*)
  performance. (Not *audience*)                         (backside/behind are very informal words
   (= that part of the theatre in which the              for the part of the body which you sit on)
   audience sits to watch a performance)              - John has a continual pain in the back.
- The audience packed the auditorium for the            (the back of the body is the opposite of the
  first performance.                                     front of the body)
   (= the people watching the show)                   - Let me show you the back of the house.
                                                        (Not *backside*)

 back • backwards * backward
- / drove my children to school and then drove              badly • very • very much
   back (home).                                            - None of us was hurt in the crash, but we
    (= returned)                                              were all badly shaken/upset.
- / engaged reverse gear and drove                            (badly is preferable to very/very much here)
   backwards.                                                 (= to a serious degree)
    (= in that direction; opposite: forwards)              - You badly need a haircut.
- He left without so much as a backward                       (Not *very*: badly is preferable to very much
   glance. (Not *back* *backwards*)                           here; badly often combines with want/need)
   (backward as an adjective, not backwards)                baggage/luggage • a case/suitcase • valise •
  back • behind * at the back (of)                          coffer
- We have a nice garden behind the house/at                - I'm travelling light. I've got a small
    the back of the house. (Not *back the                     case/suitcase with me and that's all.
    house* *backfrom the house*)                              (Not *a baggage* *a luggage* *coffer*)
    (behind/at the back of. prepositions + noun            - I've brought a lot of baggage/luggage and
    object)                                                   can't manage on my own. I need a porter.
- There's a paved area in front and a garden                  (Not *a lot of baggages/a lot of luggages*)
    behind/at the back. (Not *back*)                          (baggage and luggage are uncountable)
- I wish you'd put things back in their places.            - You don't need more than a small valise if
    (Not *behind* *at the back*)                              you're going away for the weekend.
(put things back = return them; behind and (at the) back      (= a small suitcase: old-fashioned, self-
    are adverbs)                                              conscious/literary)
                                                           - You'd have to be mad these days to keep
backache                                                      your money at home in an old coffer.
- / have/I've got a backache/I've got                         (= a strong box: old-fashioned)
   backache. (Not */ have my back.*)
                                                           bake • cook • roast
bad                                                        - /'// cook supper tonight. (Not *bake*)
-/ know she's annoying, but 1 don't think she's              (cook is the general verb for 'prepare food by
     bad/a bad person. (Not *a bad*)                         heating')
-I know they're infuriating, but they're not               - / bake all our own bread. (Not *cook*)
     really bad/bad people. (Not *bads*)                     (= bake any made-up dish in the oven,
     (never bad on its own to mean 'a bad person')           especially one made with flour)
-We can't ever be sure that the bad will be                - It says in the recipe that you cook/bake it in
     punished. (Not *the bads*)                              a hot oven for twenty minutes.
(the + adjective for the group as a whole)                   (referring to a dish of some kind, not
- / enjoy the work. The bad thing is the pay.                necessarily bread or cakes)
     (Not *The bad is*)                                    - I've just had a look in the oven and the beef
   (also the awful/the extraordinary/the                     is roasting/cooking nicely. (Not *baking*)
     interesting/the strange thing is ...)                   (roast = oven-cook any large piece of meat:
bad: go bad                                                  roast chicken, sometimes with vegetables in
- Those apples will go bad if you don't keep                 the same dish: roast potatoes)
  them in a cool place. (Not *bad* *badden*)               balance • scales
bad • badly                                                - / don't know what this chicken weighs. Put it
- I play tennis badly. (Not *play bad*)                      on the scales. (Not *balance*)
  (badly is an adverb modifying the verb play)               (= a weighing machine; always plural in
- Business is slow and things look bad.                      BrE, but singular - scale - in AmE)
  (Not *things look badly*)                                - We still use a fine balance in our laboratory
    (bad is an adjective describing things; compare          to weigh small amounts of substances.
    taste/seem/smell/sound bad)                              (= a precise weighing instrument)
bad at                                                     band • gang
- Lots of people claim to be bad at maths.                 - / don't approve of that gang of friends he
  (Not *bad to* *bad in*)                                    goes around with. (Not *band*)
  (also awful at, clever at, good at, quick at, slow at)     (= an informal group, especially of young
                                                             people, who do things together)

- My son plays in a band. (Not *gang*)                   barred • closed • shut
  (= a music group)                                      - We're going to have to turn off soon. The
                                                           road ahead is closed. (Not *shut* *barred*,
band• tape                                                 but we can say barred to traffic)
- I've still got a lot of music on tape.                   (we use closed on its own for roads; we can
  (Not *on bands*)                                         only use barred if we add more information)
  (= magnetic tape for recording sound)                  - The shop is all shut up. Look, the windows
- The security man put a nylon band round my               are barred.
  case to show that it had been examined.                  (= closed with bars)
  (= a strip of metal, plastic, elastic, etc.)           - / was sure she was watching me from behind
bank • bench • form                                        her closed window. (Not *shut*)
- Let's sit on this bench and watch the world              (we don't use shut before a noun)
  go by. (Not *bank* *form*)                             - Most shops are closed/shut on Sundays.
  (= a long wooden seat, with or without a back,           (interchangeable)
  especially out of doors)                               barrier • fence
- When I was at school, we sat on hard                   - There's a high fence right round the estate.
  wooden forms/benches. (Not *banks*)                      (Not *barrier*)
  (forms = long schoolroom seats without a                 {a fence is rather like a wall, but made of wood,
  back, now old-fashioned)                                 or wire on wooden or concrete posts)
- A river bank is a fine place for a picnic,             - The police have put up a barrier to keep
  especially on a sunny day.                               people away. (Not *fence*)
  (= the side of a river)                                  (= a line of metal, wood or rope, which
bankrupt: go bankrupt                                      people may not cross)
- They went bankrupt. (Not * bankrupted*)                barrier • frontier
  (= were forced by debt to close a business)            - You have to have your passport checked at
- We're bankrupt! (Not * bankrupted*)                      the frontier. (Not *barrier*)
- The sudden fall in demand for our products               (= the division between two countries)
  bankrupted us/made us bankrupt.                        - They won't let us through the barrier until
barely                                                     they've checked our luggage.
- They have barely enough to live on.                      (= a wooden or metal 'arm' used to control the
  (Not *don't have barely enough*)                         movement of people and vehicles)
  (only one negative in any one clause; also hardly,     base • basis
  scarcely)                                              - What's your basis for making such a
 barracks • shack • hut • shed                             decision? (Not *base*)
- Severino's family lived in a shack outside               (= basic principle, foundation: pronounced
   Rio. (Not *a barracks/a shed*)                          /'beisis/; plural bases, pronounced /'beisi:z/)
   (= a rough dwelling of local materials)               - The base of the Memorial is engraved with
- If you want the foreman, you'll find him in              the names of those who died. (Not *basis*)
   his hut. (Not *barracks/shack/shed*)                    (= the lowest part that supports what is built
   (= a temporary building, often made of wood, e.g.       on it; plural bases, pronounced /'beisəz/)
   on a building site)                                   basin • swimming pool
- We need a shed to store our garden tools.              - /'// check the temperature, before I dive into
   (Not *barracks/hut/shack*)                              that (swimming) pool. (Not *basin*)
   (= a simple permanent building, often made of wood,   - Please fill this basin with water.
   and used as a storeroom)                                  (= a deep bowl-shaped object for holding
 - The soldiers have been confined to barracks               liquids, etc.)
    the whole weekend. (Not *barrack*)
   (= military buildings for housing soldiers; with a    bath • bathe • swim
   singular verb when regarded as a single unit: the     - / think I'll have/take a bath. (noun)
   barracks is; with a plural verb when used as a          (Not *do/make a bath* *bath myself*)
   collective: the barracks are; also crossroads,        - I'm going to give the baby a bath. (noun)
   headquarters)                                            (Not *do/make the baby a bath*)
                                                            (we can also say bath the baby, not *bathe the

- / don't think many people bath more than                          - / was blinded by the beam of the
  once a day. (verb)                                                car's
   (= have a bath in a bathtub/in a bath)                           headlights. (Not *ray*)
- / can't bear to bathe if the sea temperature                      (= a strong stream of light, often from an
  is under 15°C. (Not *bath*)                                       artificial source)
   (bathe = have a swim, now becoming old-fashioned;              bear • bare
   AmE also = have a bath in a tub; also note to                  - The table was bare. (Not *bear*)
   sunbathe, or have a sunbathe)                                  (= with nothing on it; pronounced /beər/)
- What's she doing? - She's bathing.
                                                                  - Imagine meeting a bear in the forest!
   (= having a bath /'ba:θiŋ/ or a swim /'beiflirj/: both spelt
   the same)                                                         (= a large animal; pronounced the same way)
- I'm going down to the beach for a swim/a                        bear: can't bear
  bathe. (Not *bath*)                                             - / wish she wouldn't eat so fast. I can't bear
- Let me bathe those scratches for you before                       to watch her. (i.e. now)
  you put on any ointment. (Not *bath*)                           - / wish she wouldn't eat so fast. I can't bear
   (= wash gently, especially a wound)                              watching her. (i.e. now or in general)
                                                                    (-ing or to after bear)
bazaar • bargain
- We've made/struck a bargain and we're                           bear • carry
  going to keep to it. (Not *done a bargain*                      - We had to carry the baby. (Not *bear*)
  *made/done a bazaar*)                                             (= lift and move)
- How long will you go on bargaining for a                        - / don't think your car suspension will bear
  better price ? (Not *bazaaring*)                                  such a heavy load.
  (= negotiating a price)                                           (= support the weight of; bear in the sense of
- We're having a bazaar next Saturday to                            'carry' is old-fashioned)
  raise money for the hospital.
  (= an event where things are sold to raise                      bear • suffer (from) • put up with
  money for a good cause)                                         - Isobel suffered terrible pain after her
  (bazaar can be used only as a noun)                               operation. (Not *bore*)
                                                                    (= experienced pain)
bazaar • market/market place                                      - This place is so untidy. I don't know how you
- We do the shopping at the market/market                           can bear living/how you put up with living
  place every Friday. (Not *bazaar*)                                in it. (Not *suffer*)
   (= a place where people buy and sell goods)                      (= endure without protest)
- We're having a bazaar next Saturday to                          - If you eat so fast, no wonder you suffer from
  raise money for the hospital.                                     stomach-ache. (Not * suffer of/by*)
   (= an event where things are sold to raise money for a
   good cause)                                                    beat • hit • bang • strike
- / love visiting bazaars when I'm travelling in                  - Jimmy was rude to his mother and she
  the Arab World.                                                     hit/struck him. (Not *beat/banged*)
  (= street markets, especially in Eastern countries)                 (i.e. once; strike is more formal than hit)
                                                                  - You can't teach children by beating them.
BC * AD                                                               (Not *hitting/banging/striking*)
- Pompey died in 48 BC. (or B.C.)                                     (= hitting repeatedly)
- Tiberius died in AD 37. (or A.D.)                               -If we play music, the people downstairs
  (BC = Before Christ; AD = Anno Domini, 'in the year                 bang (on) the ceiling. (Not *hit/strike*) (=
  of Our Lord'. AD is not usually necessary, except in                strike sharply; hit the ceiling = lose one's
  the early centuries to avoid confusion: Rome was                    temper, is an idiom)
  sacked in AD 410, the 11th to the 21st centuries will           - / banged/hit/struck my head against the low
  always be taken to mean AD. Note the position of                    doorway and hurt myself. (Not *beat*)
  BC/AD in dates.)
                                                                  beat • win • conquer
beam • ray                                                        - Tottenham won the Cup Final. (Not *beat*)
- A ray of sunshine streamed into the room.                         (you win something: e.g. a match)
  (Not *beam*, but we can say a sunbeam)                          - What was the result of the Cup Final?
  (= a thin bar of light, especially sunlight)                      Tottenham won. (Not *beat*)
                                                                    (win can be used intransitively)
                                                                  - Who won the war? (Not *beat/conquered*)
                                                                    (= defeated/beat the enemy)
- Tottenham beat Liverpool in the Cup Final.                    (i.e. What's her present situation? What's she
  (Not *won Liverpool*)                                         doing now?)
  (you beat someone in a match; beat someone at e.g.            Melanie has become a company director.
  tennis)                                                       (= 'that's what she's turned into')
- Alexander the Great conquered half the                        The whole house is shaking. What's
  world before he was 33. (Not *won/beat*)                      happening? (Not *What's the matter?*)
  (= took land by force of arms)                                (= What's going on?)
                                                                You look upset. What's the matter?
beautiful • handsome • good-looking • pretty •                  (Not *What's happening?*)
attractive                                                      (= Is there anything wrong?)
- Boris is a handsome/good-looking young
   man/an attractive young man.                              bed
   (Not *beautiful* *pretty* for men)                        - Joe's in bed. (Not *to bed* *in the bed*)
- Linda is a beautiful/handsome/good-                        - Joe's gone to bed.
   looking/pretty/attractive girl.                             (Not *in bed* *to the bed*)
   (beautiful refers to natural beauty; handsome refers to   - I'll make the bed. (Not *prepare*)
   healthy-looking characteristics; good-looking is            (do is possible when 'making the bed' is
   general, and not as strong as beautiful; beautiful and      viewed as one in a series of tasks)
   pretty are used for women and children with attractive    beef • bullock • ox(en)
   looks)                                                    - / don't fancy walking across a field full of
because (of) • as • since • for                                young bullocks. (Not *beefs*)
- / expected you to ring because/since you                     (= young bulls, young oxen)
  promised you would. (Not *for*)                            - You don't often see farmers using oxen to
  (we use because or since to explain what has been            plough the land. (Not *beefs* *bullocks*;
  said; as in the above sentence would mean 'in keeping        note: ox - oxen, not *oxes*)
  with the way')                                             - I'll get some beef for Sunday lunch.
- Because/As/Since they won't give me a pay                    (= meat from a bull or heifer; uncountable)
  rise, I'm leaving this company. (Not *For*)
  (we cannot use for to begin a sentence)                    beef • steak/beefsteak • roast beef
- We rarely go abroad, for we can't afford it.               - I'd like a steak please, medium rare.
  (for = because; rare in speech)                              (Not *a beef*; we can usually specify: fillet
- Sam got behind in his schoolwork because                     steak, rump steak or sirloin steak) (= a flat
  of his illness. (Not *because*)                              piece of beef, often grilled; beefsteak means
                                                               the same as steak, but is rarely used)
become • be                                                  - We've having roast beef on Sunday.
- I'll say what I think. I won't be quiet!                     (Not *roast beefsteak*)
  (Not *become*)                                               (roast beef= meat from a bull or heifer,
- The children were quiet.                                     cooked in a large piece in an oven)
  (= a state)
                                                             beefsteak • hamburger/beefburger
- The children became quiet.
                                                             - We haven't got enough time for a sit-down
  (= they had previously been noisy)
                                                               meal. Let's have a hamburger/beefburger
- / won't be/become a racing driver. It's too
                                                               somewhere. (Not *beefsteak*; see above)
                                                               (= minced beef rounds, grilled or fried)
become • have • obtain/get
                                                             been • being
- Can I have a coffee please? (Not *become*)
- I obtained/got a couple of seats for                       - He is being difficult again. (Not *is been*)
                                                             - He has been difficult all day.
  'Traviata' at Covent Garden.
                                                               (Not *has being*)
   (Not *became*)
                                                               (be - being - was - have been; being is the
- Remember me if you become famous.                            present participle; been is the past participle)
  (i.e. that's what happens to you)
                                                             before • ago
become (of) • happen (to) • what's the matter
                                                             - We visited Madeira about five years ago.
- / haven't been in touch with Melanie for
                                                               (Not *five years before* * before five years*
  years now. I wonder what's become of/
                                                               * before five years ago*)
  happened to her. (Not *become her*
                                                               (ago = back from now)
  *become to her* *what she's become*)

- It was a pleasure to visit Madeira, especially
  as I'd never been there before. (Not *ago*)       belong
  {before = on a previous occasion)                 - This farm belongs to me and it belonged to
                                                      my father before me.
before • in front of                                  (Not *is belonging* *was belonging*) (only
- Wait in front of that shop. (Not *before*)          stative; no progressive form; also: astonish,
  (in front of, opposite behind, refers to            believe, comprise, concern, consist of,
  absolute position or place)                         constitute, contain, deserve, desire, detest,
- I'm/I come before you in the queue.                 differ, disagree, disbelieve, dislike, envy,
   (= ahead of: position relative to others)          excel, fancy, fear, matter, merit, need, own,
- We'll discuss the matter before he arrives.         perceive, possess, result from/in, suit,
  (Not *before he will arrive* *before that he        understand, want)
  (before as a conjunction + present tense form     belong to • own
  when referring to the future)                     - I own this vehicle. (Not *belong*)
- Don't comment on the film before seeing/            (= it's mine)
  you see it. (Not *before to see it*)              - This vehicle belongs to me. (Not *owns me*
                                                      *owns to me* *It belongs me this vehicle.*)
before • used to • before that                        (= it's mine)
- / drive a taxi now. I used to work in a
  restaurant. (Not *Before, I worked ...*)          belongings
- I worked in a restaurant before I became a        - All my belongings are in this bag.
                                                      (Not *belonging is* *belongings is*)
  taxi driver. (Not *before to become*, though         (= everything I own; plural noun with no
  before becoming would be all right)                  singular form + plural verb)
- 7 used to drive a taxi. Before that, I worked/I
  used to work in a restaurant.                     below • under/underneath • beneath
  (Not *Before from that*)                          - He had a parcel under his arm.
                                                      (Not *below* *underneath* *beneath*)
begin • start                                         (under, opposite over = at a lower place
- / couldn't start my car this morning; the           than, sometimes touching)
  battery was flat. (Not *begin*)                   - The stone hit me below the knee.
   (you start a machine or it starts)                 (Not *under*)
- We began/started working/to work on the             (below, opposite above, refers to position)
  project as soon as we got the commission.         - We camped just below/under the summit.
  (begin or start an activity + to or -ing)           (sometimes interchangeable)
- I began/started the lesson by telling them        - We could see him swimming just below/
  about Pasteur. (Not *began/started with*)           under/beneath/underneath the surface.
  Let's begin/start with soup. (Not *by*)             (beneath is less common than under and
began • begun                                         below and more literary; underneath =
- Sh! The play has begun. (Not *has began*)           completely covered by)
- It began a minute ago. (Not *begun*)              bend • curve
  (begin - began - begun)                           - / always admire the fine curves in a Henry
behaviour                                             Moore sculpture. (Not *bends*)
- How can we deal with such bad behaviour?          - Drive carefully. The road ahead is full of
  (Not *such behaviours/such a behaviour*)            dangerous bends/curves.
  (behaviour is uncountable)                          (a bend is more pronounced than a curve and
                                                      therefore more dangerous; a curve is more
believe (in) • belief                                 rounded and U-shaped than a bend; bend is
- Try to have more belief in your own ability.        the usual word to refer to roads)
  (Not *believe*)                                   - Look at the map. Do you see this curve/bend
   (believe is the verb; belief the noun)             in the river?
- / believe in God. (Not *believe to* *belief*)
- Surely you believe there's more to life than      benefit from
  just making money. (Not *are believing*)          - We need a long holiday and we hope we'll
  (only stative; no progressive form)                 really benefit from it. (Not *benefit by*)
- Are they at home? - I believe so.                   (i.e. it will do us good; note the spelling of
  (Not * I believe.* * I believe it.*)

  -ing/-ed forms: benefiting/benefited,       not    better
  *benefitting/benefitted*)                         - Your car is better than mine.
                                                       (Not *more good*)
 benzine • petrol • diesel oil • paraffin •         - You play chess better than I do.
 petroleum/oil/crude                                   (Not *more good* *more well*)
- How much petrol (AmE gas/gasoline) does           - How are you now? - I'm better.
  your tank hold? (Not *benzine*)                      (i.e. in health)
  (= refined fuel we use in cars)
- Dry cleaners now use more modern solvents         better • get better
  than benzine.                                     - The road gets better a bit further on.
- Diesel engines will only run on diesel (oil).       (Not *The road betters*)
  (= a heavy fuel used in place of petrol)          - I've been ill, but I'm getting better.
- / have a small heater in my greenhouse that         (Not *I'm bettering* *I'm getting weller*)
  runs on paraffin (AmE kerosene).                    (= I'm improving in health)
  (= a petroleum product used in lamps, heaters,    - Let's try to better last year's results.
  candle-making, etc.)                                (= improve on)
- Saudi Arabia is the world's largest producer
  of petroleum/oil/crude (oil).                     better • had better
   (= the basic mineral from which products like    - You 'd (= you had) better leave now so as
   petrol, paraffin, etc., are derived)               not
                                                      to be late for your appointment.
 beside • besides                                     (Not *You better* *You would better*) (had
- There were a lot of people at the party             abbreviates to 'd; omitting had or 'd
  besides us. (Not *beside* *beside of*)              altogether is common but substandard)
  (= in addition to)
- She has so much else to do besides.               better • more • best • most
  (Not *beside*)                                    - / like tennis more than I like football.
   (= additionally; adverb)                           (preferable to better)
- Come and sit beside us. (Not *besides*)           - I like football, but I like tennis better.
  (= next to)                                         (preferable to more)
                                                    - Of all sports, I like tennis best.
 best                                                 (preferable to most)
- Juan is a world-class tennis player who is        - Of all sports, tennis is the most enjoyable.
  counted among the best. (Not *the bests*)
  {the + adjective for the group as a whole)        big • large • great
- Do your best. (Not *Make your best/bests.*)       - A language always benefits from the work
 best • favourite • beloved • dearest                 its great writers. (Not *big* *large*)
- 1 see you're wearing your favourite tie.            (great, opposite minor, generally refers to
  (Not *beloved* *dear* *loved*)                      importance)
   (= the one you like best)                        - If he's a Sumo wrestler, you'd expect him to
- I see you're wearing your best tie.                 be a big/large man. (Not *great*)
  (= finest in quality)                               (big, opposite little, and large, opposite
- Elspeth, beloved/dearest wife of Paul, 1927-        small, generally refer to relative size)
  1988. (Not *favourite* *best* *loved*)
  (dearest and beloved for the person you love      billet • ticket
  best, but beloved is formal, old-fashioned;       - I've lost my train ticket. (Not *billet*)
  favourite can also be used for people: Who        - This fine old house was used as a billet for
  was your favourite teacher at school?)               soldiers during World War II.
                                                       (= a place where soldiers live)
- Try phoning him, but I bet you won't find         billiards
  him in. (Not *am betting*)                        - Billiards is my favourite game.
  (stative use = I'm sure)                             (Not *Billiard is* *Billiards are*)
- How much are you betting on this horse?              (plural in form + singular verb)
  (dynamic use = risking money)                     biscuit • sponge cake • cookie
                                                    - Mother has made a sponge cake for tea.
                                                      (Not *biscuit*)
                                                    - / always like a biscuit (BrE)/cookie (AmE)
                                                      with my morning coffee.

  -ing/-ed forms: benefiting/benefited,       not    better
  *benefitting/benefltted*)                         - Your car is better than mine.
                                                       (Not *more good*)
 benzine • petrol • diesel oil • paraffin •         - You play chess better than I do.
 petroleum/oil/crude                                   (Not *more good* *more well*)
- How much petrol (AmE gas/gasoline) does           - How are you now? - I'm better.
  your tank hold? (Not *benzine*)                      (i.e. in health)
   (= refined fuel we use in cars)
- Dry cleaners now use more modern solvents         better • get better
  than benzine.                                     - The road gets better a bit further on.
- Diesel engines will only run on diesel (oil).       (Not *The road betters*)
  (= a heavy fuel used in place of petrol)          - I've been ill, but I'm getting better.
- / have a small heater in my greenhouse that         (Not *I'm bettering* *I'm getting weller*)
  runs on paraffin (AmE kerosene).                    (= I'm improving in health)
   (= a petroleum product used in lamps, heaters,   - Let's try to better last year's results.
   candle-making, etc.)                               (= improve on)
- Saudi Arabia is the world's largest producer
  of petroleum/oil/crude (oil).                     better • had better
   (= the basic mineral from which products like    - You 'd (= you had) better leave now so as
   petrol, paraffin, etc., are derived)               not
                                                      to be late for your appointment.
beside • besides                                      (Not *You better* *You would better*) (had
- There were a lot of people at the parly             abbreviates to 'd; omitting had or 'd
  besides us. (Not *beside* *beside of*)              altogether is common but substandard)
  (= in addition to)
- She has so much else to do besides.               better • more • best • most
  (Not *beside*)                                    - / like tennis more than I like football.
   (= additionally; adverb)                           (preferable to better)
- Come and sit beside us. (Not *besides*)           - / like football, but I like tennis better.
  (= next to)                                         (preferable to more)
                                                    - Of all sports, I like tennis best.
best                                                  (preferable to most)
- Juan is a world-class tennis player who is        - Of all sports, tennis is the most enjoyable.
  counted among the best. (Not *the bests*)
  (the + adjective for the group as a whole)        big • large • great
- Do your best. (Not *Make your best/bests.*)       - A language always benefits from the work
best • favourite • beloved • dearest                  its great writers. (Not *big* *large*)
- / see you 're wearing your favourite tie.           (great, opposite minor, generally refers to
  (Not *beloved* *dear* *loved*)                      importance)
  (= the one you like best)                         - If he's a Sumo wrestler, you'd expect him to
- / see you're wearing your best tie.                 be a big/large man. (Not *great*)
  (= finest in quality)                               (big, opposite little, and large, opposite
- Elspeth, beloved/dearest wife of Paul, 1927-        small, generally refer to relative size)
  1988. (Not *favourite* *best* *loved*)
  (dearest and beloved for the person you love      billet • ticket
  best, but beloved is formal, old-fashioned;       - I've lost my train ticket. (Not *billet*)
  favourite can also be used for people: Who        - This fine old house was used as a billet for
  was your favourite teacher at school?)               soldiers during World War II.
                                                       (= a place where soldiers live)
- Try phoning him, but I bet you won't find         billiards
  him in. (Not *am betting*)                        - Billiards is my favourite game.
  (stative use = I'm sure)                             (Not *Billiard is* *Billiards are*)
- How much are you betting on this horse?              (plural in form + singular verb)
  (dynamic use = risking money)                     biscuit • sponge cake • cookie
                                                    - Mother has made a sponge cake for tea.
                                                      (Not *biscuit*)
                                                    - I always like a biscuit (BrE)/cookie (AmE)
                                                      with my morning coffee.

     {cake = a sweet soft food made with flour, sugar and    block • pad
     eggs; biscuit = like a cake, but flat, and baked hard   - I've brought this nice new pad to take notes
     and dry)                                                  during the meeting. (Not *block*)
                                                               (pad/writing pad = sheets of paper held
bitter • sour • plain
                                                               together, used for writing or drawing)
- How long has this yoghurt been in the                      - How did the ancient Egyptians cut and move
  fridge ? It tastes sour. (Not *bitter*)                      such huge stone blocks ?
- I just couldn't drink strong black coffee
                                                                (= stone, wood, etc., cut with straight sides)
  without sugar. It's too bitter. (Not *sour*)
  (the opposite of bitter and sour is sweet)                 blood
- I love plain/bitter chocolate.                             - Mr Griffiths had to have a transfusion
   (plain is more common for chocolate; compare                 because he had lost a lot of blood.
   milk chocolate)                                              (Not *a lot of bloods*)
bizarre • odd/strange                                           (blood is uncountable)
- Mrs Grenville's a bit odd/strange sometimes.                                   smock
  (Not *bizarre*)
   (= out of the ordinary; eccentric)                            blouse
- Many pop groups seem completely bizarre
  to the older generation.
   (= strange enough to invite unfavourable comment or
   give cause for concern)
blame (for) • criticize (for) • show (me) up
- Try not to criticize teenage children for their                                               sweater
  appearance. (Not *blame*)
   (= express disapproval of)                                blouse • smock • sweater
- Don't blame me for missing the plane. You                  - Everyone's idea of a painter is a person
  didn't allow enough time.                                     dressed in a smock and standing in front of
   (= say I'm responsible for something bad)                    an easel. (Not *blouse*)
- Tim speaks French much better than me. He                  - I like to dress casually during the weekend -
  really shows me up. (Not *blames me*)                        in a sweater and jeans. (Not *blouse*)
   (= makes me feel/look silly)                              - Monica wore a pink blouse that went very
                                                              well with her black skirt.
- Mr Parkins is blind/a blind man and owns a                 blow up • burst
  guide dog. (Not *a blind*)                                 - One of our pipes burst after the cold
- Mr and Mrs Parkins are both blind/blind                      weather and we had some large plumbing
  people. (Not *blinds*)                                       and redecorating bills. (Not *blew up*)
   (we cannot use blind on its own to mean 'a blind            (= broke open)
   person')                                                  - The mine blew up as soon as it was struck
- More money is collected for the blind than                 by a shell. (Not *burst*)
  for any other group of handicapped people.                    (= exploded: e.g. of a bomb)
  (Not *the blinds*)                                         boast of/about
   (the + adjective for the group as a whole)                - / wish Ron wouldn't keep boasting of/about
- For a moment, we were blinded by a flash of                  his success. (Not *boasting for/with*)
  lightning. (Not *blind*)
   (blind is also a verb, often passive)                      body • silhouette • figure • shape • physique
                                                              • physic
block • hold up                                              - With a figure/shape like yours, you can
- We were held up on the motorway, in a 20                      wear any clothes you like.
  mile tailback. (Not *blocked*)                                 (Not *body* *physique* *silhouette*)
   (= delayed)                                                   (figure is the most common word to refer to
- A lorry has jack-knifed and completely                         the shape or form of the body)
  blocked the motorway.                                      - / think I have a healthy mind and body.
   (= prevented movement along)                                (Not *figure* *physique* *silhouette*)
                                                             - You have to lift weights if you want to build
                                                                up a physique like that! (Not *physic*)
                                                                 (= body-shape; unlike figure it refers to
                                                                 strength, fitness and muscles)

- The man had his back to me and I could see         (borrow something from someone - take
  his silhouette against the firelight.              money, etc., to be paid back or given back)
  (= image in outline with a light behind it)
- Camomile tea is said to be an excellent          both... and
  physic for stomach pains.                        - Both Meg and her husband have gone
  (= medicine: old-fashioned)                        down
                                                     with flu. (Not *And... and*)
 bomb * gas cartridge                              both • the two (of them)
  - I'll have to fit a new gas cartridge. This     - The twins are going to meet for the first
    one's run out. (Not *bomb*)                      time. The two of them were separated at
    (= a container for butane gas)                   birth. (preferable to Both of them)
  - The police have found an unexploded World        (the two of them = two people or things
    War II bomb in the playground.                   considered separately)
    (= an explosive device)                        - Which of the two would you like ? - I'll take
  border • frontier • boundary                       both of them. (preferable to the two of
  -That line of trees over there marks the           them;
    school boundary. (Not *border* *frontier*)       not *the both of them* *both them*)
    (= the edge of a piece of land or property)      (both = not only one, but also the other)
 - A few years ago it was hard to cross the        - They both helped in the kitchen.
   border/frontier from East to West Germany.        (position before a main verb or after be,
   (= the line where two countries join)             have, can, etc.: They're both late.)
  bored: get bored (with)                          bouillon • consommé • broth • soup
 - I got bored long before the film ended.         - There's nothing like a bowl of broth when
   (Not */ bored*)                                   you're not feeling very well.
 - I got bored (with) waiting for you. (Not *got     (= clear soup; bouillon and consomme also
   bored to wait* *got bored at waiting*)            mean 'clear soup', but bouillon is mostly
 - I quickly get bored with TV quiz shows.           used in the term bouillon cube, and
   (Not *get bored of/from*)                         consommé is used on menus and tins;
                                                     compare bullion = gold/silver bars)
  boring • annoying
 - I don't know why your brother keeps
   throwing pebbles at the window. He's
   extremely annoying. (Not *boring*)              - I only had a bowl of soup for lunch.
   (i.e. he makes me angry)                          (have is the usual verb in connexion with
 - / don't know why your uncle keeps telling me      soup, not eat or drink)
   the same jokes all the time. He's extremely     box • boxing
   boring.                                         - / don't think I'm the only one who thinks
   (= dull, tedious, uninteresting)                  boxing is barbaric. (Not *the box*)
 born • borne                                        (= the sport)
- When were you born ?                             - You've eaten the last chocolate in the box!
   (Not *When are you born?*)                        (= a container)
- He was born in 1982. (Not *He born* *He          boy • young man • child
  borned* *He has born* *He was borne*)            - Charles has just joined our firm. He's a very
  {be born = come into the world)                    ambitious young man. (preferably not boy,
- She has borne three children. (Not *born*)         which is patronizing in formal contexts)
  {bear - bore - borne: = give birth/carry: She    - We've got a girl of 16 and a boy of 12.
  has borne three children/She has borne a         - Flora's chief regret in life was that she was
  lot of responsibility.)                            never able to have a child.
borrow (from) • lend (to)                            (child = a young boy or girl; boy = a
- Can you lend me £20 please ? I'll pay/give it      male child, informally used in place of
  back tomorrow. (Not *borrow me*)                   son)
  (lend something to someone = give money, etc.,   braces • brace
  to be paid back or given back)                   - Some men think it's stylish to wear braces
- Can I borrow £20 (from you) please ? I'll          instead of a belt. (Not *a brace*)
  pay/give it back tomorrow. (Not *lend*)            (braces/a pair of braces: no singular)
                                                   - Polly has to wear a brace on her teeth to
                                                     stop them sticking out. (Not *braces*)
                                                     (= a wire band for straightening teeth)

brain • brains                                        breath • breathe
- Believe me, that young woman really has             - Breathe deeply. (Not *Breath*)
  brains/a good brain and will go far.                  (breathe is the verb)
  (Not *has brain/has a brain*)                       - Mr Quinn is old and fat and short of
  (brains = good intelligence is plural in form and     breath.
  takes a plural verb)                                  (Not *breathe*)
- Nobody understands how the brain works.               (breath is the noun)
  (i.e. the organ)
                                                      brief • letter
brake • break                                         - We were very pleased to get a letter from
- Take care with that vase. Don't break it.             our children yesterday. (Not *brief*)
  (Not *brake*)                                       - As a young barrister, Carol was lucky to be
  (break - broke - broken)                              given such an important brief.
- I had to brake hard to avoid hitting her.             (= case)
  (= use the brakes of a vehicle to make it
  slow down or stop; brake - braked - braked)         bright • brightly
                                                      - The sun shone bright/brightly all day.
brave • courageous • good • nice                        (bright occurs in fixed phrases: shine/glow
- Hans is a really good/nice man with a                 bright, look bright = be bright)
  pleasant manner. You'll like him.                   - She answered all my questions brightly.
  (Not *brave/courageous*)                              (Not *bright*)
- Firemen always seem to be naturally                   (adverb = in a cheerful manner)
  brave/courageous in the face of danger.
  (= able to ignore fear)                             bright • shining • shiny
                                                      - He looked very smart in a new suit and
bread • a loaf of bread • a (bread) roll                shiny black shoes. (Not *shining/bright*)
- Nip out and get a loaf of bread/two loaves            (= reflecting light)
   of bread, will you?                                - It's a long time since we had a bright day.
   (Not *a bread* *two breads*)                         (Not *shining/shiny*)
- We've eaten a lot of bread today.                     (= full of light)
  (Not *a lot of breads*)                             - Claudia stands out from the rest like a
  (bread is uncountable)                                shining/bright star. (Not *shiny*)
- I'll just have a bowl of soup and a (bread)           (= producing light)
   roll. (Not *a small bread*)
   (= a small separately-baked piece of bread)        bring • deliver
                                                      - Old-fashioned grocers who deliver goods
break                                                   are pretty rare these days. (Not *bring*)
- You've been overworking - why don't you               (= take to people's houses as a service)
  have a break. (Not *make/do a break*)               - We can deliver/bring the goods to you this
  (= a holiday)                                         afternoon.
breakdown • nervous breakdown                         bring • fetch • take • carry
- There's nothing worse than having a                 - If you're going to the kitchen, would you
  breakdown when you're on a motorway.                  mind bringing me a glass of water please?
  (Not *making/doing a breakdown*)                      (i.e. you will be there, so bring it here)
  (a breakdown = vehicle failure)                     - Please fetch me a glass of water.
- Kim was overworked and had a (nervous)                (= go from here to another place and bring it
  breakdown. (Not *made/did a breakdown*)               back here)
  (= suffered extreme anxiety and stress)             - Take this glass of water to your father.
                                                        (i.e. you are here; carry it there)
breakfast                                             - / had to carry the twins all the way home.
- We've had breakfast. (Not *the breakfast*)            (= lift and move)
  (take breakfast is possible, but dated; no
  articles for meals, except in specific              British
  references: The breakfast today was awful;          - He's/She's British. (Not *a British*)
  also: dinner, lunch, supper, tea)                     (adjectival form, = anyone who comes from
                                                        England, Scotland, Wales or Northern
                                                        Ireland; a Briton, two Britons; a Britisher/
                                                        two Britishers is old-fashioned)

   - They're British. (Not *Britishes*)                   -  /'// get a roll at the station buffet. /'bυfei/
     (the adjectival form is preferred to the noun form     (= a shop on a train or at a station where
     Britons)                                               food and drink are sold over a counter)
   - The British/(The) British people are                 - We've invited so many people, we're having
     wonderfully practical. (Not *British*;                 a buffet /'bυfei/, not a sit-down meal.
    preferable to The Britons) (= the                       (= a self-service meal)
   group as a whole)
 broad/breadth • wide/width                               - How did you get here ? - By bus/On the bus.
- The fireplace is two metres wide/in width.                (Not *With the bus.*)
  (= in measurement across; wide is the usual               (by bus is a fixed expression indicating
  word in references to measurement)                        means of transport; on the bus can refer to a
- The fireplace is two metres broad/in                      particular journey; similarly: bike/bicycle,
  breadth.                                                  train, tube, underground; by car/in the car)
   (= in the distance from one side to the other; in
   measurement expressions, broad suggests                business
   'strikingly/noticeably large')                         - We used to do business with them.
- We came to a wide/broad fast-flowing river.                (Not *make business*)
  {wide = large in measurement across; broad                 (= trade; note the spelling, not *bussiness*
  = big and open from one side to the other;                 *busines*)
  note also a broad grin, a broad outline, in             - We do a lot of business in the Far East.
  which broad = that can be seen openly and                 (Not *do a business/a lot of businesses*)
  easily)                                                   (business = trade is uncountable)
                                                          - / run a travel business in Manchester and
 broil • grill • boil                                       another in Glasgow. Two businesses are as
- How would you like your eggs? - I'd like                  much as I can manage!
   them boiled please. (Not *broiled*)                       (business = an organization is countable)
   (= cooked in boiling water)                            - I'm in business with a partner.
- I'd like broiled (AmE)/grilled (BrE) steak                 (Not *into business*)
   please. (Not *boiled*)                                    (= I work with)
    (= cooked under or over direct heat)                  - I'm not on holiday. I'm here on business.
 broken • not working • out of order                         (Not *for business*)
- That stupid lift isn't working/is out of order             (= for the purpose of conducting business)
   again. (Not *is broken*, though we can say is/has      businessman • entrepreneur
   broken down) (= not functioning)                       - We need an injection of capital from an
- It will be very difficult mending a vase that's           entrepreneur/businessman who's prepared
   broken into so many pieces.                              to take risks.
brutal • bestial • beastly                                  (we describe a businessman as an
- Medieval peasants lived in what we would                  entrepreneur when we want to emphasize the
  consider bestial conditions.                              risk-taking nature of business)
  (Not *brutal* *beastly*)                                - The bar was crowded with tired
  (= revolting, disgusting, 'like beasts')                  businessmen. (Not *entrepreneurs*)
- On their release, the hostages said that they           bust • burst
  had been subjected to brutal treatment by               - The balloon burst. (Not *bust*)
  their captors. (Not usually bestial)                    - The door burst open. (Not *bust*)
  (= very cruel, 'like a brute')                          - We bust/busted/burst the door open.
- We had beastly weather while we were on                 (i.e. we used force)
  holiday. (Not *brutal* *bestial*)                           (bust is often used informally for
  (= extremely unpleasant)                                    'broke/broken': I've bust the iron.)
buffet • sideboard                                        busy • occupied • engaged • in use
- You'll find the wine glasses in the sideboard.          - The lavatory's occupied/engaged/in use just
  (Not *buffet*)                                            now. You'll have to wait. (Not *busy*)
  (= a piece of dining-room furniture for                   (i.e. someone is in there)
  storing plates, glasses, etc.)                          - We 're all busy/occupied getting ready for
                                                            the wedding. (Not *busy/occupied to get*)

- The line's busy/engaged at the moment. I'll                   - You can lock this window by moving this
  phone again later. (Not * occupied*)                          catch to the left. (Not *with*)
   (i.e. someone is phoning)                                    (by + -ing for actions)
- The boss is busy/engaged with a client at the
  moment. You can see him later.                             by and by • gradually
- All the chairs were occupied.                              - As the snow fell, the whole landscape
  (Not *busy* *engaged* *in use*)                              gradually turned white. (Not *by and by*)
                                                               (= little by little)
 but • yet                                                   - We walked for some hours. By and by, we
- / have an ingenious yet/but simple solution                  came to a tiny cottage in the forest.
  to your problem.                                             (= after a time; old-fashioned narrative)
   (yet for emphasis: more formal than but)
- I called but you were out. (Not *yet*)
  (but for simple contrast)
                                                              cabin • cubicle • (tele)phone box/call box
 butcher • butcher's                                         - That cubicle's free if you want to try on
- Where's Vanessa? - She's gone to the                          those dresses. (Not *cabin*)
  butcher's. (Not *the butcher(s)*)                              (= a small, curtained space where people can
   (= the butcher's shop)                                        change their clothes)
- Any butcher knows that some people will                    - / can't phone home yet. Every (tele)phone
  pay high prices for top-quality meat.                         box/call box is occupied. (Not *cabin*)
 button • knob • key                                             If we're sailing overnight, it's worth paying
- The left-hand knob controls the volume.                        the cost of a cabin.
  (Not *button* *key*)                                           (= sleeping accommodation on a ship)
   (= a large, round control that turns)                      cabinet • lavatory • WC • toilet • closet
- To start the machine, you press this button.               - Where's Egon? - He's in the lavatory/toilet.
  (Not *knob* *key*)                                            (Not *cabinet* *closet* *WC*)
   (= the small object, round or square, that you press to      (lavatory is the normal word; toilet is a
   start a machine)                                             widely-used alternative; lav and loo (BrE)
- Which key do I press to quit the program ?                    and john (AmE) are common colloquial
  (Not *button* *knob*)                                         alternatives; WC is old-fashioned)
   (= a square shape on e.g. a computer keyboard             - Your crystal glasses look beautiful in that
   which you press down)                                        fine old cabinet.
buy                                                              (= a piece of furniture with drawers and
- They bought us a present. They bought a                        shelves, often used to store valued objects;
  present for us. (Not *They bought for us a                     also a filing cabinet or a medicine cabinet)
  present.* *Us they bought a present.*)                     - There's a built-in closet in our bedroom.
  (some other verbs that work like this are:                    (AmE for a cupboard used to store clothes;
  bring, build, choose, cook, cut, do, fetch,                   (water) closet (WC, also written wc) for
  find, fix, get, keep, leave, make, order,                     lavatory is no longer in common use, though
  reserve and save)                                             it is sometimes seen in writing)
by • near • on                                               cafe • coffee • cafeteria
- We live near London. (Not *by*)                            - Let's order a coffee, shall we? (Not *cafe*)
  (= a short way from)                                         (= a cup of coffee)
- / sat by the phone and waited for it to ring.              - When you're out, please get some coffee.
  (= right next to; beside)                                    (Not *cafe*)
- Our house is right on/by the road.                            (= coffee beans or coffee powder)
  (on a line: e.g. a road, a river)                          - We had a cheap meal at a cafe (or cafe)
                                                               before going to the theatre.
by • with                                                       (= a simple restaurant serving light meals,
- He was killed with a knife. (Not *by*)                        especially BrE)
  (i.e. deliberately)                                        - / hate queueing for egg and chips at a
- He was killed by a falling stone.                            motorway cafeteria. (Not *cafe*)
  (Not *with*)                                                  (= a self-service restaurant, on a motorway,
  (i.e. accidentally)                                           in a station, college, workplace, etc.)

calculate • estimate • reckon                           camera • room
- We've calculated the cost of a new office and         - As soon as we arrived at the hotel, we were
  it's more than we can afford.                           shown to our room. (Not *camera*)
  (= worked out accurately)                             - This is the smallest camera ever made.
- / reckon/estimate there must be at least                (= a device for taking photographs)
  eight hundred names on the list.                      - The court hearing was in camera.
  (= roughly calculate)                                    (= private, in a closed room: legal Latin)
calendar • time-table/schedule • diary                  camping • camping site/campsite
- We're hoping to keep to the time-table/               - Is there a camping site/a campsite near the
  schedule and deliver your order on time.                beach? (Not *a camping* *camping*)
  (Not *calendar* *diary*)                                (camping site is a countable noun)
  (also note: a school time-table)                      - Camping is cheap. (Not *The camping*)
- I've made a note of your birthday in my                 (uncountable noun describing the activity)
  diary. (Not *calendar*)                               - We love to go camping in fine weather.
   (= a book with spaces for days of the year)            (Not *go for camping* * go for to camp*)
- According to the calendar, the 4th is a
  public holiday.                                       can
   (a wall or desk calendar = a publication, often      - If you'd like to come this way please, Mr
   decorative, which tells you the date)                  Wainwright can see you now.
                                                           (Not *can to see* *cans to see* *cans see*)
 call/phone call                                        - I can go soon. (Not */ can (that) 1 go*)
- Excuse me. I just want to make a (phone)              - Can you drive? (Not *Do you can?*)
   call. (Not *do a (phone) call*)                         (no to-infinitive or third person -(e)s ending after
- Why don't you give me a (phone) call?                    can and other modals; the negative can't is an
   (Not *do/make me a (phone) call*)                       abbreviation of cannot, which is written as one
                                                           word: not *can not*)
 call on • appeal to
- Oxfam constantly appeals to us for                    can/could
   contributions to its funds. (Not *calls on*)         - Can/Could I use your car tomorrow please ?
   (= makes strong requests)                              (could is more polite, or expresses greater
 - The rebel leader called on his men to lay              uncertainty; can anticipates the answer yes)
    down their arms.
    (= formally and publicly told them to)              can • will be able to
                                                        - /'// be able to pass my driving test after I've
call • shout (at) • cry • cry out • scream                had a few lessons. (Not */ can/I will can*)
- You won't get the co-operation of the                   (will be able to predicts future achievement)
  children if you keep shouting at them.                - / can see you tomorrow if you're free.
  (Not *calling (at)* *crying (at)*)                      (Not */ will can see*)
  (shout - use a loud voice; shout at = speak to           (can can refer to the future in the sense of 'be
  someone loudly and aggressively)                         free to'; will be able to is also possible here,
- You'd better go now. I think that's your                 but emphasizes practicality)
  mother calling.
  (= speaking loudly and clearly so as to be heard at   canal • channel
  a distance)                                           - The channel between Britain and France is
- 'Don't do that!' he cried.                              one of the world's busiest seaways.
  (= raised his voice in brief exclamation)                (Not *canal*)
- When I told her the news, she cried.                     (= a narrow sea passage)
  (= wept, shed tears)                                  - In this part of the site you can see how the
- When I told her the news, she cried                     Romans collected rainwater through a
  out/shouted in pain and anger.                          system of channels. (Not *canals*)
  (= raised her voice)                                     (= open 'pathways' where water can run)
- / could hear someone screaming for help in            - The Suez Canal is a major source of income
  the distance.                                           for Egypt. (Not *Channel*)
  (= shouting in fear or pain; stronger than cry out       (= an artificial waterway system on which boats
  and shout)                                              can sail)

- / can't get Channel 4 because of the fog. (Not     - Never buy anything which they tell you has
     *Canal*) (= the wavelength of a TV or radio       fallen off the back of a lorry. (Not *car*) (lorry
     station)                                          (BrE)/truck (AmE) = a large motor vehicle for
                                                       transporting goods)
 cancel • postpone                                  - As there are thirty of us, we've hired a coach
- The match has had to be cancelled/                   (BrE)/bus (AmE) to take us to the football
   postponed because of the bad weather.               match. (Not *car*)
   {cancelled = prevented from happening;              (= a bus for long-distance travelling)
   postponed = put to a later date)
                                                    - There is no speed limit for cars on most
- 1 postponed taking my driving test when I
                                                       German motorways.
   wasn't well. (Not *postponed to take*)
                                                       (BrE car/motorcar; AmE auto(mobile))
canopy • settee/sofa                                - We're going to travel to Portugal by car.
- Make yourself comfortable on the. settee/sofa        (Not *with the car*)
  and I'll make us some tea. (Not *canopy*)
  (= a long comfortable seat with a back)           card • ticket
- The garden is shaded by a canopy of leaves.       - Book the seats on the phone and collect your
  (= a roof made of canvas or leaves that gives       tickets at the booking office. (Not *cards*)
  shade; compare canapes = small biscuits,            (a ticket = a piece of paper or card you buy
  etc., with cheese or meat on top)                   to see a show or to use public transport)
                                                    - If you want to contact me, here's my card.
can't (be) • can't have (been)                        (= a small rectangular stiffened paper with
- Alicia can't have seen it because she wasn't        your name and address printed on it)
  there. (Not *can't see* * mustn't have seen*)
  (can't have refers to present certainty or        cards • a game of cards
  deduction about the past)                         - Let's play cards/a game of cards.
- He can't be more than 30.                           (Not *play card* *play with/at cards*)
  (can't (be) refers to present certainty or        - It's my turn to play a card.
  deduction about the present)                        (Not *play card*)
- He can't leave hospital before Friday.              (cards, as a game, is plural in form; but you can
  (= he isn't allowed to: present or future           play a single card during a game)
  reference)                                        care about/for
- She can't be given the keys to the house till     - Angus is only interested in himself and
  she's eighteen.                                     doesn't care about anyone else.
  (= it isn't possible: present or future             (Not *isn't caring* *isn't caring for*) (only
  reference)                                          stative; no progressive form)
canteen • restaurant                                - Who's caring for the children while you're
- Just before Christmas, the company                  both on holiday?
  entertained us at an expensive restaurant.          (= looking after; dynamic use)
  (Not *canteen*)                                   careful of/about
- We have lunch in the school canteen.              - Since that injury, she has to be very careful
  (= a self-service restaurant in a school or         of/about her back. (Not *for/with*)
  workplace, similar to a cafeteria)
                                                    carry • wear • have (on)
capital                                             - Did he have long hair?
- I'd like to start a magazine, but I haven't got     (Not *Was he wearing*)
  the capital. (Not *a capital* *capitals*)           (have for physical characteristics: have a
  (= a necessary sum of money, uncountable)           scar, blue eyes, a beard, long hair, etc.)
- Paris is the capital of France.                   - Was he carrying a briefcase ?/Did he have a
  (= the centre of government, countable)             briefcase ?
                                                      (carry: i.e. have in his hand)
car • cart • lorry/truck • coach                    - Was she wearing a hat?/Did she have a hat
- People were fleeing from the fighting,
  pulling carts piled high with their                 on?
                                                      (wear = have something on)
  possessions. (Not *cars*)
  (= vehicles with two or four wheels, drawn by     cart • chart • map
  horses or pulled by hand)                         - If we're going to Crete, we'd better get an
                                                      up-to-date map. (Not *cart* *chart*)

  (= a printed representation of the geographical   - In the case of the ship's captain, there is no
  features of a country or place)                     evidence to show he was negligent.
- If you're going to sail across the                  (= in the matter concerning)
  Mediterranean, you'll need a chart.
  (Not *map* *cart*)                                case • situation • occurrence
  (= a map of the sea, ocean or sky)                - An earthquake in Britain is a rare
- He started life as a rag-and-bone man,              occurrence. (Not *case*)
  collecting junk with a horse and cart.               (= a happening, event)
                                                    - The waiter brought me the bill and I didn't
cart • menu                                           have enough money. I've never been in such
- Let's have a look at the menu. (Not *cart*)         a situation before. (Not *case*)
  (= the printed or displayed list of dishes at a     (= a position)
  restaurant; note a la carte = dishes from the     - Do you know the date of the last recorded
  general menu, not the fixed-price menu)             case/occurrence of smallpox?
- He started life as a rag-and-bone man,              (= a particular instance)
  collecting junk with a horse and cart.            cash • (in) cash
cartel • card • label • etiquette                   - They'll only accept cash. Are you carrying
- You can get in touch with me if you want to.        any cash ? (Not *a cash* *any cashes*)
  Here's my card. (Not *cartel* *etiquette*)          (cash is uncountable)
  (= a small rectangle of stiff paper with your     - Can I pay (in) cash? (Not *with cash*)
  name and address printed on it)
- Put a label on your suitcase before you           casket • peaked cap
  check it in. (Not *a cartel* *an etiquette*)      - In his peaked cap and splendid uniform, the
  (= a specially-made card which can be used          railway guard looked like a five star
  to identify an object)                              general. (Not *casket*)
- The major oil companies constantly deny             (= a hat with a shade at the front, often part
  they operate as a cartel.                           of a uniform)
  (= an association of companies working together   - The key was kept in a silver casket.
  to control prices)                                  (= a decorated box, sometimes ceremonial;
- It's etiquette to write to thank your host for      also a coffin, AmE)
  dinner, but not for lunch.
  (= the correct social procedure)
 carton • cardboard
- If you want to pack those books up, use some
   cardboard. (Not *carton*)
   (= thick stiffened paper)                            casserole
- It's more convenient to buy milk in a carton
   than in a bottle.
   (= a container made of cardboard)                casserole • saucepan
- I need some cardboard/a piece of                  - If you want to heat up some milk, use this
   cardboard/two pieces of cardboard to pack          saucepan. (Not *casserole*)
   these books up. (Not *a cardboard* *some         - The only way to serve so many guests was to
   cardboards* *two cardboards*)                      prepare a large casserole.
   (cardboard is uncountable)                         (= a dish cooked slowly in a closed pot; also
case • cash desk                                      a heavy pot with a lid for use over direct heat
- Pay at the cash desk. (Not *case* *cash*)           or in an oven)
  (= the place in a shop where you can pay)         catch
- You should take legal action. You have a          - / caught her reading my diary.
  very good case.                                     (Not *caught her to read*)
  (= legal argument)
case: in case • in case of • in the case of         - The cattle are in the next field.
- Take this umbrella in case it rains/in case of       (Not *The cattle is* *The catties are*)
  rain. (Not *in the case* *in the case of*)           (collective noun + plural verb; also: the
  (= so as to be safe if/as provision against)

     clergy, the military, the people, the police, vermin)   - Won't you have/take a seat.
cause of • reason for                                          (= sit down)
- What was the reason for the delay?                         - There are five of us, so we'll need another
   (Not *cause for*)                                           chair at the dining table. (Not *seat*)
    (= the explanation)                                        (= a piece of furniture for one person to sit
- What was the cause of the delay?                             on)
   (Not *reason of*)                                         chaise longue • deckchair
    (= the thing that made it happen)                        - Sitting in the sun in a deckchair is one of
- The reason I'm late is that I missed the bus.                life's rare pleasures. (Not *chaise longue*)
 (Not *the reason ... is because*)                             (= a wood-and-canvas seat that folds flat;
 (missing the bus is the cause of/reason for                   AmE beachchair)
 my lateness)                                                - I think that chaise longue will be perfect for
- / have reason to suppose he may be lying.                    our living room.
 (= something makes me think)                                  (= a long seat with a back rest at one end)
cave • cellar • grotto                                       chant • sing
- This garden has everything - even a grotto!                - It's the same song she sang in the
  (Not *cave*)                                                 Eurovision Song Contest. (Not *chanted*)
   (= a decorative cave, often man-made)                     - When the minister got up to speak, the
- It's an old house with a large cellar, ideal                 audience began chanting, 'Resign, resign'.
  for storing wine. (Not *cave*)                               (Not *singing*)
   (= a storeroom below the ground)                            (= repeating rhythmically)
- There's a big cave at the bottom of the cliff.
  (= a natural opening in the side of a                      charge • be charged • charge with
  mountain or cliff)                                         - They charged us too much for repairs.
                                                               (= asked us to pay: We were charged a lot of
certain of/about                                               money.)
- I'm not certain of/about the facts.                        - The police charged him with murder.
  (Not *certain for/from*)                                     (= formally accused him: He was charged
certified * qualified                                          with murder.)
- All the applicants we've had for the job are               charge: in (the) charge of • responsible for
  very well qualified. (Not *certified*)                     - Simpson is now in charge of/responsible for
   (= have proof that they have reached a required             the whole department.
   standard and have qualifications)                           (= has the responsibility for managing)
- Anyone who can behave like that ought to be                - The department is now in the charge of
  certified.                                                   Simpson.
   (= officially declared to be insane)                        (= in his care)
- Are you the certified owner of this vehicle?               - Who was responsible for making this
  (i.e. the one who possesses a certificate)                   decision?
certify/declare • confirm/assure someone                       (Not *in charge of* *the responsible for*)
- / confirm that/I assure you that his story is                (= had the duty, but implying here that the
  true. (Not *certify/declare* *confirm you*                   decision was a wrong one)
  *assure that*)                                             chase * hunt
   (confirm = say that it is true; assure you = promise      - In most countries you need a special licence
   that it is true)                                            to hunt wild animals. (Not *chase*)
- The doctor certified/declared that the                       (= find and kill)
  patient was dead on arrival.                               - Police are still hunting the escaped
   (an official certifies; a witness declares)                 prisoners. (Not *chasing*)
chair • seat                                                   (= trying to catch)
- You can easily fit three people on to the back             - I'm tired out after chasing the children
  seat of your car. (Not *chair*)                              round the garden. (Not *hunting*)
  (= a place to sit, with room for one person or a few         (= running after, not necessarily implying
  people)                                                      'catching')

cheap • cheaply • reasonably-priced/
inexpensive                                               chess • a game of chess
- Most business is based on the idea that you             - Let's play chess/a game of chess.
  buy cheap/cheaply and sell dear.                          (Not *a chess*)
  (both forms possible after verbs like buy, find, get,     {chess is uncountable; also: football, ping-pong,
  obtain, sell)                                             table-tennis, tennis, volleyball)
- Countries with low labour costs can make                chest • bust • breast
  textiles cheaply. (Not *cheap*)                         - Women should have regular checks for
  (only -ly to describe a process)                          cancer of the breast. (Not * chest* *bust*)
- I'm looking for a reasonably-priced/                      (the words breast/breasts are used in
  inexpensive room.                                         connexion with women, but not men)
  (preferable to a cheap room, which can refer to         - Is that dress only a 34 bust? It looks bigger.
  price and/or appearance)                                  (= a woman's chest measurement)
cheat (out of) • copy • deceive                           - Grandad had a severe pain in the chest.
- / thought he'd been telling me the truth, but             {the chest for men and children; the area
  he completely deceived me. (Not *cheated*)                around and above the breasts for women)
  {= caused me to believe what was false)                 chick • chic/fashionable
- The exam is carefully supervised, so it's               - Princess Diana was wearing an extremely
  hard to cheat/copy. (Not *deceive*)                       chic/fashionable outfit. (Not *chick*)
  {cheat = act dishonestly to get an advantage;             (chic /ƒi:k/ = elegant, stylish; fashionable is
  copy = here, cheat by writing what someone                safer to refer to up-to-date clothes, etc.)
  else has written)                                       - When will the chick hatch out of the egg?
- Miranda cheated her company out of                        (= a baby bird, a chicken)
  thousands of pounds in false expense claims.
  (Not *deceived* *copied*)                               chief • boss • director • chef
  {= dishonestly took from the proper owner)              - Who's the boss/(managing) director of this
                                                            company? (Not *chief* *chef*)
check • cheque                                              (= the person in charge of a company; boss is
- You can pay by cheque (BrE)/by check                      generally informal)
  (AmE) if you want to.                                   - Norman Schwarzkopf was chief of the
  (note pay by cheque/check or pay by credit card,          United Nations forces in the Gulf War.
  not *with*)                                               (= the leader of a group of people)
cheer • applaud                                           - If the food is bad, blame the chef.
- The audience cheered/applauded loudly at                  {= the cook in a restaurant)
  the end of the performance.                             child/children
  {cheer = shout loudly to show approval: applaud         - We have two children, a boy and a girl.
  = clap the hands to show approval)                        (Not *childs* *childrens*)
chemist • chemist's • pharmacist • pharmacy                 {children is an irregular plural; the
- We both studied at the London School of                   possessive forms are child's and children's)
  Pharmacy.                                               child • baby • infant • toddler • kid
- My wife is a hospital pharmacist.                       - / learnt to ride a bicycle when I was a
- The chemist's (AmE pharmacy) is open, but                 child/a kid. (Not *a baby*)
  the chemist (AmE pharmacist) himself isn't                {child = a young human being; kid is very informal
  back till 2.0.                                            for young children and teenagers)
  {chemist's, BrE = chemist's shop)                       - Doctors say that a baby should be breast-fed
- My brother did a chemistry degree and is                  if possible. (preferable to an infant)
  now an industrial chemist.                                 (= a very young child; infant is formal, official)
  {= a person who has studied pharmacy works in a         - Some of the children at the day-school are
  chemist's (BrE) or in a pharmacy (AmE) to sell            just toddlers.
  medicines or make up prescriptions; a drugstore            (= children who have just learnt to walk)
  (AmE) sells medicines, but is also a general shop;
  a chemist = 1) a person who sells medicines or 2)       chimney • funnel • fireplace
  a person who works in the field of chemistry)           - We love to sit in front of the fireplace on a
                                                            cold winter night. (Not *chimney* *funnel*)

   (= the place in a room where you can burn coal or            circulation • traffic
   logs to provide heat)                                     - The traffic in London is very heavy during
- It's a hopeless fireplace. The heat goes                     rush hour. (Not *circulation*)
  straight up the chimney. (Not *funnel*)                      (= vehicles on the road)
  (= the vertical pipe to carry smoke away                   - My feet are always cold because of my bad
  from a fire)                                                 circulation.
- The Titanic was a large passenger liner with                 (= the movement of blood round the body)
  four funnels. (Not *chimneys*)                             - Isn't there a lot of traffic this morning!
   {funnel = a metal pipe to carry gases away from a           (Not *a traffic* *a lot of traffics*)
   machine)                                                    (traffic = moving vehicles, is uncountable)
china/crockery                                               circumstances: in/under no circumstances
- / think they'd like some china/crockery as a               - In/Under no circumstances should you
  wedding present. (Not *a china/a crockery*                    accept this offer. (Not *In/Under no
  *some chinas/some crockeries*)                                circumstances you should accept ...*)
   (= cups, plates, etc.; china and crockery are                (inversion after negative adverbs; formal and
   uncountable; China = name of the country)                    emphatic. Compare normal word order with
                                                                a negative verb: You shouldn't accept this
chocolate • a bar of chocolate • chocolates                     offer in/under any circumstances. Some
- Whenever I go cycling, I always take some                     careful speakers prefer in no/any
  chocolate/a bar of chocolate/two bars of                      circumstances to 'under')
  chocolate. (Not *a chocolate*)
  (chocolate is uncountable here)                            citron • lemon • citrus
- Someone has had a chocolate/four                           - Grilled fish tastes good with a generous
  chocolates out of this box.                                   squeeze of lemon. (Not *citron*)
  (chocolate is countable here and refers to                 - This birthday cake contains currants,
  separate sweets in a box of chocolates)                       sultanas and a little citron peel.
choice • choose                                                 (= a yellow thick-skinned fruit related to a
- You have to make a choice. Choose                             lemon)
  carefully! (Not *Do a choice* *Chose*) (choice is          - Citrus fruits only grow in warm climates.
  the noun; choose is the verb)                                 (e.g. oranges, lemons, limes)
- Which have you chosen ? (Not *choosen*)                    city • town • village
  (choose - chose - have chosen)                             - Berlin is the capital city of Germany.
cigar • cigarette                                            - I don't mind not living near the capital, but
- / hate the smell of cigarettes, but I don't                   I'd hate to live far from a town.
   mind the smell of cigars.                                 - Apart from a few houses, we have a shop, a
                                                                pub and a church in our village.
   (a cigarette = finely-chopped tobacco, rolled in a thin
                                                             - She was born in Guildford/in the town of
   tube of white paper; a cigar = leaves of tobacco             Guildford. (Not *in the town Guildford*;
   rolled into a fat tube)                                      similarly: village, city)
cinema                                                          (a city is larger than a town; a town is larger
- What did you do last night? - We went to the                  than a village. We say in/from/to/out of town to
   cinema. (Not *We went to cinema.* *We                        refer to our nearest town or city: / spent the day
   went cinema.*)                                               in town.)
   (the + cinema, even for 'any' cinema)                     civilization • civilized • developed (country)
circulate • run                                              - Germany is a developed/civilized country.
- At what time in the morning do the buses                      (Not *a country with civilization*)
   begin to run ? (Not *circulate*)                             (i.e. it has an advanced social, industrial and
   (i.e. according to their timetable)                          political system)
- A clot can be dangerous if it prevents the                 - A low infant mortality rate is one of the
   blood from circulating freely.                               advantages of modern civilization.
   (= going round)                                           civilization • life and institutions
                                                             - A lot of people want to learn English without
                                                                being interested in British life and
                                                                institutions. (Not *civilization*)

  (note: we do not use civilization to mean way
  of life: not *rural civilization*)                     clear (of) • clearly
- Western society has developed from the                 - Stand clear of the doors! (Not *clearly*)
  ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome.                (clear (of) = away (from): move/stand/stay
                                                           clear of someone or something)
claim from • demand from                                 - / want to make it clear that I'm not paying
- We've had a lot of storm damage and we 're               this bill. (Not *make it clearly*)
  claiming/demanding compensation from                       (i.e. be sure that I am understood)
  our insurance company (Not *claiming to*)              - Please write clearly. (Not *clear*)
  (claim = ask for something you think you                  (clearly to describe a deliberate action)
  have a right to; demand = make a strong
  request for something)                                  clerk • employee • shop assistant • attendant
                                                          • official
 class                                                   - ICI has thousands of employees.
- The children are in class.                                 (general term for paid workers)
    (Not *to/at class* *in the class*)                   - John's just got a job as a clerk at the bank.
- I think the class is/are fully prepared for the           (an employee who does office work; pen
   exam.                                                     pusher is used humorously or dismissively;
    (collective noun + singular or plural verb)              scribe is archaic)
                                                         - Shop assistants aren't highly paid.
 classic • classical                                        (employees who serve in a shop; AmE
- Darren is one of those people who can't                   salesderks)
   bear classical music. (Not *classic*)                 - Ask an attendant when the park closes.
   (= serious and lasting)                                  (Not *shop assistant* *employee* *clerk*)
- 'Between you and /' is a classic example of               (attendants look after places: e.g. gates,
   bad grammar. (Not *classical*)                           filling stations, parks, museums, swimming-
   (= typical, or excellent of its type, as in a            pools)
   classic mistake, a classic suit, etc.)                - The bank has appointed officials to
 classroom • class • lesson                                investigate complaints by customers.
- 1 must hurry. I have a class/a lesson at 11.              (= people in responsible positions in
   (Not *a classroom*)                                      government departments, banks, etc.)
    (spoken by a teacher, this means 'I am taking a       client • customer • patient • guest
    class/giving a lesson'; spoken by a student, this    - During the sales, the department stores are
    means 'I am attending a class/a lesson')                full of customers. (Not *clients* *guests*)
- The students are waiting for you in the                  (= people who buy things)
   classroom/In class. (Not *in the lesson*)             - Small clients demand the same service from
   (classroom = place; in class = gathered                 their bank as large clients.
   together for a lesson)                                    (= people who buy services from banks,
clean • cleanly                                              lawyers, etc.; customer can also be used, but
- With a single swing of the axe, he cut the log             it is less formal than client)
  clean/cleanly in two.                                  - Shall I send in the next patient, doctor?
  (cleanly = neatly, in a clean way; clean =                (Not *customer* *client*)
  completely in e.g. clean forget, clean in two, (get)       (= a person who seeks medical services)
  clean away, (be) clean off his head)                   - Parking facilities are available only for
- I don't mind how you do the job, as long as               hotel guests. (Not *clients* *customers*)
  you do it cleanly. (Not *clean*)                          (= people staying at a hotel)
  (= in a clean way)
                                                         climb up/down
cleaning                                                 - Is it harder to climb up a mountain, or to
- Who does the cleaning in this household?                  climb down one?
  (Not *makes the cleaning*)                                (we climb down as well as up)
  (specific reference with the)
- This house needs a lot of cleaning.                    climbing
  (Not *much cleaning*)                                  - We went climbing last holidays. (Not *went
- Cleaning takes a long time.                               for climbing* *went for to climb*)
  (Not *The cleaning* *The cleanings*)                       (also: camping, fishing, hunting, riding,
  (general statement)

     sailing, shopping, sight-seeing, skiing, walking)         clothe people, in a general sense; we can
                                                               also say an article of clothing)
clock • watch                                               - This garment must be washed at 40˚C.
- It's usual to wear a watch on your left wrist,              (Not *This cloth* *This clothe*)
   not your right. (Not *clock*)                               (we can use a/this garment - formal - to
- What an attractive kitchen clock!                            refer to a single item of clothing)
   (a clock is larger than a watch: it hangs on a wall or
   stands on a surface; a watch is worn on the wrist or     coach * bus • train • Pullman
   carried in the pocket)                                   - You can travel very quickly from Alexandria
                                                              to Cairo by coach (BrE only)/by bus
close (to) • closely                                          (BrE/AmE). (Not *Pullman*)
- Stand close to me. (Not *closely to*)                        (BrE uses bus as well as coach for long-
   (close (to) = near (to))                                    distance)
- / studied her face closely. (Not *close*)                 - The best way to see America is by train
   (closely = in detail)                                      (BrE/AmE)/by Pullman (AmE).
close • turn off                                               (a Pullman - spelt with a capital P - is a
- Turn off the tap/the light. (Not *Close*)                    specially comfortable railway carriage for
   (turn off for taps and switches)                            long-distance journeys)
- Please close the window/the door.                         - The railway station is only a ten-minute
   (close for windows and doors; note                         journey on the bus. (Not *coach/Pullman*)
   close/draw the curtains, not *turn off*; draw            coal * charcoal
   the curtains is ambiguous and can mean                   - You need more charcoal for that barbecue.
   either 'open' or 'shut' unless specified: Draw             (Not *coal* *a charcoal/more charcoals*)
   the curtains back/across.)                               - Coal doesn't burn as cleanly as oil.
closed/shut • off • out                                        (coal = black, stone-like fuel from the earth;
- Are the taps/lights off? (Not *closed/shut*)                 charcoal = fuel made by burning wood very
- Are the lights out? (Not * closed/shut*)                     slowly. Both words are normally
   (taps, lights, the gas, the electricity can be              uncountable, though a coal, hot coals can
   on or off; lights can be on or off/out)                     occur in specific references)
- Are all the doors and windows closed/shut?                coarse • course
   (Not *off* *out*)                                        - I'm doing a French course. (Not *coarse*)
   (doors/windows are open or closed/shut)                     (= a series of lessons)
cloth/material • clothe                                     - He wore an old jacket made of coarse cloth.
- Wipe up the mess with a cloth.                              (= rough, not smooth)
   (Not *a clothe* *a material*)                            coast • shore • cost • beach/seaside • sea
   (a cloth = a piece of material for cleaning: countable   - There is rain over the whole of the west
   noun; the plural is cloths)                                 coast of Britain. (Not *shore* *cost*)
- There's enough cloth/material there for a                    (we use coast when we are thinking of a
   skirt. (Not *clothe*)                                       country in terms of a map; take care with the
   (cloth and material are uncountable)                        spelling: coast, not *cost*)
- We can't hope to feed and clothe our                      - In bad weather a lifeboat is ready to set out
   children if we don't both work.                            from the shore at very short notice.
   (verb = provide clothes for; dress)                        (preferable to coast)
clothes • clothing • garment                                     (we use shore to refer to the dry land at the
- My clothes are getting shabby.                                 edge of the sea)
   (Not *My clothe is* *My clothes is*)                     - With the increase in oil prices, the cost of a
   (plural noun with no singular form + plural                  holiday has risen sharply.
   verb)                                                         (= the price)
- Elisabeth owns a lot of clothes.                          - There's nothing the children enjoy more
   (Not *a clothing/a lot of clothings*)                        than a day at the beach/at the seaside.
- The Red Cross appealed for tents and                          (Not *on the coast* *at/to the sea*;
   clothing.                                                    preferable to on the shore)
   (clothing = uncountable, things that will                     (= the part of the shore used for pleasure)

- The beach was crowded.                                   - Dogs should be required by law to wear
  (Not *coast* *shore* *seaside*)                            collars. (Not *necklaces* *colliers*)
  (specific reference to a sandy or pebbly area)             (= bands worn by animals round the neck)
- There were a lot of people in the sea.                   - / was a collier before the mines closed.
  (= in the water)                                           (= a coal miner)
coat • jacket                                              collation • snack
- / need a coat which is warm but light.                   - After four hours' work, we stopped for a
  (= an item of clothing worn over all other clothes to      snack. (Not *collation*)
  protect from the cold or rain)                              (= a light meal; a collation = a formal light
- Those trousers don't match that jacket.                     meal is now old-fashioned; note that we
  (= the top part of a suit, or a short coat)                 don't use lunch to mean snack)
                                                           - I've been left to deal with the collation/
cocktail • cocktail party
                                                             collating of these papers on my own.
- Are you coming to the cocktail party on
  Friday night? (Not *the cocktail*)                         (= putting them in the right order)
  (= a party at which alcoholic drinks and light           collect • pick/gather
  food are served)                                         - Professional growers keep apple trees small
- I've asked the barman to fix me a Manhattan                so that picking/gathering the fruit is easy.
  - my favourite cocktail.                                   (Not *collecting*)
  (= a mixed drink, usually alcoholic)                        (= take fruit/flowers while they are growing)
                                                           - Once a year I volunteer to collect money for
cold: be/get cold, have/catch (a) cold • cool                cancer research. (Not *pick* *gather*)
- It (= the weather) is cold today.                           (= bring together from different sources)
  (Not * It has cold* *It makes cold*)
- My coffee is cold. (Not *colded*)                        college * colleague
  (= not warm)                                             - / know Mike Seymour very well. He's a
- I'm cold. I think I'll put on a pullover.                   colleague of mine. (Not *college*)
  (Not *I have cold.* *1 cold.*)                              (= someone I work with)
  (= I don't feel warm)                                    - What sort of job do you expect to get after
- You 'II get cold without a coat.                            three years at college ?
  (Not *You'll cold* * You'll cool*)                          (= an institution of higher learning)
  (= you will feel cold)                                   college • university
- The Colonel seems rather a cold person.                  - Ann's at York University. (Not *College*)
  (= not friendly, not well-disposed)                         (= an institution that awards degrees)
- / have a cold./I've caught (a) cold;                     - Our daughter started college last October.
  (Not*/ have cold.*)                                      - Joe's at college for three years to study
  (a with cold to refer to the illness)                       engineering. (Not *to college*)
- Mind you don't catch cold/a cold!                        - Joe's going to college next October.
  (we can sometimes omit a after catch; catch cold = get      (Not *in/at the college* *to the college*)
  chilled)                                                    (= BrE: any institution of higher learning,
- You should cool the food/make the food cool                 not always leading to a degree; in the UK a
  before putting it in the fridge.                            university may consist of different colleges;
  (cool, verb = cause to lose heat)                           some independent schools use College as
collaborator • colleague                                      part of their title: e.g. Eton College)
- May I introduce my colleague?                            colour
  (Not *collaborator*)                                     - His hair is brown.
- After the war, Lord Haw-Haw was arrested,                   (Not *The colour of his hair is brown.*) (we
  tried as an enemy collaborator and hanged.                  don't need to use the noun colour - AmE
  (= someone who works with the enemy)                        color - when naming a colour)
collar • collier • necklace                                column • line/queue of cars
- This necklace looks fabulous, but it's just              - There's been an accident and there's a
  costume jewellery. (Not *collar* *collier*)                 line/queue of cars that stretches back ten
  (= jewellery for the neck)                                  miles. (Not *column*)
- He was wearing a shirt with a wide collar.               - A column of smoke rose from the chimney.
  (Not *collier*)                                             (= a solid line)

                                                            the spelling: not *conforts*)
combination • petticoat/slip • bathing costume              (= the things that make life easy and
- That dress would look better with a                       comfortable)
  petticoat/slip under it.
   (Not *combination*, but combinations = an old-        comical • comic/comedian
   fashioned item of underwear) (a petticoat/slip = an   - Bob Hope is a natural comic/comedian. He
   underskirt; slip is not used in English to mean         only has to raise an eyebrow to make you
   pants/knickers)                                         laugh. (Not *a comical*)
- The combination of hydrogen and oxygen                   (nouns = a person who makes you laugh: a
  produces water.                                          comic actor, comics refers to more than one
   (= putting together)                                    comic actor: Laurel and Hardy were a
- Get your bathing costume on and we'II go                 couple of comics/comedians.)
  for a swim. (Not *slip*)                               - We were in this comic/comical situation
   (bathing costume and swimming costume (both sexes),     where we couldn't go up or down.
   swimsuit and bikini (women) and bathing/swimming        (adjectives = funny)
   trunks (men) are in common use; bathers + plural
   verb is a colloquial alternative for both sexes)      comma • point • (full) stop • dot
                                                         - The front pressures should be 1.8 (one point
combine • conspiracy • holding                              eight). (Not *one comma eight* *one stop
- The Minister denied that there had been a                 eight* *1,8*)
  conspiracy to bring down the party leader.                (when writing, we mark decimals with stops,
  (Not *combine*)                                           not with commas; in speech we call the stop
   (= a secret plan involving people acting together        'point'. We say each number after the
   to do something wrong)                                   decimal point separately: 45.987 = forty-five
- / have a holding of 100 shares in BASF.                   point nine eight seven)
  (Not *combine*)                                        - If you start a sentence with 'However', you
   (= the ownership of shares in a company)                should use a comma after it.
- BASF is a large industrial combine.                    - Always end a sentence with a (full) stop.
  (= a group of companies)                               - We always put a dot over the letters i and j.
                                                           (Not *(full) stop*)
come                                                         (= a small round mark)
- Do you want to come shopping with us?
  (Not *come for shopping*)                              command • order
- Do you want to come for a walk with us?                - / didn't order a steak. I ordered fish.
- Come walking with us in the Lake District.               (Not *command* *commanded*)
  (Not *Come walk*)                                         (= asked to be brought)
   (i.e. as an outdoor sport, pursuit)                   - The officer ordered/commanded the men to
- The time has come to help them.                          return to barracks. (Not *ordered the men
  (Not *It's come the time to help them.*)                 that they should return*)
                                                             (i.e. he spoke to them directly)
come from                                                - The officer ordered that the soldiers should
- Where do you come from ?                                   retreat. (Not *commanded*)
  (Not *are you coming from*)                             (i.e. he gave the order directly or indirectly) -
  (only stative in this sense = what is your              In the Gulf War, General Schwarzkopf
  country of origin?)                                     commanded the United Nations forces. (= was
- Which station is he coming from ?                       in charge of)
  (dynamic use)
                                                         commissionaire • agent
comforts • conveniences                                  - Who's the Rank Xerox agent in Cairo ?
- They live in a cottage without any modern                (Not *commissionaire*)
   conveniences. (Not *comforts*)                          (= the person who acts for them)
  (modern conveniences, commonly 'mod                    - Fred works as a commissionaire outside a
  cons' = full services and equipment)                     posh hotel and earns a fortune in tips.
- Young people are often reluctant to go out               (= an attendant in a uniform, outside a hotel,
  into the world and surrender the comforts of             cinema, etc.; BrE)
  living at home. (Not *conveniences*; note

commode • chest of drawers                                 compost • compote • stewed fruit
- / need a chest of drawers in my bedroom as               - We had stewed fruit/a cold compote for
  well as a wardrobe. (Not * commode*')                      dessert. (Not *compost*)
  (= a piece of furniture with drawers to store clothes)     (stewed fruit, uncountable, is the usual term
- The idea of a commode in your bedroom                      for fruit boiled with sugar and eaten hot or
  would be funny today.                                      cold; a compote, countable, is a less common
  (= a chair with a built-in chamber pot)                    French loanword for the same thing)
                                                           - We need some compost on this rose-bed.
common • vulgar • normal • ordinary                          (= decayed vegetable matter)
- I'm not looking for anything fancy, just an
  ordinary/normal kettle. (Not *common*)                   concern • concerned with/about • concerning
  (= simple, not elaborate)                                - The state of the environment concerns
- I'm just an ordinary person. (Not *vulgar*)                everyone on earth. (Not *is concerning*)
  (= not distinguished in any way)                           (= matters to; only stative)
- In this block we have a common                           - There's no problem about working overtime
  responsibility for maintaining the staircase.              as far as I'm concerned/as far as it
  (Not *vulgar* *normal* *ordinary*)                         concerns me.
  (= shared)                                                  (= as I'm affected/it affects me)
- / wish you wouldn't use such common/                     - Our boss isn't concerned with the day-to-
  vulgar expressions in your speech.                          day running of the company.
  (= rough, socially unacceptable)                            (= involved in)
                                                           - I am concerned about my health.
 companion • partner
                                                              (Not *concerned with* *am afraid of* *have
- I've just started this business with a partner.
                                                             fear about*)
   (Not *companion*)
                                                              (= anxious about, worried about)
   (= a business associate)                                - We still have a great deal to discuss
- / want to travel to the Himalayas and I'm                   concerning pay and conditions.
   looking for a companion.                                   (Not *concerning about* *concerned
   (= someone to come with me, to be company for me)          about*)
 compliment • complement                                      (= about; formal)
- The inspector paid our teacher a compliment              concert • concerto
   on the way she managed her class.                       - The young pianist played a difficult concerto
   (Not *did/made* *complement*) (= expressed                by Bartok. (Not *concert*)
   appreciation, admiration; the adjective is                (= a piece for orchestra and solo instrument)
   complimentary, as in complimentary remarks)             - The concert begins with the overture to
 - Mustard is often thought to be the ideal                  'William Tell'. (Not *concerto*)
   complement to beef. (Not *compliment*)                    (= a musical performance e.g. by an
   (i.e. they go very well together; the adjective           orchestra)
   is complementary: Mustard and beef are
   complementary. Compliment(ary) and                      concurrence • competition • race
   complement(ary) are pronounced the same)                - Quality control is the only way to stay ahead
                                                             of the competition.
compose • arrange                                            (Not *the concurrence* *the race*) (=
- You've arranged those flowers beautifully!                 those trying to do better than you)
  (Not *composed*)                                         - The competition for jobs is unbelievable.
  (fixed phrases: arrange flowers, make a flower             (= rivalry)
  arrangment: e.g. in a vase)                              - No race is more demanding than the
- I'll have to be very careful how I compose                 Marathon. (Not *competition*)
  this letter.                                               (= a competition in speed)
   (= 'create' in words or music)                          - Obviously, we can't do anything about this
composed of                                                  without Andrew's concurrence.
- A jury is composed of people from all walks                (= consent)
  of life. (Not *composed from*)                           condemned (to) • convicted (of)
                                                           - He was convicted of murder and jailed for
                                                             life. (Not *condemned of*)
                                                             (= judged to be guilty of a crime)

- He was found guilty and condemned to two                     confectioner's • sweet shop • tea shop
  years in jail.                                              - Bonne Bouche is my favourite tea shop.
   (= given a punishment of)                                     (Not *confectioner's/sweet shop*)
                                                                  (= a shop where you drink tea and/or have
 conduct oneself * behave (oneself)                               something to eat)
- It isn't reasonable to expect young children                - Mr Hailey runs a small sweet shop/
   to behave (themselves), even in a church.                     confectioner's near the station.
   (Not *conduct themselves*)                                     (= a shop that sells sweets and chocolates)
    (= behave well, especially in formal social situations)   - You can only get chocolates like this at a
- The trial was an ordeal, but she conducted                     real confectioner's. (Not *sweet shop*)
   herself very well. (Not *behaved*)                            (= a specialist sweet maker)
    (we can use conduct oneself to mean behave, but
    conduct oneself must always be followed by an             confound • confuse
    adverb: He conducted himself well, not *He conducted      - I'm always confused by the sort of
    himself.*)                                                  information you get from public opinion
                                                                polls. (Not *confounded*)
 conductor • driver/chauffeur • motorist • leader                (= unable to form a clear view)
 • guide • director                                           - Chris was confounded to meet us socially
- The driver kindly stopped the bus in the                      after he'd been so rude to us in the street.
   middle of nowhere and let me off.                            (Not *confused*)
   (Not *conductor* *chauffeur*)                                (= embarrassed, not knowing what to say)
    (- the person driving)
- Here's the money for when the conductor                     confuse (with) • get confused
   comes to collect fares. (Not *driver*)                     - / got confused and turned left by accident.
    (= the person who collects fares on buses; compare          (Not */ confused* *confused myself*)
    the inspector who inspects tickets)                       - Don't confuse me with my twin brother.
- Hasn't Douglas done well! He even employs                     (= mistake me for)
    a chauffeur/driver! (Not *conductor*)
    (chauffeur = a private driver; formal)                    congealed * frozen
- Motorists/Drivers always complain when                      - Quick! 1 want to get the frozen foods home
    road taxes are increased.                                   and into the freezer. (Not *congealed*)
    (= people who drive cars)                                 - Alan kept me on the phone till my dinner
- He was a popular leader of his country.                       was completely congealed.
   (Not *conductor*)                                            (= became cold, thick and sticky)
- When we visited the pyramids, we hired a                    congratulate • felicitate
    guide. (Not *conductor*)                                  - / must congratulate you on your success.
- Who's the conductor of the London                             (Not *congratulate for* or felicitate, which
    Symphony Orchestra?                                         is so rare in English as to sound insincere)
    (Not *director* for a musician)                             (the noun, always plural, is congratulations
    (= the musician who regulates the playing of                + on: Congratulations on your success!)
    other musicians e.g. with a baton)
- Who's the director of the LSO ?                             connect/join • unite
    (= the person responsible for its business                - The party leader has successfully managed
    management)                                                 to unite the different elements in his party.
                                                                (Not *connect/join*)
confection • sweet(s)                                           (= make them one/whole)
- If you eat those sweets now, you won't want                 - You have to join these two wires
  your dinner.                                                  together/connect them. (Not *unite*)
  (Not *confections*, but compare                               (= put together, attach them to each other)
  confectionery: uncountable noun - sugary
  foods)                                                       conscience • conscientious • conscious •
- the chef had prepared an extraordinary                       consciousness
  confection for the wedding.                                 - When you're in Paris you can't help being
  (= a strange or elaborate sweet dish)                          conscious of the way the streets are kept
                                                                 clean. (Not *conscience* *conscientious*)
                                                                 (= aware)

- A conscientious worker is an asset to any                  - Considered as neighbours, the Clarks are
  company. (Not *conscious* * conscience*)                     reasonable enough.
  (i.e. who works seriously and with care)                      (as = in their capacity as)
- If your conscience tells you it isn't the right            - I'm seriously considering leaving the
  thing to do, don't do it. (Not *conscious*)                  company. (Not *considering to leave*)
  (= your inner sense of right and wrong)                      (consider + -ing, not *to*, = think about)
- He fainted and it took him a minute to                     - / consider that the matter is now closed.
  regain consciousness. (Not *conscience*)                     (Not *I'm considering*)
  (= possession of his senses)                                  (stative use in 'declarations' = believe)
conscious • sensible                                         construe • construct
- Amy's a sensible woman and I can rely on                   - The town council has allowed a developer to
  her judgement. (Not *conscious*)                             construct an office block in front of a 14th
  (i.e. she has good sense and judgement)                      century church. (Not *construe*)
- When 1 first became conscious, I didn't                       (= build)
  remember anything about the accident.                      - Clause 8 could be construed to mean that
  (= awake, in possession of my senses)                        we aren't insured against fire.
                                                                (= analysed and understood)
conservatives • preserves • preservatives
- / never buy cold meats. They're full of                    consult • advise
  preservatives. (Not *conservatives*)                       - A lot of people were advised that the bank's
  (= substances that stop food going bad)                      finances were sound. (Not *consulted*)
- Barbara's larder is absolutely full of                        (= given advice)
  preserves and pickles.                                     - A lot of people were consulted about the
  (preserves is generic for 'bottled fruit and jam' and is     bank's finances.
  therefore normally plural; it's the occasional singular       (= asked for advice)
  use that is unusual: Tiptree's Damson Preserve)
- People who are conservatives with a small                   consummation • refreshment(s)
  'c' object to any kind of change.                           • consumption
   (i.e. they want things to stay as they are)               - There's no dining car, but an attendant
                                                                brings round a trolley of light refreshments.
 conserve * preserve                                            (Not *consummations*)
- How did people preserve food when there                        (= food and drink)
   were no refrigerators? (Not *conserve*)                   - The restoration of this castle to its former
   (= prevent it from going bad)                                glory is the consummation of a life's work.
- There's only enough water for a couple of                     (= the completion)
   days, so we must conserve what we have.                   - The consumption of organically-grown food
   (= make it last as long as possible; preserve                is on the increase.
   would suggest 'not use at all')                               (= eating)
- We have to preserve/conserve the
   countryside for future generations.                       contemplate
   (the nouns are preservation, conservation)                - / couldn't contemplate changing my
                                                                lifestyle. (Not *to change*) (=
 conserves • tinned/canned food • a tin/a can                   consider)
- It really isn't healthy to live on
   tinned/canned food. (Not *conserves*)                     content • happy • pleased
   (= food preserved in tins or cans)                        - / was happy/pleased to hear that your son
- There isn't much to eat. Let's open a tin. (or               has got into Cambridge. (Not *content*)
   a can, AmE) (Not *a conserve*)                              (i.e. it gave me pleasure)
- It's called 'Mrs Harvey's Old-Fashioned                    - Tania is quite content/happy in her present
   Strawberry Conserve'.                                       job. (Not *pleased*)
    (= jam; only used on manufacturers' labels)                 (= satisfied)
consider                                                     continent • Europe • the Continent
- Professor Heinz is considered an                           - Much of the African continent is unsuitable
  expert/considered to be an expert on                         for cattle because of tsetse fly.
  molluscs. (Not *considered as an expert*)                     (= a large land mass)

- The British often refer to Europe as 'the                  convenient • comfortable • suitable
  Continent'.                                               - We'd all like to live in a comfortable house.
  {the Continent = the rest of Europe; BrE)                    (i.e one that makes life easy and pleasant;
                                                               the opposite is uncomfortable)
 continual • continuous                                     — Our house is very convenient for the shops.
- The continual noise of building going on                     (= near; the opposite is inconvenient)
   upstairs is driving us mad.                              — What you're wearing isn't suitable for the
    (= constant, with interruptions)                           occasion. (Not *convenient*)
- There is nothing more annoying than the                       (= appropriate; the opposite is unsuitable)
   continuous wailing of a burglar alarm.                   - Yes, Friday will be convenient/suitable.
   (= constant, without interruptions)                         (both words are possible for dates,
contrary: the contrary • on the contrary • in contrast         appointments, etc.)
with/to                                                     convent • monastery
- I'm not opposed to what you're trying to do.              - The monastery is famous for a fine liqueur
  On the contrary, I wholly approve.                          made by the monks. (Not *convent*)
   (Not *Contrary* *The contrary*) (= quite                   (a monastery is inhabited by monks)
   the opposite)                                            - Some of the nuns from the convent teach in
- The situation isn't as you suggest. It's quite              the local schools. (Not *monastery*)
  the contrary.                                               (a convent is inhabited by nuns)
   (= the opposite)
- In contrast with/to other parts of the                    conversation • discussion • dialogue
  country, we've had a lot of rain.                         - NATO members are to have a discussion
  (Not *On the contrary with*)                                about arms reduction.
                                                              (Not *conversation* *dialogue*) (= a
contrary • conflicting                                        serious exchange of views on a
- How can they get on well together when they                 particular topic)
  have such conflicting/contrary interests?                 - / had a long conversation with my mother
  (= opposing; conflicting is more usual)                     on the phone last night.
control • check • keep a check on • set                       (Not *dialogue* *made/did a conversation*)
- They're going to check our passports.                       (= an informal talk on all kinds of subjects;
  (Not *control*)                                             the verb converse (with) is formal)
  (= examine e.g. money, passports, identification; we      - I find it hard to make conversation at
  can say We have to go through passport control, using       parties. (Not *do/have conversation*)
  passport control as a compound noun)                        (= keep a flow of talk going)
- Check the tyres before you leave.                         - Actors have to learn a lot of dialogue.
  (Not *Control*)                                             (Not * conversation*)
  (= examine)                                                 (= written conversation)
- It's hard to keep a check on the number of                convert • persuade • convince
  people coming into the country.                           - You have convinced/persuaded me that we
  (Not *control*)                                             need a new computer. (Not *converted*)
  (= monitor, keep a record of; we can use control in the     (= made me change my views)
  above sentence to mean e.g. 'limit the number of)         - The salesman persuaded me to buy a new
- My watch can't be wrong. I set it by the pips               computer. (Not *convinced*, which should
  on the radio. (Not *controlled*)                            be followed by that)
  OPEC no longer controls the price of oil. (= has            (= made me take action)
  power over)                                               - Angela is very religious and tries to convert
conveniences • social conventions                             everyone she meets.
- You can't go through life ignoring the social               (= persuade them to become religious)
  conventions. (Not * conveniences*)                        cook • boil
  (= accepted standards of behaviour)                       - I'm boiling some water. I want a couple of
- Where are the public conveniences ?                         boiled eggs. (Not *cooking* *cooked*)
  (= lavatories; BrE)                                         (boil = heat a liquid till it turns to vapour;
                                                              boil eggs = cook eggs in boiling water, so
                                                              the result is boiled eggs)

-It's my turn to cook the lunch. (Not *boil*) (cook is          (= a ring of e.g. police, or a physical barrier
    the general verb for 'prepare food by heating': boil        to protect something or to keep people away)
    water, but cook a meat)
                                                             corn • horn
cooker • cook                                                - / sounded my car horn. (Not *corn*)
- My husband is a good cook. (Not *cooker*)                     (= a device that makes a warning sound)
  (= a person who cooks food)                                - I play the horn. (Not *corn*)
- Is your cooker gas or electric ?                             (= a wind instrument)
  (= the apparatus on or in which food is cooked,            - The USA grows more corn than Europe.
  BrE, or stove, especially AmE)                               (corn = the general agricultural term for food
                                                               grains, e.g. wheat, barley; also the short form
                                                               for Indian corn = maize)
- I do most of the cooking.
  (Not *make the cooking*) (some other nouns that            cornice • frame
  combine with do: damage, duty, exercise, someone a         - I'm going to put this picture in a nice frame.
  favour, the flowers, the gardening, someone's hair,          (Not *cornice*)
  someone an injury, the ironing, a job, someone a              (= the border round a picture, usually wood)
  kindness, the kitchen, etc. (= clean), my nails, someone   - It's a beautiful old room with a high ceiling
  a service, work)                                             and a decorative cornice.
                                                               (= an overhang along the top of a wall)
cop • cup • bowl
- Have a cup of coffee. (Not *cop*)                          corpse • body • corps
- Use a large bowl for the salad. (Not *cup*)                - Looking after your body becomes essential
- Look out! There's a traffic cop.                             as you get older. (Not *corpse* *corps*)
  (informal for policeman)                                   - I tried to get her autograph but couldn't get
                                                               through the press corps /ko:r/.
copies • papers • pages                                         (Not *body* *corpse*)
- They've done the exam. Now we've got to                      (= the people representing that group; also
  correct the papers. (Not *copies* *pages*)                   the diplomatic corps)
- Do authors get free copies of their books?                 - The police found a corpse /ko:ps//a (dead)
  (a copy - one book from an edition)
                                                               body buried in the garden.
- How many pages are there in an average
  novel? (Not * papers*)                                     correct • repair
  (= sheets of paper in a book)                              - Please repair these shoes. (Not *correct*)
- Make ten copies of this page for me please.                  (repair = make good something that is worn
  (= e.g. photocopies)                                         or broken; mend)
copy • imitate • mime • mimic                                - Some computer programs will correct your
- It was only when I mimed/imitated a                          spelling mistakes. (Not *repair*)
  chicken that the waiter understood what I                     (= point out or put right mistakes, especially
  wanted to order. (Not *copied*)                               in speech and writing)
  (mime = use actions without language; imitate =            correct • right
  act like)                                                  - / don't think it's right to worry my friends
- / wish you'd stop imitating/copying the way                  with my own problems. (Not *correct*)
  I speak. (Not *miming*)                                      (right and wrong refer to consideration for
- You should hear her mimic our teacher.                       others, moral behaviour, etc.)
  (= copy actions and speech very exactly,                   - Is this the correct/right way to address an
  possibly so as to make other people laugh; a                 envelope ?
  person who does this is a mimic)                             (correct/right = without mistakes; the
 cordon • cord • shoelace                                      opposite is wrong)
- Your shoelace is undone. (Not *cordon*)                    correspond with
   (- a special string used to fasten shoes)                 - The fingerprints on the lock correspond
- You can draw the curtains with this cord.                    exactly with the ones on the gun.
   (Not *cordon*)                                               (Not *are corresponding with*)
    (= strong string or very thin rope)                         (stative use = match)
- There's been a bomb scare and the police                   - My claim isn't settled yet. I'm still
   have put a cordon round Piccadilly.                         corresponding with the insurance company.
                                                               (dynamic use = exchanging letters)

                                                    counsel • council
cost                                                - The decision to build on this site was taken
- It costs a lot to buy a house. (Not *It makes*      by the town council. (Not *counsel*)
  *is costing*; past tense: cost, not *costed*)       (= elected representatives; noun only)
  (stative use in general statements)               - The council is/are meeting today.
- This holiday is costing a lot of money.             (collective noun + singular/plural verb)
  (dynamic use = 'it is actively costing')          - 'Cruse' is a charity that gives counsel
cost • price                                          to/counsels widowed people.
- What's the price of this radio please?              (= advice: noun; advise: verb)
- What will be the cost of a 10,000 km              count
  service? (Not *What will it make*)                - In the end what counts is real ability, not
  (price is preferable when referring to              high marks in exams. (Not *is counting*)
  particular objects; cost is preferable when         (stative use = matters, is important)
  referring to services, jobs to be done, etc.)     - Don't interrupt him. He's counting the
costume • suit • habit                                children in the group.
- Very few people can afford to have their            (dynamic use = finding out the number)
  suits specially made. (Not *costumes*)            count * measure
  (a suit = matching jacket and trousers or         - We'd better measure the room carefully
  jacket and skirt)                                   before we order a new carpet.
- The dancers looked splendid in their                (= find the size by measuring)
  national costumes.                                - Make sure you count your change!
   (Not *suits* and not to be confused with           (= find the amount of money by counting)
   (a costume is a complete set of clothes          couple (of) * pair (of)
   designed to say something about the wearer,      - Mr Lewis and his brother are a funny pair.
   usually in a theatrical or ceremonial setting)     (Not *couple*)
- The monks wear a plain brown habit.                 (= two people who are especially connected,
   (= a special robe worn by monks and nuns)          but not by marriage)
                                                    - Mrs and Mrs Soames are a nice old couple.
cough                                                 (= two people who are connected, especially
- You've got a bad cough. (Not *You've got            by marriage; preferable to pair)
  bad cough.*; pronunciation: /kDf/)                - A couple of Americans sat near us.
could                                                 (Not *A pair of Americans*)
- Looking down from the plane, we could see           (= two, no relationship implied)
  lights on the runway. (Not *could to see*)        - Use this pair of scissors. (Not *couple*)
  (no to-infinitive after modals like could)          (= something made of two matching parts
                                                      joined together; also pliers, tweezers, etc.)
could • managed to • was able to
- / managed to get/was able to get two tickets      coupon • voucher • gift token/discount
  for the Cup Final yesterday.                      certificate
   (Not *could get* *could to get*)                 - Don't lose your air tickets or hotel vouchers.
   (= managed to/was able to for a particular         (Not *coupons*)
   event in the past; never to after could)           (a voucher is a certificate used in place of
- Andrew could sing like an angel before his          money in exchange for goods or services)
  voice broke. (Not *managed to sing*)              - We collected all these petrol coupons for the
  (could for general ability in the past; was         Red Cross Fund. (Not *vouchers*)
  able to is also possible but less usual)            (a coupon is a ticket for buying something or a
                                                      service; it is also a ticket which can be
 couldn't • wasn't able to • was unable to •          exchanged for a sum of money or a discount)
 didn't manage to                                   - There's a gift token/discount certificate/
- / tried to ring yesterday, but I couldn't get       (gift) voucher in every packet of biscuits.
  through/wasn't able to/was unable to/didn't         (Not *coupon*)
  manage to get through to you.                       (= a certificate to be used in place of money,
  (couldn't, but not could, can be used for           offered to customers as a commercial
  particular events in the past; see above)           incentive by companies)

                                                      cravat • tie
 course • rate of exchange                            — They won't let you into the restaurant if
- What's today's rate of exchange against the           you're not wearing a tie. (Not *cravat*)
   dollar? (Not *course*)                             — Reg was casually but smartly dressed in an
- We'll find our way out of the wood if we              open-necked shirt and a cravat. (Not *tie*)
   follow the course of the river bed.                  (= a wide tie worn inside an open-necked
    (= the pathway, direction)                          shirt, usually by men)
 court                                                crayon • chalk
- It was the first day of the trial and there         — The teacher drew a map on the backboard in
   were a lot of people in court.                       coloured chalk. (Not *crayon*)
    (Not *to court* *to the court*)                   — My teacher asked me to fetch a piece of
- He was taken to court for failing to pay his          chalk/two pieces of chalk.
   taxes. (Not *in court* *to the court*)               (Not *a chalk* *two chalks* *some chalks*)
 court • (playing) field • playground                   (chalk is uncountable)
- The footballer was sent off the (playing)           - Annie drew this lovely picture with crayons.
  field for bad behaviour. (Not *court*)                (= coloured wax pencils; countable)
  ((playing) field for football, rugby, etc.)
- It's your turn to supervise the children in the     creak • squeak
                                                      — Cats mew; mice squeak. (Not *creak*)
  playground. (Not *court*)
                                                      — That door is creaking/squeaking badly. I'd
   (= an open space for children to play)
- The Wimbledon tennis final will take place            better oil the hinges.
  on the centre court.                                  (squeak = the sharp high note of e.g. a mouse
   (court for badminton, squash, tennis, etc.)          or metal against metal; creak - the slow,
                                                        cracking noise made by doors, floorboards,
 cover • cover charge                                   etc.; living creatures don't creak)
- In some restaurants the cover charge, tax           cream • custard
   and tips can cost almost as much as the
   meal. (Not *the cover*)                            — My mother always made custard from egg
    (= the cost of a place setting at a restaurant)     yolks, milk and a little sugar. (Not *cream*)
- It began to rain and we ran for cover.                (= a sweet sauce made with milk or cream,
   (= shelter, protection)                              thickened with egg yolk or starch)
                                                      — There's nothing to beat the taste of
 covered with/in                                        strawberries, sugar and cream.
- Don't sit there! You're covered with/in mud!          (= the high-fat part of cow's milk)
   (Not *covered by*)
   (with and in are generally interchangeable after   credit: with credit • on credit
   covered)                                           - / bought this TV on credit.
                                                        (Not *with credit*)
craft • cunning • power                                 (i.e. I'll be paying for it later)
- It always amazes me how dictators manage            - The soldier behaved with credit in a difficult
  to exercise so much power. (Not *craft*)              situation. (Not *on credit*)
- Odysseus outwitted his opponents with a               (= decently, honourably)
  mixture of craft and cunning.
  (craft = skill; cunning = clever planning)          creep • crawl
                                                      - Our baby can crawl, but he can't walk yet.
crash into • collide • bang against                     (Not creep in BrE)
- The racing car skidded and crashed into the           (= move/'walk' on all four limbs)
  barrier. (Not *crashed with*)                       - There's a spider crawling across the floor!
  (= violently ran into, hit)                           (Not *creeping*)
- Both cars were on the same side of the road           (= moving on a surface)
  and collided violently.                             - We crept upstairs so as not to wake
  (= hit each other)                                    grandpa. (Not *crawled*)
- The racing car skidded, banged against the            (= moved quietly so as not to make a noise)
  barrier and then continued round the track.
  (bang against = 'hit and bounce off is not as       crime
  serious as crash or collide)                        - / can't understand how anyone can commit
                                                         such a crime.
                                                         (Not *do/make/perform a crime*)

- There's a lot of petty/small crime in our                    current • currant
  area. (Not *little crime*)                                  - Corinth produces some of the world's finest
- There are a lot of petty/small crimes in the                   currants. (Not *currents*)
  workplace.                                                      (= dried grapes)
  (crime can be countable or uncountable)                     - Ocean currents can be treacherous for
 crisps • chips • french fries                                    (- movements of water, air, electricity)
- A lot of people seem to live mainly on
   burgers and chips/freach fries.                             current • movement/trend
    (chips, BrE, french fries, AmE = sticks of potato fried   - The movement/trend towards nationalism is
    in oil and served hot)                                       alarming. (Not *current*)
- A beer and a packet of crisps/(potato) chips                    (= development of opinion)
   please.                                                    - / can't keep up with current fashions.
    (crisps, BrE, (potato) chips, AmE = very thin fried          (= present-day)
    slices of potato sold in packets)                         - Ocean currents can be very dangerous for
 criterion • criteria                                             (= movements of water, air, etc.)
- What is the criterion/are the criteria for
   judging the competition?                                    cushion • pillow
    (= standard/standards; criterion is singular;             - / could never get to sleep at night if I didn't
    criteria is plural)                                          have a nice soft pillow. (Not *cushion*)
                                                                 (we use a pillow on a bed)
 critic • criticism • critique • review                       - There were three velvet cushions on the
- Did you read the excellent review of                           sofa. (Not *pillows*)
   'Hamlet' in the Sunday paper?                                  (we use cushions on sofas, chairs, etc.)
   (Not *critic* *criticism* *critique*)
    (= an assessment appearing in the press)                   cut • cut out
- I've got one criticism to make. (Not *do *)                 - / read this article in the paper this morning
   (= unfavourable comment, spoken or                            and cut it out for you. (Not *cut it*)
   written)                                                      (= removed by cutting)
- Donna wrote a long critique on feminism                     - Please don't cut cardboard with my
   which has been widely quoted.                                 dressmaking scissors!
   (= a careful account of a subject, often in book form
   and always longer than a review)                           cut • have cut
- Who's the film critic of 'The Times'?                       - / had my hair cut. (Not *cut my hair*)
   (= a person who writes reviews: reviewer)                    (= caused someone to perform this service
                                                                for me: had a haircut)
cry • weep                                                    - It's not a good idea to cut your own hair.
- Mr Clay broke down and cried/wept when                        (= cut it yourself)
  the police brought him news of the accident.                  (some other verbs that work like this are:
  (weep is always stronger than cry to describe                 build a house, clean a suit, coach a student,
  the shedding of tears; compare to sob = to                    decorate a building, deliver flowers, develop
  breathe noisily while weeping)                                a film, mend my shoes, photocopy a
                                                                document, prepare some food, press my
cultured • cultivated                                           trousers, print some labels, repair my watch,
- Quality newspapers assume their readers                       service my car, teach the children)
   are reasonably cultivated.
   (= highly educated; preferable to cultured, to describe    cutlery
   people)                                                    - This dishwasher takes a lot of cutlery.
                                                                 (Not *a lot of cutleries*)
cure (of) • heal                                                (= knives, forks, spoons, etc.; cutlery is
- The cut took a week to heal. (Not *cure*)                     uncountable)
  (heal for the mending of cuts, wounds, etc.)
- Can they cure diabetes? (Not *heal*)
  (cure, transitive, for disease or illness)                                          D
- What cured me of smoking in the end was                     damage • damages
  sheer terror. (Not *cured me from*)                         - The frost did a lot of damage to the crops.
                                                                (Not *a damage* *a lot of damages* *made

   a lot of damage*) (damage is                       - They won't let you into the dance hall
   uncountable)                                         without a ticket. (Not *the dancing*)
- The pop star claimed that the story had
  harmed his reputation and he sued the               dare (to)
  newspaper for damages. (Not *a damage*)             - He's on the phone and I don't dare (to)
  (plural noun = money paid in law for                  interrupt him. (Not *I'm not daring*)
  damage caused to reputation or property)              (stative use = haven't the courage to)
                                                      - Are you daring me to sound the alarm ?
dame • dancing partner • woman • lady                   (dare + personal object + to, stative or
- / enjoy dancing with Margot. She's my ideal           dynamic, = challenge)
  dancing partner. (Not *dame*)
- Women can now serve as fighter pilots in            darken • get/turn/grow dark
  the US Air Force. (Not *Dames* *Ladies*)            - It gets/grows dark early in winter.
- Mata seems like a nice old lady, but she              (Not *darkens* *darks*)
  used to be a secret agent. (Not *dame*)             - Blonde hair darkens/Blonde hair gets/
  (lady is polite/respectful)                           turns/grows darker as a person get older.
- Who's that dame you were with last night?           data
  (old-fashioned, vulgar slang, mainly AmE)           - Most of our data is stored on computers.
damp • humid • moist • wet                            - These data are available in the Proceedings
- You shouldn't wear that shirt if it's still           of the Society.
  damp. (Not *moist* *humid*)                           (data is used as an uncountable noun in
  (= slightly wet, often in an unpleasant way: damp     general contexts, even though it is really the
  walls/clothes, a damp building, etc.)                 plural of datum; it is used as a plural in
- / don't mind how hot it is, as long as it isn't       scientific contexts)
  humid. (Not *moist*)                                date • appointment
   (referring to moisture/humidity in the air)        - / can't stay, I'm afraid. I have another
- One good thing about the Scottish climate is          appointment. (Not *have a date*)
  that it keeps your skin moist. (Not *damp*)           (have/make an appointment refers to a pre
  (= slightly wet in a good way: moist cake,            arranged meeting with someone not
  moist skin, moist eyes, etc.)                         specified, or with a professional person)
- / was caught in the rain and my clothes are
                                                      - / have a date with my girl friend this
  completely wet. (Not *damp/moist/humid*)
                                                        evening. (Not *have an appointment*)
  (the opposite of all these words is dry)
                                                        (have/make a date refers to a pre-arranged
damp • wet • fresh                                      meeting for social reasons)
- Don't sit on that bench. The paint is still wet.    - What's the date today? - April 14th.
  (Not *damp*)
                                                      day by day • day after day
  (= not dry)
                                                      - Day after day we waited for news from
- Wet Paint. (Not *Fresh* *Damp*)
                                                        Sally. (Not *Day with day* *Day by day*)
- Don't you like the smell of fresh paint?
                                                      - Since her operation, her health has been
  (Not *wet* *damp*)
                                                        improving day by day.
  (= new)
                                                        (Not *day with day* *day after day*) (day
- You shouldn't wear that shirt if it's still
  damp. (Not *fresh* *wet*)                             by day = a gradual progression; day after
  (= not quite dry)                                     day = repeated single actions)
dance • dancing • dance hall
- We gave/held a dance for our daughter's             - The man is dead and a dead man feels no
                                                        pain. (Not *a dead*)
  eighteenth birthday. (Not *did/made*)
  (dance is countable = an event)                     - My parents are both dead. (Not *deads*)
                                                        (we cannot use dead on its own to mean 'a
- Can I have the next dance ? (Not *do/make*)
                                                        dead person')
  (i.e. Can we dance together?)
                                                      - We owe a debt to the dead who fought to
- Dancing makes you feel good.                          preserve our freedom. (Not *the deads*)
  (Not *The dancing* *The dance*)                       (the + adjective for the group as a whole;
  (dancing is uncountable)                              also: bad, blind, deaf and dumb, disabled,
- Let's go dancing.
  (Not *go for dancing* * go for a dance*)              elderly, good, guilty, handicapped, healthy,

   homeless, hungry, innocent, living, old, poor, rich,   decade • ten • a set of ten
   sick, thirsty, unemployed, young)                      - We're expecting about ten people for dinner
                                                            tonight. (Not *a decade of people*)
deadly • fatal • mortal                                   - I've just bought a set of ten knives and forks.
- His injuries were fatal. He died before                   (Not *a decade of knives and forks*)
  reaching hospital. (Not *deadly* *mortal*)              - The last decade of the 19th century came to
  (= causing or resulting in death; mortal,                 be known as 'the naughty nineties'.
  meaning fatal, in mortal injuries, a mortal                (= a period of ten years)
  wound, is literary)
- You can't buy deadly poisons like arsenic at            decay • rot • spoil • go bad
   the chemist's. (Not *fatal* *mortal*)                  - We should use these vegetables before they
   (= likely to cause death)                                spoil/go bad. (Not *decay*)
- We often behave as if we're going to live for           - It takes a long time for fallen trees to
   ever, forgetting that we are mortal.                     decay/rot. (Not *spoil* *go bad*)
   (i.e. we have to die)                                    (something edible spoils/goes bad when it
                                                            becomes inedible; then it decays or rots)
deaf • deafen
- Mr Ford is deaf/a deaf person so you have               decease • disease
   to speak slowly and clearly. (Not *a deaf*)            - Poverty and disease usually go together.
- Mr and Mrs Ford are both deaf.                            (Not *decease*)
- Deaf people need to be able to see your face               (= illness)
   when you speak. (Not *deafs*)                          - A national crisis was caused by the sudden
   (we cannot use deaf on its own to mean 'a deaf           decease of the President.
   person/deaf people')                                      (a formal word for death)
- People who hear well often make few
  allowances for the deaf. (Not *the deafs*)              deceased
  (the + adjective for the group as a whole)              - They paid their respects to the deceased.
- We were deafened by the explosion.                        (in formal language the deceased can be
  (Not * We were deaf*)                                     used to refer to one person only or to more
   (deafen is a verb, often passive)                        than one, but we have to say He's/She's
                                                            deceased, not *He's/She's a deceased.*)
dear • dearly
- We had to pay dear/dearly for our mistake.              deceive • lie to
  (both forms are possible after pay, but only            - The witness lied to/deceived the court.
  dear after cost and buy; dear is the normal               (lie = say things that aren't true; deceive =
  word when the reference is to expense)                    cause someone to believe what is false)
- She loves him dearly.                                   - The apparent respectability of the bank
  (adverb of manner)                                        deceived a lot of investors. (Not *lied*)
- I'd dearly like to know how you obtained this             (= made them believe something untrue)
  information. (Not *dear*)                               decided (on) • determined
   (= very much; -ly as an intensifier)                   - You have to be very determined to sail the
death • dead • died                                         Atlantic single-handed. (Not *decided*)
- Great artists are often appreciated more                  (= strong-willed)
  after they are dead. (Not *death*)                      - I'm retiring soon. I'm quite decided.
- The Picasso Museum opened years after the                 (i.e. I have made up my mind)
    artist's death. (Not *dead*)                          - / wasn't sure what to study at university and
   (dead is the adjective; death is the noun)               finally decided on modern languages. (Not
- Queen Anne is dead. (Not *is died*)                       *decided for* *decided modern languages*)
- Queen Anne died in 1714. (Not *dead*)                   decision
  (dead is an adjective; died is the past of die)         - It wasn't easy for me to come to/make/take
debt: be indebted to • in debt                              this decision. (Not *do this decision*)
- We can't borrow any more money. We're                   declare • register • report
  already in debt. (Not *indebted*)                       - We haven't registered the baby's birth yet.
  (i.e. we owe money)                                       (Not *declared*)
- I'm indebted to you for all your help.                     (= put into an official record)
  (= very grateful)

                                                      defer (to)
 We must report the theft to the police.              - We deferred selling our house until the
 (Not *declare*)                                        spring. (Not *deferred to sell*)
     (= provide information about)                      (= postponed; put off to a later date)
 - I have to declare profits on my tax return.        - / defer to your better judgement.
     (i.e. make a statement to the authorities of       (= give way to)
     information that is otherwise private)           defy • challenge to
 decorate • furnish                                   - The defeated champion is challenging his
- We're going to furnish our flat in                    opponent to a return match. (Not *defying*)
  contemporary style. (Not *decorate*)                  (= inviting him to compete in)
  (= put in furniture)                                - You can't defy the law, however unjust you
- It's cost us a fortune to decorate this flat.         think it is.
  (= paint or paper the walls/have them                 (= refuse to obey)
  painted or papered)                                 delay
 decoration • decor                                   - We'll delay paying until we receive the
- Black and white decor is not very friendly.           goods. (Not *delay to pay*)
  (Not *decoration*)                                  delayed • get delayed
   (= the style of an interior)                       - We got/were delayed by a security check.
- Can we help with the decoration of the                (Not *We delayed*)
  Christmas tree? (Not *decor*)                       - The Customs delayed us by about an hour.
   (= adding things to make it beautiful)
                                                      delicate • fragile • delicious • exquisite
 deep/depth                                           - This stew is delicious. (Not *delicate*)
- How deep/What depth is this well?                     (= very tasty)
   (Not *How much deep is/What depth has*)            - Ian is a delicate boy. (Not *fragile*)
- This well is 20 metres (deep).                        (i.e. he is easily made ill)
  (Not *has depth 20 metres*)                         - Bill looks very fragile after his operation.
 deep • deeply                                          (= in a weak state of health)
- We had to dig deep into our pockets to pay          - Please be careful with those old coffee cups.
  for our daughter's education.                         They're rather delicate/fragile.
   (also: look deep, run deep, strike deep)             (i.e they can be easily broken)
- We deeply regret the inconvenience we have          - Maurice may not be very bright, but he has
  caused you. (Not *deep*)                              exquisite manners. (Not *delicate*)
   (= very much; -ly as an intensifier; deeply with     (= very fine, beautiful; never *peculiar*)
   verbs like think and believe)                      delicatessen • delicacy
 defeat • conquer                                     - Some people will pay anything for a
- Alexander the Great conquered half the                delicacy
  world before he was 33. (Not *defeated*)              like truffles. (Not *delicatessen*)
  (= took land by force of arms)                        (= a rare and expensive thing to eat)
- Alexander defeated Darius III at Issus in           - Truffles are the sort of thing you can only
  333 BC. (Not *conquered*)                             buy at a delicatessen.
   (= beat, won a victory over)                         (= a shop that sells food that is ready to eat;
                                                        often high-quality and expensive)
defend (against/from) • forbid/prohibit
- More and more restaurants forbid/prohibit           demand
  smoking. (Not *defend*)                             - The management here makes too many
  (prohibit - forbid absolutely, especially by          demands on its staff. (Not *does demands*)
  impersonal authority)                               - We demand that they (should) return the
- I forbid you to say a word about this.                money./We demand the return of the
  (Not *defend*, and prohibit is unlikely)              money.
- With the end of the Cold War, we needn't              (Not *We demand to return the money.*)
  spend so much on defending ourselves                demand • ask (for) • charge
  (against/from attack).                              - If you decide to sell your bike, how much
  (= protecting from attack)                            will you ask? (Not *demand*)

- If you can't sell your flat, try asking less for       depot • (rubbish) dump
it. (Not * demanding ...for*)                            - The dustmen won't collect this rubbish. We'll
     {ask (for) = wish to receive)                         have to take it to the dump ourselves.
- Sorry. I asked for a single ticket, not a                (Not *deposit*; not depot unless it's
    return ticket. (Not *demanded*)                        temporary storage)
     (= requested)                                         (= the end-place for depositing waste)
- My dentist charges by the minute, with the             - Your goods have arrived from our depot.
    aid of a kitchen timer! (Not *demands*)                {= a place where goods are stored)
    (= applies a rate of payment)
- She demands an apology before she'll speak             deprive of
    to you again.                                        - She was deprived of the chance to go to
     (= insists on receiving)                              university because her parents wanted to
                                                           keep her at home. (Not *deprived from*)
demand • wonder • request
- I've just had a request for information about          descend • come/go/get down • get off
  hotels in Scotland. (Not *demand*)                     - The children have climbed to the top of the
   (= a polite inquiry)                                    tree and can't get down! (Not * descend*)
- / wonder if we should book in advance.                 - Is this where we get off? (Not *descend*)
  (Not *demand myself*)                                  - We're just beginning to descend and will be
- We've just received a demand for £458 from               landing in fifteen minutes.
  the Electricity Board.                                   (we tend to use descend mainly to mean
   (= a bill)                                              'from a great height')
demonstrate • show                                       describe
- Now that you 've shown me your machine,                - / tried to describe the scene to my parents.
  can you please demonstrate it.                           (Not *describe my parents the scene* *describe
  {shown me = let me see; demonstrate = show how it        to my parents the scene*) (also: announced their
  works)                                                   engagement to their friends, confessed his
                                                           crimes to the court, declared the goods to the
department * section                                       Customs, demonstrated his theory to everyone,
- Which section of the train was involved in               explained the situation to their friends,
  the accident? (Not *department*)                         mentioned the matter to me, proposed a new
   (= a part of a whole)                                   date to us, recommended this club to me,
- Which department/section of the Civil                    repeated the story to me)
  Service does your brother work in?
  (= a division in a large organization)                 description
                                                         - / didn't really look at him, so I can't give you
depend (on)                                                a description. (Not *make*)
- / depend on your support.
  (Not * depend from*)                                   desert • dessert • deserts
- Now you've taken over your father's                    -      The Sahara Desert /'dezət/ covers over nine
  business, its success depends on you.                  million square kilometres.
  (Not *is depending on*)                                   (= a large sandy area where there isn't much rain
   (stative use only for it depends)                        and little grows; plural: deserts /'dezəts/)
- Everyone is now depending on you to make               - He got his just deserts /di'z3:ts/ when he was
  this business a success.                                 sentenced to 15 years in prison.
   (dynamic use: 'at the moment of speaking')              (always plural = what he deserved; desert is also
                                                           a verb = abandon: You can't admire a person
dependant • dependent (on)                                 who deserts his wife and children.)
- Many poor countries are dependent on                   - / don't think I can eat a dessert /di'z3:t/. I've
  foreign aid. (Not *dependant on*)                        had too much already.
  (adjective = cannot survive without)                      (= a sweet course served at the end of a
- With so many dependants/dependents I need                 meal; the plural is desserts /di'z3:ts/)
  all the work I can get.
   (noun; dependant is BrE; dependent is AmE; not used   design • drawing
   to mean employees)                                    - Meryl did a lovely drawing of our house
                                                           when she stayed here. (Not *design*)
                                                           (= a picture drawn in ink or pencil)

- We've been discussing the design of the new          - / sent them my curriculum vitae with details
  house with the architect. (Not *drawing*)              of my previous jobs.
  (= a plan from which it will be built)                  (with details = including facts)
                                                       - When you've tested the new vehicle, we'd
 desire • look forward to • want/would like
                                                         like you to write us a detailed report.
- I'm really looking forward to the summer                (= thorough, with all the facts)
   holidays. (Not *am desiring* *desire*)
   (= expecting with pleasure)                         deter
- We want/We'd like a room with a view                 - Do you think the possibility of imprisonment
   please. (Not * We desire*)                            deters criminals from committing crimes?
- Success has brought her all the material               (Not *deters them to commit*)
   comforts anyone could desire.
   (desire expresses a very strong hope or wish and    determine • decide
                                                       —Decide what you want. (Not *Determine*)
   is much more formal than want/'d like; it goes        (= make up your mind)
   with abstract, not concrete, nouns: desire          —You must determine the exact nature of the
   security, but not *desire a room*)
                                                         job before you agree to do it.
 desk • office • bureau • study                           (= find out about)
- Alan doesn't like anyone to ring him at the          detest
   office. (Not *desk* * bureau* *study*)              - I detest unpunctuality. (Not *I'm detesting*)
    (= a room or rooms devoted to business)
                                                         (stative use only; no progressive form)
- We need another room we can use as a
                                                       - / detest being caught in a traffic jam.
   study. (Not *an office*)                              (Not *detest to be*)
   (= a room for academic or domestic reading and         (detest + -ing, not *to*)
- The computer takes up half the space on my           develop
   desk. (Not *bureau*)                                - Note the spelling and pronunciation:
   (= a table where you sit and write)                   - develop: /di'velap/, not */'divelop/*
- The papers you want are in the top drawer              - developing, not *developping*:
   of the bureau.                                        /di'velapirj/, not */divel'opirj/*
   (= an old-fashioned writing desk with a lid in        - developed, not *developped*:
   BrE; a chest of drawers in AmE)                       /di'velapt/, not */divel'opt/*
- Reuters has a news bureau in every country             - development, not *developpment*:
   in the world.                                         /di'vetapmant/, not */diveropni3nt/*
   (= an office for collecting and distributing
   information)                                        devote
                                                       - Mother Teresa devoted her life to helping
destroy • destruction                                    the poor. (Not *devoted... to help*)
- The hurricane left a trail of destruction              (the preposition to is followed by an -ing
  behind it. (Not *destroy*)                             form or a noun, but not by an infinitive)
- The hurricane destroyed everything that lay
  in its path. (Not *destructed*)                      die of
  (the verb is destroy; the noun is destruction)       - / don't believe anyone can die of a broken
                                                         heart. (Not *diefrom*; present participle:
detail • retail                                          dying, not *dieing*; compare dyeing =
- We'd all prefer to pay wholesale rather than           changing the colour of something with dye)
  retail prices. (Not *detail*)
  (i.e. the amount paid by the general public, which   differ with • disagree (with) • differ from •
  is higher than wholesale)                            differentiate from/between
- I studied every detail of the contract.              —/ think smoking should be banned in the
  (= a small fact)                                       workplace. - I'm sorry, I disagree./I
                                                         disagree with you. (Not */ differ. * *I differ
detailed • in detail • with details                      with you* *I differentiate from you.*)
- You have to complete the form in detail.             —I disagree with/differ with John's views
  (Not *detailed* *with details*)                        about smoking in the workplace.
  (= thoroughly, including all the small points)         (Not *differ from* *differentiate from*)
                                                         (differ with something = disagree with)
- The first version of the poem differs from                 diminish • cut down (on)
  the second. (Not *differs by*)                             - It's almost impossible to cut down (on) the
   (= is different from)                                       number of imported cars. (Not *diminish*)
- It's almost impossible to differentiate one                  (= actively to reduce)
  from the other/to differentiate between                    - The demand for cars is unlikely to diminish.
  them. (Not *differ from/between them*)                       (= get less)
  (= tell the difference, distinguish)
                                                             dinner • lunch
 different from • different than • different to •            - Mr Soames is out for lunch at the moment
 difference                                                    and won't be back till about 2.30.
- Roses are different from violets.                          - How many people are we expecting to
  (Not *different than*)                                       dinner this evening?
   (we cannot use than after different in                       (In Britain, people who eat lunch - a cooked
   uncomplicated comparisons)                                   or light meal - in the middle of the day eat
- We 're planning something different this year                 dinner - the main meal of the day - in the
  than (what) we did/from what we did/to                        evening. People who eat their main meal in
  what we did last year.                                        the middle of the day - especially children
   (than after different introduces a clause; different to      and people who do manual work - call it
   what is an informal alternative; different to + noun is      dinner, and the evening meal, which is at the
   widespread - Roses are different to violets - though         end of the working day, is called tea. Tea is
   many native speakers don't approve of the use of to          sometimes followed later in the evening by
   after different)                                             another - informal - meal called supper)
—What's the difference between them?                         dinner party
  (Not *What difference do they have?*)                      - We 're giving/having a dinner party next
—It makes no difference whether you believe                    week. (preferable to doing, not *making*)
  me or not. (Not *does no difference*)                      - Carolyn's helping us to do (the food for) the
—There's a lot of difference between the UK                    dinner party because there will be so many
  and the USA. (Not *different*)                               people.
difficult • fussy                                             diploma • degree • certificate • licence •
—Our boss is really fussy about details and                   qualifications
  won't accept poor work. (Not *difficult*)                  - Pat has a degree in maths. (Not *diploma*)
  (= hard to please; particular is more neutral              - I did/took my degree at York. (Not *made*)
  than fussy)                                                - I did a course in hairdressing and gained a
—You probably don't remember it now, but                        diploma. (Not *degree*)
  you were a very difficult child.                              (a diploma is often a lower qualification than
   (= hard to manage)                                           a degree and may be awarded for a practical
- / had to give up maths because it got                         or more specialized skill; a diploma can also
  difficult (for me)/I found it difficult.                      be used to mean the actual certificate)
  (Not *it difficulted* *I difficulted myself*)              - When did you get your driving licence/
difficulty (in)                                                 certificate? (Not *diploma*)
- Brian's grown a beard and I had difficulty                    (= a document marking official recognition
  (in) recognizing him.                                         of something: e.g. a birth/marriage/death
   (Not *difficulty to recognize*)                              certificate)
                                                             - What qualifications do I need to teach
digest • (can't) stand                                          English as a Foreign Language ?
—Janice asks so many personal questions, I                      (= proof of having passed essential exams)
  can't stand her. (Not *can't digest*)
  (stand = tolerate; the use of stomach as a                 direct
  verb would be old-fashioned here)                          - The doctor directed me to stay in bed till I
—I find cucumber difficult to digest.                          felt better. (Not *directed that 1 should*)
   (= process in the stomach; to stomach is only               (= told me to)
   figurative)                                               direct • directly
                                                             - This flight goes direct/directly to Cairo.
                                                                (= without stopping on the way; both forms
                                                                possible with e.g. go, phone, write, speak)

- She's not in her office at the moment, but                      headmistress; the head, the headteacher or
  she'll be back directly. (Not *direct*)                         the principal often replace headmaster and
  (= soon, straightaway)                                          headmistress; but we can speak of the
- We'll discuss the matter directly he arrives.                   director of a language school because it's a
  (Not *directly he will arrive* *directly as he                  business; head of department = a person in
  arrives*)                                                       charge of a subject section in a school)
   (directly = as soon as: conjunction + present tense         - Jack is very young to be a bank manager/a
   when referring to the future)                                 manager of a supermarket. (Not *director*)
                                                                 (= a person who runs part of a business)
 direct • lead • conduct                                       - It has never been my ambition to be a
- Who's leading the party in the next election?                  company director. (Not *manager*)
   (Not *directing* *conducting*)                                (= someone in charge of a business)
    (lead = be in charge of people)
- Who directs party policy? (Not *conducts*)                   dirt
   (direct = be in charge of a thing, e.g. a                   - Wipe your feet! Don't bring all that dirt into
   policy, a plan, finance)                                      the house. (Not *all those dirts*)
- Who conducts/directs the London Symphony                        (dirt is uncountable)
   Orchestra these days?                                       dirty • dirtily
   (the conductor is in charge of - conducts -the musicians    - They only won the match because they
   in performance; the director is in charge of - directs -      played dirty. (Not *played dirtily*)
   business concerns)                                            (dirty with verbs like act, be, talk)
 direction • management • administrative                       - The animals were so dirtily kept/kept in such
 offices                                                         a dirty fashion that the zoo lost its licence.
- The management has/have agreed to a 5%                       dirty • get dirty
   pay rise at all levels. (Not *The direction*)               - / got dirty mending that puncture.
   (= the people who manage; management is a                     (Not *I dirtied* *I dirtied myself*)
   collective noun followed by a verb in the                   - You've already dirtied that fresh towel.
   singular or plural)                                           You've already made/got it dirty!
- Where are the administrative offices,
   please? (Not *Where is the direction*)                        (Not *got dirty the towel*)
- The direction/management of the company                      disappointed in/with • disappointing
   is a matter of concern to shareholders.                     - My results are disappointing.
   (direction = the way it is going; management                  (Not *disappointed*)
   = governing policy)                                         - I'm disappointed in/with them.
- Which direction is north ?                                     (Not *disappointing in them*)
   (= way)                                                       (in/with + person)
                                                               - I'm disappointed with their exam results.
directions • routes
                                                                 (with + thing)
- We'll have to turn left there, where it says
  'all routes/all other routes'.                               disc • discus • record • disk • tray
  (Not *all directions/all other directions*) (the phrases     - / always wanted to be an athlete, but I never
  all routes and all other routes are used in traffic signs)     imagined I'd end up as a discus thrower.
- When the bell rang, the children poured into                   (Not *disc thrower*)
  the playground and ran in all directions.                    - Since I bought my compact disc player, I
  (= everywhere)                                                 hardly play records/LPs any more.
                                                                 (Not *discs* for 'records'. A compact disc is
director • manager • editor • headmaster                         usually referred to as a CD; but note a disc
- If you feel so strongly about this article, why                jockey for someone who plays records on
  don't you write a letter to the editor?                        the radio)
  (Not *director/manager*)                                     - You should always back your data up on a
  (= the person who is in charge of the                          floppy disk.
  contents of a newspaper or magazine)                            (disk is the standard spelling in BrE/AmE to
- When I was at school, the headmaster                            refer to computer disks)
  always took charge of morning assembly.                      - Put these cups on that tray. (Not *disc*)
  (Not *director! manager*)
  (= the man in charge of a school, compare

discontinue                                                    - Steak and kidney pie is a traditional English
- / think the BBC World Service has                              dish. (Not *plate* *course*)
   discontinued broadcasting on this wave-                       (= one item of prepared food: a main dish, a
   length. (Not *discontinued to broadcast*;                     side dish, a delicious dish, etc.)
   but continue takes either to or -ing)                       - Do you want spaghetti as a starter or as
                                                                 your main course? (Not *plate*)
discotheque • record library/collection                          (a course is part of the sequence of a meal:
- The BBC has one of the biggest record                          the first course, the second/the main course,
   libraries/record collections in the world.                    the last course)
   (Not *discotheques*; also note discotheque
   is never used to mean 'record shop')                        disinfect • sterilize
- Your idea of a holiday seems to be to spend                  - A dentist's instruments need to be constantly
   every day on the beach and every night at a                    sterilized. (Not *disinfected*)
   discotheque/disco.                                             (= made totally free from germs; sterilize is
   (= a place where you can dance to pop records;                 for something small enough to be isolated in
   commonly abbreviated to disco)                                 a sterilizer)
                                                               - Your wound has to be disinfected before it
discount                                                          can be dressed. (Not *sterilized*)
- You've bought so much stuff, you should ask                     (= made free from germs locally; you can
   them to do you/give you/allow you a                            also disinfect a lavatory or a building)
   discount. (Not *make you a discount*)
                                                               disinterested • uninterested
discover • invent • find out                                   - Many teenagers are uninterested in politics.
- Have you any idea who invented the safety                       (Not *disinterested*)
   pin? (Not *discovered/found out*)                              (= don't have any interest in)
   {invent = create something that did not exist
   before; the noun is inventor)                               - It's good to have your disinterested opinion
- Captain Cook discovered Antarctica when                         of my affairs. (Not *uninterested*)
   he was exploring the Eastern Pacific Ocean.                    (= free from personal bias) (disinterested is
   (i.e. found what was already there, but not                    often wrongly used in the sense of
   known about before; the noun is discoverer)                    'uninterested' by native speakers)
- I'll try and find out the name of the person                 dislike
   who invented the safety pin.                                - / dislike driving on motorways. (Not *dislike
   (you can find out a fact, but not an idea; you can also        to drive*; compare like + to or -ing)
   find out by accident: 1 found out what had happened.)       - I dislike driving fast. (Not *I'm disliking*)
discuss • argue about                                             (only stative; no progressive form)
- We discussed politics till late at night.                    dispose of * at one's disposal
   (Not *discussed about/for politics*)                        - John has enough money at his disposal to
   (= talked about it from several points of view, perhaps        buy the flat without a loan.
   without disagreement; discuss is transitive and is not         (Not *John disposes (of) enough money*) (=
   followed by about, though discussion is followed by            available)
   about)                                                      - We disposed of our old hi-fi set when we
- We argued about politics till late at night.                    invested in this new system.
   (argue = take up conflicting sides in a                        (= got rid of it in some way)
   discussion, disagree verbally)
                                                               disposition • disposal
dish • plate • course                                          - Waste paper is one of the biggest problems
- Could you bring me a clean plate please ?                       in rubbish disposal. (Not *disposition*)
   (Not usually *dish*)                                           (= getting rid of)
   (= a flat thing for serving and eating food; it is always   - This old house may be charming, but the
   the object, not the food on it)                                disposition of the rooms is hardly ideal.
- / need a large dish to serve this food from.                    (= the way they are arranged; very formal)
   (Not *plate*)                                               - He has an easygoing disposition.
   (= a food container for cooking or serving food;               (= temperament, character)
   also dishes = items used in cooking and serving
   food: wash/collect the dishes)                              dissolve • melt
                                                               - The sun had risen and the ice on the lake
                                                                  was beginning to melt. (Not *dissolve*)

  (= turn from solid to liquid through a change in          divine • guess
  temperature)                                              - How old am I? Guess! Have/Make a guess!
- Sugar dissolves quickly if it's mixed with hot               (Not *Divine!* *Do/Give a guess!*) (=
  water. (Not *melts*)                                         estimate, decide on instinct)
  (= becomes part of the liquid)                            - It requires special skill to divine the
                                                              presence of water under the soil.
district • area • region
                                                               (this use of divine = 'sense' is specialized or
- The Sahara desert covers an enormous area.
                                                               literary; divine occurs mainly as an adjective
  (Not *district* *region*)                                    = godlike: Caligula wasn't the first madman
   (= surface measurement; an area can be large or
                                                               to believe he was divine.)
- This district/area of London is mainly                    divorce
  residential. (Not *region*)                               - I'm divorced. (Not *I'm a divorced.*)
   (a district is an area within a larger whole: The Lake   - They're divorced. (Not *divorceds*)
   District of Northern England ...)                          (we cannot use divorced as a noun, but we
- The whole of our region/area has been                       can say He's/She's a divorcee, They're
  affected by drought.                                        divorcees.)
   (a region is a subdivision of a country: The rock        - They were/got divorced two years ago.
   formations of the south-eastern region are made up of      (preferable to They divorced)
   shale, chalk and limestone.)                             - They divorced each other two years ago.
                                                            - She's divorcing him/getting divorced from
 dive • dip • plunge                                          him. He divorced his wife/her.
- 1 dipped my big toe into the water to test the               (Not *They divorced from each other.*)
   temperature. (Not *dived*)                                  {divorce is often passive: be/get divorced; in
    (= put into a liquid for a short time)                     the active, divorce is normally transitive)
 - I plunged my head into a bucket of cold
    water. (Not *dived my head*)                            do • make
    (= put it all the way in; transitive use)               - What are you doing? - I'm making a cake.
 - At the start of the race, all the swimmers                 {do = engage in an activity; make = create)
    dived/plunged into the pool at exactly the                {do + nouns like the room, the floor, the
    same moment. (Not *dipped*)                               clothes can often mean clean, sweep, wash,
    (dived = threw themselves, head first)                    etc.: I've done the kitchen: not *made*)
                                                              {make combines with nouns like a
diverse • various                                             difference, friends, enemies, contacts)
- There were various people at the party
  whom I'd never met before. (Not *'diverse*)               do/does
  (= different, a variety of)                               - / don't care what I/you/we/they do /du:/.
- The peoples of the world are extremely                    Does it matter? /dəz; strong dΛz/, not
  diverse, but we all share a common interest               */du:z/*
  in the survival of the earth.                             do so • do it
  (= very different from each other)                        - Please lay the table. - I've just done so./I've
 divide by/into • part • share                                just done it.
- We won the lottery and shared the prize                      {do so = what you just said; do it = do that
   money. (Not *divided* *parted*)                             thing; we often use so or it after do to show
   (i.e. we each had some; something can be shared             that an action has been done deliberately,
   between two or among many)                                  when do is used in place of another verb)
- The crowd parted to let the happy couple go               doctor (Dr) • Mr
   through. (Not *divided* *shared*)                        - Good morning, Dr/Dr. Brown.
    (= separated itself into two parts)                       (the title Dr, followed by a surname, is
 - We divided the food into two equal parts.                  always written as an abbreviation, like Mr,
    (Not *parted* *divided to*)                               with or without a full stop; both doctor and
    (= separated into amounts; something can be divided       Dr are pronounced 'doctor'; in writing, we
    into two or between two)                                  use doctor, without a capital D, as a form of
 - Divide the number by six. (Not *with/from*)                address: Good morning, doctor.)

                                                     He doesn't like broccoli. (Not *He no like*
                                                     *He not like* *He don't like*)
                                                   door                            gate

                                                              doorway                port

- May I introduce Dr Brown? (Not *Mr Dr
  Brown* *Good morning, Mr Doctor*)
  (we cannot use Mr + another title)                       door • doorway • gate • port
- I'd like you to meet my surgeon/dentist, Mr              - Please don't stand in the doorway.
  Redpath. (Not *Dr*)                                        (preferable to the door)
  (surgeons and dentists are 'Mr', not 'Dr')                 (= the space where a door opens or closes)
documentation • literature                                 - Please close the door! (Not *port*)
- /'// get some literature about Peru from the             - Please shut the gate!
  travel agency. (Not *documentation*)                       (gates lead into/out of fields, gardens, etc.)
  (= explanatory printed material)                         - What time did the ship leave port?
- I've sent off my passport application with all             (= harbour)
  the necessary documentation.                             dossier • file
  (= relevant papers, e.g. certificates)                   - The letter you're referring to must be
dome • cathedral                                             somewhere in the file. (Not *dossier*)
- Did you visit St Stephen's Cathedral when                  (= a box or a folder in which we keep
  you were in Vienna? (Not *Dome*)                           information)
  (= a large and important church)                         - The police had kept a dossier on Blake for
- The onion domes of the Kremlin may be                      years before his arrest.
  regarded as a symbol of Moscow.                            (= a collection of information, especially on
  (= round roofs)                                            possible criminals or spies)
domicile • address • residence                             double • duplicate
- What's your new address ? (Not *domicile*)               - Don't lose that key: I haven't got a
  (= the place where you live and where you                  duplicate! (Not *double*)
  can be reached by letter)                                  (= an accurate copy, a replica)
- We've returned to England after a year's                 - Who was that woman who made a living as
  residence in the USA. (Not *domicile*)                     Mrs Thatcher's double ?
  (= living; very formal)                                    (i.e. who looked almost exactly like her)
- / spend months abroad every year, but my                 doubled • dubbed • lined • folded
  domicile is the UK.                                      - I'd rather a film had subtitles than a dubbed
  (legal term, i.e. where I live and pay tax)                soundtrack. (Not *doubled*)
dominate • control                                           (i.e. the soundtrack has been changed so you
- We all have to learn to control our                        don't hear the voices of the actors on the
  emotions. (Not *dominate*)                                 screen, but those of other actors)
  (= manage)                                               - This jacket is lined with red silk.
- Russia has dominated her neighbours for                    (Not *doubled*)
  hundreds of years.                                       - I folded the tablecloth carefully and put it
  (= had power over)                                         away. (Not *doubled*)
                                                           - Fuel prices have doubled since last year.
dominoes                                                     (i.e. they are twice as high)
- Dominoes is an enjoyable game.
  (Not *Domino is* *Dominoes are*)                         doubt
  (plural form + singular verb)                            - Mrs West is seriously ill. I have no doubt
- Let's have a game of dominoes.                             about it. (Not *doubt for*)
  (Not *domino*)                                           - You say the situation will improve, but I
- One domino is/Two dominoes are missing.                    doubt it. (Not *I'm doubting it* *I doubt*)
  (= the individual pieces)
don't • not • no • doesn't
- / asked you not to forget to switch the lights
  off. (Not *to don't forget*)
  {not goes before a to-infinitive)
- Don't forget to switch the lights off.
  (Not *No forget* *Not forget*)
  (negative imperative)
- / don't like broccoli. (Not */ no like*)

   (only stative; no progressive form; doubt is always        - Rescuing everyone from the sinking boat
   transitive)                                                  was a real-life drama.
- It's hard to make decisions when you're in                    (i.e. exciting and interesting, like a play)
  doubt. (Not *when you doubt*)
   (the prepositional phrase is obligatory)                   dramatic • tragic
- She must have been delayed. - No doubt.                     - Tragic accidents occur daily on motorways.
  (Not *Not doubt.*)                                            (Not *Dramatic* *Tragical*)
   (= without doubt)                                            (comic/comical, but not tragic/tragical)
                                                              - The joyriders gave themselves up after a
 douse • shower                                                 dramatic chase down the motorway.
- I showered/had a shower/took a shower and                      (= very exciting, as in a play)
   got into some clean clothes.
   (Not *had a douse* *made/did a shower*)                    draughts
   (= washed under a spray of water)                          - Draughts (checkers, AmE) is an enjoyable
- We doused the fire before it had a chance to                  game. (Not *Draught is* *Draughts are*)
  spread. (Not *showered*)                                      (plural form + singular verb; a single piece
   (= poured water on all of it; douche - 'wash internally'     in the game is called a draughtsman or a
   is uncommon in modern English)                               draught in BrE and a checker in AmE)
- My sister always douses herself in perfume                  dream
  before she goes out. (Not *showers*)                        - / often dream of/about you.
   (= completely covers with a liquid)                          (Not *dream myself of/about you*)
 down/up • downstairs/upstairs                                  (dream is not reflexive)
- Where's your father? - He's downstairs/                     - I dreamt of a large empty room.
  upstairs. (Not *He's down/up.*)                               (Not */ dreamt a large empty room. *)
   (also note compounds like the downstairs lavatory, the       (dream of/about, not dream + object)
   upstairs bathroom)                                         - / had a strange dream last night.
- The cat has somehow got up on the roof.                       (Not */ saw a strange dream*)
  (Not *got up the roof*)                                     - I dreamt/dreamed I was in Alaska.
   {get up on/get down from + noun phrase)                      (the past form is spelt -t or -ed)
- The cat is climbing up/down the tree.                       dress • costume * clothes • suit
  (climb up/down a vertical)                                  - The first thing I did when I earned some
- In the third round the champion was down                      money was to get myself some decent
  on the floor. (Not *down the floor*)                          clothes. (Not *a/some dress/costume*)
  (be/get down on a low surface)                                (dress/costume cannot be used as countable
- I'm usually up at 6 in the morning.                           nouns for clothes in general)
  (= opposite of 'in bed')                                    - The dancers looked splendid in national
down • under                                                    costume(s)/dress. (Not *clothes* *suits*)
- / wish you wouldn't keep your shoes under                     (= theatrical/ceremonial clothes; dress and
  the bed. (Not *down*)                                         costume are uncountable in e.g. national
  (position, no movement)                                       costume; we cannot say *He is wearing a
- / nearly washed my wedding ring down the                      national costume/a national dress. *)
  sink. (Not *under*)                                         - Must I wear a dress or can I wear jeans ?
  (movement in a downward direction)                            (countable = a woman's garment made of a
                                                                top like a blouse, with a skirt joined on)
drake • dragon                                                - Very few people can afford to have their
- He disappeared in a puff of smoke, like the                   suits specially made.
  dragon in the fairy story. (Not *drake*)                      (a suit = matching jacket and trousers/skirt)
  (= a mythical animal that breathes fire)
- How can you tell a duck from a drake?                       dress • get dressed • dress up • dress myself
  (= a male duck)                                             - / must get up and dress/get dressed.
                                                                (Not *dress up*)
drama • tragedy                                               - Polly's nearly learned how to dress/dress
- The loss of so many lives in the ferryboat                    herself now.
  disaster was a real tragedy. (Not *drama*)                    (the reflexive use refers to children, invalids,
  (= a very sad event)                                          etc., to show conscious effort)
                                                              - Get dressed! (Not *Dress yourself!*)

- Is everyone required to dress up for this                - Don't let her play with that plastic bag. She
  party? (Not *dress*)                                       might suffocate.
  (= wear special clothes: I'm going to dress up as          (= be prevented from breathing by
  Napoleon; or look smarter than usual: You're all           something over the mouth and nose)
  dressed up!)
                                                           drown • get drowned • sink
dressed with • dressed in                                  - / swam too far out and nearly drowned/got
- Why is your aunt dressed in black ?                        drowned. (Not *sank*)
  (Not *dressed with*)                                     - You nearly drowned me, holding my head
  {= wearing: dressed in a black coat)                       under the water for so long!
- This salad has been dressed with vinegar                   {= made me drown)
  and oil. (Not *dressed in*)                              - Even the biggest ships can sink.
  {= mixed/covered with salad dressing)                      (= disappear under water)
drive • conduct • guide/lead                               drug • medicine • narcotics
- A man in uniform conducted/led/guided us                 - That cough sounds bad. I think you should
  past a queue of people straight into the                   take this medicine. (Not *drug*)
  building. (Not *drove*)                                    (= a substance taken by mouth to cure an
   {conduct = officially show the way)                       illness or disorder)
- Who can guide/lead us up the mountain?                   - Paracetamol is a much more powerful drug/
  {guide = show the way; lead = be in front)                 medicine than people realize.
- When did you learn to drive a car?                         {drug or medicine = a substance designed to
  (Not *conduct* *guide/lead*)                               treat an illness)
- With the help of two dogs, the shepherd                  - The trade in drugs/narcotics is almost out of
  drove the sheep down the mountain.                         control.
   (= forced them to go)                                     (= harmful, addictive substances like heroin)
drop • fall • let something fall                           drunk • drunken
- I fell and hurt myself. (Not *dropped*)                  - Sometimes you talk more sense when you're
  (a person or a thing falls; intransitive)                  drunk than when you're sober.
- The waiter dropped a fork.                                 (Not *drunken*)
  (Not *fell* *It dropped the waiter a fork.*) (= let it     (adjective = have had too much alcohol)
  fall; transitive)                                        - How much water have you drunk?
- Melanie had a bad fall and hurt herself.                   (Not *drunken*)
  (Not *made/did a fall*)                                    {drink - drank - drunk)
- Please hold this post in position and don't              - A drunk sat next to me at the bar and asked
  let it fall. (Not *let it to fall*)                        me to buy him a drink. (Not *A drunken*)
  {= allow it to drop)                                       {= a person who has had too much alcohol)
- When we heard shots in the distance, we                  - After the party a lot of people fell into a
  dropped to the ground.                                     drunken sleep.
  (= let ourselves fall; intransitive)                       (adjective used to describe a state or
                                                             behaviour that is caused by too much
 drown • drown oneself • choke • strangle •
 suffocate                                                   alcohol: a drunken sleep, a drunken stupor)
- She must have swum too far out and                       dry up • dry: go/run dry
   drowned. (Not *drowned herself*)                        - The clothes have dried. (Not *dried up*
   (the drowning was accidental)                             *gone dry* *run dry* *got dried*)
- Her suicide note proves she drowned                      - The river has gone dry/has run dry/has
   herself.                                                  dried up for lack of rain. (Not *has dried*)
   (the drowning was deliberate)
- Something got stuck in my throat and I                   due to • owing to • because of
   nearly choked! (Not *strangled*)                        - We cancelled the broadcast owing to/
   {= was prevented from breathing by                        because of the strike.
   something inside the throat)                              (Not *due to* after a verb other than be)
- Forensic evidence showed that the murderer                 (verb + owing to or because of)
   had strangled the victim. (Not *choked*)                - Our delay was due to the heavy traffic.
   (= squeezed the neck till he/she died)                    (Not *Our delay was owing to*)
                                                             (noun + be is followed by due to)

during • for • along/on • in                                practice, this distinction is not always
- We were away for a week. (Not *during*)                   observed)
  (for + period, answering How long ?)
- It was very hot during/in the summer.                  earache
- He's rung six times during/in the last hour.           - / have/I've got (an) earache.
- Along/On the way home, we stopped a few                  (Not */ have my ear.*)
  times to admire the view. (Not *during*)               early • soon
  (during - within the period named, either              - I found the food strange at first, but I got
  continuously or occasionally; along refers to            used to it very soon. (Not *early*)
  space, not time; on the way is a fixed phrase)            (= in a short time)
- / didn't learn much during my teacher -
  training course. (Not *in*)
  (during cannot be replaced by in when we refer to an   - Apply early/soon for cheap flights.
  event or activity, rather than a period of time)          (early = before others; soon = in the near
during • while • during the time (that)                     future)
- Would you water the garden for us while                - Let's catch an early train.
  we're away/during the time (that) we're                  (adjectival use = one that leaves early)
  away? (Not *during we're away*)                        - Early motorcars were not very comfortable.
  (while/during the time (that) + clause)                  (adjectival use = at or near the beginning of
- I'll water your garden during your absence.              their history)
  (Not *while*)                                          - The train arrived early. (Not *earlily*)
  (during + noun)                                          (adverbial use = ahead of time)
dust • cover with dust                                   earnest • serious • grave
- The fallout from the erupting volcano                  - I'm quite serious about retiring early and
  covered everything with dust.                            looking after my garden. (Not *earnest*)
  (Not *'dusted everything*)                               (i.e. I'm not joking)
- I've spent the morning dusting the furniture.          - Professor Dobbs is always surrounded by
  (= removing dust from)                                   hordes of earnest first year students.
- Dust the baking tin with flour.                           (= serious-minded, eager)
  (= sprinkle with something powdery)                    - There's been a serious accident at the
                                                           crossroads. (Not *grave*)
                               E                         - The latest news we've had from hospital is
                                                           that her condition is grave.
each • every                                               (= very serious)
- Every child enjoys Christmas. (Not *Each*)             earnings • winnings • profit(s) • gain(s)
  (= all children: every + singular verb; all +          - I put some money on a horse and won. I put
  plural verb: All children enjoy...)                      my winnings on another horse and lost.
- Each child in the school was questioned.                 (Not *earnings* *winning* *profits*)
  (each suggests 'one by one' or 'separately';             (= money won by chance, e.g. through
  however, we could also say every child)                  gambling; plural in form + plural verb)
- They each have a share.                                - The earnings of the company director
  (Not *They each has*)                                    should be in line with company profit(s).
  (plural subject + each takes a plural verb)              (earnings = the money you get from
- Each of us is responsible for his/her                    working; plural in form + plural verb;
  actions. (Not *Every of us*, but we can say              profit/profits = money gained through
  Every one of us is . . . )                               business or trade)
  (each of+ plural noun/pronoun + singular verb; each,   - You have to set your capital gain(s) against
  not every, can also refer to 'two')                      your capital loss(es).
each other • one another                                   (gain/gains = increase in value)
- You and I must try to help each other.                 earth • soil • ground • land
  (each other refers to two)                             - Clay soil is hard to dig. (Not *earth*)
- We must all help one another.                            (soil is a specific reference to the top layer of
  (one another refers to more than two; in                 earth in which plants can grow)
                                                         - / use compost for my potted plants, mixed
                                                           with soil from the garden.

- He threw the ball and it bounced on the                     easy • light • facile
  ground just in front of me. (Not *earth*)                   - Since my operation, I can only do a little
  (= the surface we stand on out of doors)                      light housework. (Not *easy* *facile*)
- Everything you plant in the ground grows.                     (= not heavy, not demanding)
  (general reference to the surface of the soil)              - Sticking stamps on envelopes is easy work.
- The cellar door was hidden by a layer of                      (= not difficult)
  earth and dead leaves brought by the wind.                  - He constantly arrives late for work and I've
  (general reference to earth as the substance                  had enough of his facile excuses.
  the ground is made of)                                        (= easily produced without thought)
- People working on the land are badly paid,
  {the land = ground used for farming; note                   economical • cheap • economic
  also that the land contrasts with the sea)                  - A camping holiday is relatively cheap.
                                                                 (Not *economical* *economic*)
earth • world • cosmos                                           (= not expensive)
- What kind of world do we want our children                  - Our use of the central heating is fairly
  to inherit from us? (Not *earth* *cosmos*)                     economical. (Not *cheap*)
  (world refers to societies and institutions)                (= careful, cost-conscious, not wasteful) -Are
- The earth is the only planet in the solar                   electric cars economical/cheap to run ? (both
  system that supports life.                                  possible when a to-infinitive is used, or
   (Not *The world* *The cosmos*) (the earth                  implied, after them)
   refers to the planet)                                      - Europe is more than an economic
- The Antarctic is one of the last natural                       community. (Not * economical*)
  wildernesses on earth/in the world.                            (referring to finance, trade)
  (Not *in the cosmos*)
   (on earth = on this planet; in the world = in the sphere   economics
   we know)                                                   - The economics of this project are about
- Particle physics may provide the key to                       right.
  understanding the origin of the cosmos.                       (Not *The economics is* *The economic is*)
  (= the universe as an ordered system)                         (= financial aspects; plural form + plural
                                                                verb for specific references)
 ease • facility • convenience • equipment •                  - I've taken my Economics exam.
 commodity                                                      (Not *Economical exam*)
- This house is equipped with every modern                    - Economics is not an exact science. (Not
   facility/convenience.                                        *(the) economics are* *(the) economic is*)
    (Not *ease* *commodity*)                                    (plural form + singular verb to refer to the
    (i.e. so that it's easy to run; facility is often           academic subject)
    abstract; convenience is often concrete)
- This gym has a lot of modern equipment.                     economies • savings
   (= things necessary for a particular activity)             - We used all our savings to make this house
- You have a real facility for learning                         comfortable. (Not *economies* *saving*)
   languages. (Not *have an ease*)                              (= money kept after a sum has been spent;
   (i.e. you find it easy to do)                                plural form)
- She learnt French with great facility/ease.                 - By making economies we manage to run a
- Copper is a vital commodity in industry.                      second-hand car. (Not *making savings*)
   (= a (raw) material that is bought and sold)                 (make economies = avoid spending more
                                                                money than is strictly necessary)
easy • easily
- You've been working hard and should take it                 economize • save • spare
  easy for a while. (Not *take it easily*)                    - / save a little each week.
  (easy = quietly/gently in phrases like Easy                    (Not *economize* *spare*)
  now!, Go easy, Take it easy.)                                  (= set money aside and let it collect)
- I finished all the questions easily in the time             - We economize on everything to send our
  allowed. (Not *easy*)                                         children to private schools. (Not *save*)
   (= in an easy fashion: adverb of manner)                     (= cut back expenditure)
                                                              - / can spare about £20 a month for luxuries
                                                                now that I've had an increase in salary.
                                                                (= have available after essential payments)

edge • end • tip • extreme                                   - The best investment any country can make in
- I pointed to the letter with the end/tip of my             its future is to educate its children.
pencil. (Not *edge* *extreme*)                               (= teach them at school, put them in a situation
{end = the final point; tip = a sharp point)                 where they learn)
- Don't go too near the edge of the cliff.
(Not *end* *tip* *extreme*)                                  education * good manners
(= the line where the cliff falls away; compare a knife      - An expensive education doesn't necessarily
edge, the edge of a ruler)                                   provide you with good manners.
- She prodded him with the tip of her finger.                {education = schooling; good manners =
(Not *end* *edge* *extreme*)                                 behaviour showing consideration for others)
- You used to have principles, but now you've                effect: in effect • in fact/as a matter of fact
gone to the other extreme and you tolerate                   - Your mother phoned while you were out. In
anything. (Not *end* *edge* *tip*)                           fact/As a matter of fact, she's left a message
(= the furthest limit)                                       for you. (Not *In effect*)
edge • kerb                                                  {= actually)
- The car swerved sharply and hit the kerb.                  - A work-to-rule is in effect a strike.
(Not *edge*)                                                 (i.e. that's the reality, even if it doesn't
(= a raised edging, marking the side of a street or          appear to be so)
road)                                                         effective • real/actual
- The car was parked at the edge of the road.                - Who has real/actual power, the government
(= at the side, where the road surface ends)                   or the civil service? (Not * effective*)
edit • publish • prepare                                      - Catalytic converters are reasonably
- Shakespeare's collected plays were first                    effective in reducing harmful emissions from
published in 1623. (Not *edited*)                             cars. (Not *effective (of)*)
(= printed, distributed and sold)                             (i.e. they produce the intended results)
- The plays were edited by Heminges and
                                                              effectively • really/actually • indeed
Condell. (Not *prepared*)
                                                              - Penicillin was one of the discoveries that
(= prepared for publication)                                  really/actually changed the course of
- You can't expect me to prepare a meal for                   modern medicine.
six people in ten minutes.                                    (i.e. truly; effectively would mean 'had the effect of
(= put together)                                              changing' here)
edition * publication                                         - He said he would leave his money to a cats'
- She gave up her job after the publication of                home and indeed he did. (Not *effectively*)
her first novel. (Not *edition*)                              (i.e. he really did)
(= printing, distribution and sale)                          - Penicillin works effectively to destroy
- Our dictionary has been completely revised                 bacteria.
and the new edition will be out soon.                         (i.e. it produces good results)
(= version)                                                  effort • trial • attempt/try • attempted
editor • publisher                                           - A judge provides a summary of the evidence
- Longman was the original publisher of                      at the end of a trial. (Not *an effort*)
'Roget's Thesaurus'. (Not *editor*)                          {= a process leading to a judgement)
(= a person or company that commissions work from            - However hard I try, all my efforts come to
authors and pays for publication)                            nothing. (Not *all my trials*)
- The editor of a national newspaper can                     {all my efforts = the energy I spend; effort = use,
seriously influence public opinion.                          expenditure of energy)
(= the person in charge of the contents of e.g. a            - / only passed my driving test after a number
newspaper)                                                   of attempts/tries. (Not *efforts* *trials*)
                                                             (= particular acts of trying; nouns related to try =
educate • bring up                                           attempt are effort, try, attempt, not *trial*)
- / was brought up to believe in old-fashioned               - He was accused of attempted murder.
moral values. (Not *educated*)                               (Not *an attempt of murder*; attempted +
{bring up = raise from childhood; raise, in this sense, is   crime = unsuccessful criminal attempt)
becoming dated in BrE)

e.g. • i.e.                                                   eldest • oldest
- Applications are invited from university                    - Which is the oldest inhabited building in
   graduates, i.e. people with a first degree or                Britain? (Not *the eldest*)
   higher. (Not *e.g.*)                                          (oldest, not *eldest*, for things)
   (i.e. is the abbreviation for id est, which is Latin for   - I am the eldest/oldest in our family and
   'that is', when we want to say what something means)         Jennifer is the youngest.
- Major financial centres (e.g. London, New                      (eldest or oldest for people in a family)
   York, Tokyo) operate 24-hour                               - Who's the oldest man alive? (Not *eldest*)
   communications systems. (Not *f.e.* *i.e.*)                  (we use eldest with reference to small groups
   (e.g. is the abbreviation for exempli gratia,                of people, especially in a family)
   which is Latin for 'for the sake of example';
   we can either write for example in full -                  elect • choose
   never abbreviated to *f.e.* - or use e.g.; note            - Which colour did you choose ? (Not *elect*)
   that we cannot say *by example*)                             (= pick, select; the noun is choice: That was
                                                                 a very good choice.)
egoist/egotist • selfish                                      - The government was elected with a very
- You should bring up children to be                             small majority. (Not *chosen*)
  generous, not selfish. (Not *egoist*)                           (= chosen by voting; the noun is election:
  (adjective = concerned only about oneself)                      When is the next general election ?)
- Put yourself in his position. Don't be such
  an egoist/egotist. (Not *a selfish*)                        electric • electronic • electrical
  (an egoist is someone who considers the claims of           - A modern plane is packed with electronic/
  others irrelevant; an egotist is someone who behaves           electrical equipment. (Not *electric*)
  in a supremely selfish way; related adjectives are             (electronic = equipment controlled by
  egoistic and egotistic; we cannot use selfish as a noun)       transistors and microchips; electrical = to do
                                                                 with electricity, very occasionally
either • neither                                                 interchangeable with electric: There's an
- / haven't seen Joe since last year and I don't                 electric/electrical fault.)
   want to, either. (Not *neither*)                           - If you feel cold, switch on the electric fire.
   (neutral/informal)                                           (Not *electronic* * electrical*)
   (either = as well, in negative sentences)                     (electric is highly specific: electric fire,
- / neither saw nor heard from Joe. (formal)                     electric shock, etc.)
   (neither ... nor; either ... or)
                                                              electricity • power
elastic • elastic band/rubber band                            - There's been a power/an electricity cut.
- The only way to hold these papers together                     (power is the general word for energy)
   is with an elastic band/a rubber band/some                 - Many garden machines run on electricity/
   elastic. (Not *an elastic*)                                   electrical power. (Not *run on power*)
   (= a circle of thin rubber)                                   (electricity for specific reference)
- The elastic on these pants has perished.                    - A hydroelectric plant generates a lot of
   (= the rubber material that stretches)                        power/electricity.
elder • older                                                 else • other • some more • another
- John is older than I am. (Not *elder than*)                 - One of these blouses has buttons; the other
   (we cannot use than after elder)                              hasn't. (Not *One ... the else*)
- I know both buildings are very old, but                        (one ... the other fox alternatives)
   which one is (the) older? (Not *elder*)                    - We need one more helper. Can you find
   (older, not *elder*, for things)                              someone/anyone else? (Not *other*)
- Who is the older/the elder?                                    (= an additional person)
   (i.e. of the two people)                                   - Take this back and exchange it for
- My elder/older brother is a doctor.                            something else. (Not *other*)
   (we use elder in front of a noun with                          (= something different)
   reference to people in a defined group,                    - What else/more did he say? (Not *other*)
   especially a family)                                          (question-word + else)
                                                              - If there's some tea left, I'd like some more.
                                                                 (Not *some else* *some other*)
                                                              - I enjoyed that glass of beer. I think I'll have
                                                                 another. (Not *some else* *some other*)

                                                        empty • blank
embark • board • launch                                 - Every writer feels challenged by a blank
- They're calling our flight number. We have              sheet of paper. (Not *empty* *shiny*)
  to board now. (Not *embark*)                            (i.e. it has no writing on it)
   (board a plane or ship)                              - Your glass is empty. Shall I refill it?
- We embarked with the tide.                              (i.e. it contains nothing)
  (= began a sea journey)
- The Hubble telescope was launched into                end: at the end • in the end
  space in 1990. (Not *embarked*)                       - We searched everywhere for accommodation
                                                          and in the end someone offered us a barn
embarrassed                                               for the night. (Not *at the end*)
- Sarah gets embarrassed easily.                           (= finally, after effort or difficulty)
  (Not *She embarrasses*)                               - A lot of people were weeping at the end (of
embrace • kiss                                            the film). (Not *in the end*)
- We embraced and kissed one another for the               (= at the point at which it ended)
  last time.                                            end (with) • finish (with)
  (embraced = put our arms round each other;            - Don't interrupt me. I want to finish my
  kissed = touched with the lips)                         essay. (Not *end*)
emigrate • migrate • immigrate                             (= complete work on it)
- A lot of people from the countryside are              - / want to end/finish my essay with a
  migrating to the towns. (Not *emigrating*)              quotation.
  (migrate refers to the movement of people                (= mark the end with)
  from one place to another within a country            - / don't know how to end my novel.
  or area: people who do this are migrants)                (i.e. what ending to give to it; compare finish my
- Many species of birds migrate to warmer                  novel = complete it)
  climates before the onset of winter.                  - I've finished with him. (Not *ended with*)
  (Not *emigrate* *immigrate*) (we never use              (i.e. the relationship is over)
  emigrate or immigrate for birds and animals; we       - Have you finished with that computer?
  can refer to e.g. migrating birds as migrant birds)     (Not *ended with*)
- Millions of people emigrated from Europe                 (= stopped using it)
  to the United States at the turn of the 20th          endure
  century. (Not *migrated* *immigrated*)                - / can't endure waiting in traffic jams.
  (emigrate from a place = permanently leave
                                                          (Not *endure to wait*)
  your native country; people who do this are
                                                           (= tolerate, put up with)
- A lot of people immigrated to Britain from            energetic • effective • vigorous
  Uganda in the 60s and 70s.                            - Paracetamol is extremely effective as a cure
  (immigrate to a place = go to live in a country         for headaches. (Not *energetic*)
  which is not your native country; people who do          (i.e. it brings good results)
  this are immigrants)                                  - Your children are so energetic!
emission • broadcast                                      (= full of energy)
- I first heard the news in a broadcast on the          - He agreed with a vigorous nod of the head.
  BBC World Service. (Not *an emission*)                  (Not *energetic*; vigorous = strong)
  (i.e. what is heard on radio or seen on TV)           enervate • get on (my) nerves
- The emission of radioactive material from             - The noise from that disco opposite really
  Chernobyl will have long-term effects.                  gets on my nerves. (Not *enervates me*)
  (= a release into the atmosphere)                     - When the weather is hot and humid like this
emphasis                                                  I feel completely enervated.
- We put a lot of emphasis on good manners                 (= without mental and physical strength)
  in this school.                                       enervating • annoying • get on (my) nerves
  (Not *give ... emphasis to/on*)                       - That noise outside the window is extremely
                                                          annoying. (Not * enervating*)
                                                           (= irritating)
                                                        - I find this hot weather extremely enervating.
                                                          (i.e. it deprives me of my energy, tiring)

- / can't stand Wilfrid. He really gets on my               - He's/She's English. (Not *an English*)
  nerves. (Not *He's enervating.*)                            (adjectival form; the noun forms are an
   (= makes me feel annoyed, irritated)                        Englishman, an Englishwoman)
engaged • get engaged (to)                                  - They're English. (Not *Englishes*)
- Jack and Jill got engaged last week. (Not                    (adjectival form)
  *they engaged* *engaged themselves*)                          They're Englishmen/Englishwomen. (noun
- Di's got engaged to a lawyer and they'll                      forms)
  marry in June. (Not *got engaged with*)                   - The English/(The) English people are
- We've engaged a builder to fix our roof.                     wonderfully practical.
  (= arranged to employ)                                        (Not *English* *Englishes*; we can say
                                                                Englishmen or Englishwomen in general
engage(d) in • involved in                                      statements)
- It's none of your business. You shouldn't get                 (= the group as a whole) (also: French, Dutch, Irish,
  involved in his affairs. (Not *engaged in*)                   Welsh; compare Scottish or Scots/a Scot/a Scotsman-
  (= become concerned with)                                     Scotswoman; Scotch is for Scottish products like
- Don't respond if he tries to engage you in                    whisky)
  conversation. (Not *involve you in*)
  (= make you take part in)                                 enjoy
                                                            - / enjoy skiing in winter.
engine/motor • machine • machinery                             (Not *enjoy to ski* *enjoy the ski*)
- This machine not only washes clothes but                  - I enjoyed my stay in the USA very much.
  dries them as well. (Not *engine*)                          (Not */ enjoyed very much my stay. *
  (a machine stands alone)                                     *enjoyed with my stay*; I really enjoyed my stay is a
- A car like this needs a powerful                             colloquial alternative)
  engine/motor. (Not *machine*)                             - / enjoyed myself during the holidays.
  (an engine/motor drives something else)                     (Not */ enjoyed during the holidays. *)
- How often should you equip a factory with
  new machinery/with new machines ?                         enjoy • amuse • entertain • please
  (= machines in general)                                   - Uncle Bill amuses/entertains the children
- The motor of my sewing/washing machine                      for hours at a time. (Not *enjoys*)
  is faulty. (Not *engine* *machine*)                         (amuse someone = make someone smile or
  (a small machine is driven by a motor, not an engine;       laugh; entertain someone = pleasantly
  a motor is usually powered by electricity; an engine is     occupy their attention and interest)
  usually powered by oil or steam)                          - We often entertain friends at weekends.
                                                              (Not *amuse* *enjoy*)
engineer • mechanic • technician                               (= provide them with food and drink)
- Can I have a word with the mechanic who                   - We 're really enjoying your party.
  serviced my car? (Not *engineer*)                           (Not *enjoying with your party*)
  (a mechanic maintains and repairs mechanical              - We're really enjoying ourselves.
  equipment with moving parts)                                (enjoy is transitive: not *We're really
- It is every engineer's dream to design a                    enjoying.* *We're pleasing ourselves.*)
  machine that will use water as fuel.                        (= having a good time)
  (Not *mechanic's*)                                        - When he's in this kind of mood, I can't do
  (an engineer designs and builds machines, engines,          anything to please him. (Not *enjoy*)
  bridges, roads, etc.)                                        (= give him pleasure)
- The computer system in the stock exchange                 - There's nothing organized for this afternoon.
  was installed by skilled technicians.                       We're free to please ourselves.
  (Not *engineers* *mechanics*) (technicians install           (= provide our own entertainment; do what we like)
  and maintain scientific and electronic equipment)
                                                            enjoy • have a good time
English                                                     - We're just off to the party. - Great! Have a
- I'm learning/doing English.                                 good time/Enjoy yourselves! (Not *Enjoy!*)
  (Not *english* *making English*)                            (Enjoy! = e.g. Have a good time! is
  (= the language: proper noun, capital letter)               increasingly heard, especially in AmE, but is
                                                              not generally acceptable; enjoy is transitive

   and is followed by a reflexive pronoun: enjoy       (Not *entered an agreement*)
   yourself, or an object: enjoy your                  (enter into an agreement/a contract = sign)
   dinner)                                          - Guess what! I've got into university!
                                                      (Not *entered* *entered into*)
  enlarged • stretched                                (= managed to gain admission to: the use of get +
- My pullover has stretched in the wash.              preposition: get in(to), out of, etc., often suggests 'go
   (Not *enlarged*)                                   with difficulty')
    (= got bigger; intransitive)
 - You should have these photos enlarged.           entertainment • entertaining • amusement
    (= made bigger)                                 - The company spends a lot of money on
                                                      entertaining overseas guests.
  enough                                               (the entertainment/entertaining of is dated) (=
 - I'm old enough to know what I'm doing.              showing hospitality by taking guests to restaurants,
    (Not *I'm enough old*)                             theatres, etc.)
    (adjective + enough: adverb of degree)          - To everyone's great entertainment/
- We haven't got enough time/chairs.                  amusement, Roland arrived as Santa Claus
   (Not *enough of*)                                  in a red robe and a white beard.
    {enough + noun to refer to quantity)               (this gave them pleasure/made them laugh)
 enough • fairly • rather • quite                   - Let's go to a film - I'll check the
- The water is fairly warm. (Not *enough*)            entertainments column in the paper to see
  (fairly = less than the highest degree)             what's on. (Not *amusements*)
- The water is warm enough to swim in.                (any show or performance provided for an
  {enough follows an adjective or adverb to           audience is entertainment)
  suggest 'for some purpose')                       entire • (the) whole • all
- What's the water like? - It's rather warm.        - He told me the whole truth.
  {rather = inclined to be; it often suggests         (Not *the entire truth* *all the truth*) (the whole
  'surprisingly')                                     combines with e.g. story, truth)
- What's the water like? - It's quite warm.         - I've lost nearly all my hair.
  (Not *enough warm*)                                 (Not *my whole hair* *my entire hair*) (all my/the
   {= reasonably)                                     combines with some plural countable nouns, e.g.
 enough • too                                         plants, flowers, and some uncountable nouns, e.g.
- He's strong. He can lift it.                        hair, money)
   -> He's strong enough to lift it./He isn't too   - I've wanted to visit Petra all my life/my
   weak to lift it.                                   whole life/my entire life.
   (= he has the strength to)                         (all my/the, my/the whole or my/the entire mainly
- He's weak. He can't lift it.                        with singular countable nouns)
   -» He's too weak to lift it./He isn't strong     - Whole/Entire forests in North Africa were
   enough to lift it.                                 destroyed during Roman times. (Not *All*)
   (= he hasn't the strength to)                      (whole = complete; entire = with nothing
- Is this pear soft enough for me to eat?             excluded)
  (Not *for me to eat it*)                          - All passengers must report to Airport
- This pear is too hard for anyone to eat.            Security 60 minutes before departure.
  (Not *for anyone to eat it*)                        (= every single one of them)

enter • come in • hullo                             entrance • entry • entrance hall
- Someone knocks at the door and the                - We were refused entry to Tibet because we
  response is Come in! (preferably not Enter!)        didn't have a visa. (preferable to entrance)
- You answer the phone and might say Hullo!         - Which is the main entrance to the building?
  (Not *Enter!* *Say!* *Speak to me!*)                (Not *entry*)
  (alternative spelling: Hello)                     - I had lost my key, so I gained entry/
                                                      entrance through the kitchen window.
enter into • enter • get into                         (= the opportunity for entering)
- We all stood up when the President entered        - As you turn left, there's a sign that says No
  the room. (Not *entered into the room*)             Entry/No Entrance.
  {enter, transitive = go into)                       (entry refers to the opening or opportunity to
- We've entered into an agreement not to
  supply goods direct to the customer.

   go in; entrance refers to the act of going in, or to the   escape from • escape
   place, ticket, etc., for going in)                         - They somehow managed to escape capture.
- The house has a large entrance hall.                          (Not *escape from capture*)
  (= the space beyond the front door)                            (= narrowly avoid)
                                                              - They somehow managed to escape being
entree • first course/starter                                   captured by the border guards.
- They served avocado as a first course/                         (Not *escape from being* *escape to be*) (escape =
  starter, then the entree was roast beef.                       avoid is not followed by from)
   (in English, but not in French, entree means the main      - There's been a mass breakout and several
   course in a formal banquet)                                  dangerous men have escaped from prison.
entrust to/with                                                 (escape from = run away)
- Many people had entrusted their life                        especially • specially
  savings to the Bank of Credit and                           - I've had this area specially designed as a
  Commerce.                                                      herb garden. (Not *especially*)
   (Not *had entrusted the bank their savings* *had              (specially = for a particular purpose)
   entrusted to the bank their savings*)                      - / wanted to speak to you especially/
- Many people had entrusted the bank with                       specially. (Not *Especially/Specially, I
  their savings.                                                wanted to speak to you. *)
envy • jealousy                                                 (especially = 'in particular', stresses you;
- Jealousy can be very destructive in a                         specially = 'in a special manner', stresses
  marriage. (Not *Envy*)                                        speak; we rarely begin a sentence with
   (jealousy is the desire to have absolute possession          Especially or Specially)
   of someone or something)                                   - I think you'll find this article specially/
- Their jet-setting lifestyle causes envy/                       especially interesting.
  jealousy among their neighbours.                                (= more than usually: both words are often used in
  (envy is the desire to have the same good                       the same way; it's best to prefer special to especial
  fortune as someone else)                                        as an adjective: John's my special friend = my
                                                                  particular friend)
equal • (all) the same
- / don't mind if we stay at home. It's all the               essence • petrol • perfume
  same to me. (Not *equal*)                                   - All new cars run on unleaded petrol (AmE
   (i.e. it makes no difference)                                  gasoline). (Not *essence*)
- Giving your children equal treatment is                     - This perfume is made from plant essence.
  different from treating them both the same.                   (perfume = manufactured sweet-smelling
- Divide it into two equal parts. (Not *same*)                   liquid; essence = oil extracted from plants)
                                                              - Mrs Hopkins always sees the essence of any
equal • level • flat • even                                      argument straight away.
- Is the floor quite level/flat? (Not *equal*)                   (= the main point)
  (i.e. a horizontal that is straight enough to
   form a 90° angle with a vertical)                          estimate • value • esteem/respect • evaluate
- The surface of this desk isn't very even.                   - Jim Fox is highly esteemed/respected/
  (Not *equal*)                                                  valued in our village. (Not *estimated*)
                                                                (esteem/respect/admire and sometimes value
    (= smooth, flat, not bumpy)
                                                                a person)
- Make sure the legs of the table are all equal
                                                              - The cost of repair has been estimated at
   in length.
                                                                 £790. (Not *valued/esteemed/evaluated*)
    (= the same in measurement or value)                        (= roughly calculated)
equally                                                       - / got my jewellery valued for insurance.
- Our secretary is leaving next month. I hope                   (Not *estimated* *esteemed* *evaluated*)
  we can find someone equally capable to                         (= given a price, e.g. by a valuer)
  replace her. (Not *equally as capable*)                     - Examinations are not the only way of
                                                                evaluating a student's ability.
equipment                                                        (= judging the quality of)
- Our local gym is full of all the latest                     - / estimate they made more than a million.
  equipment. (Not *equipments*)                                  (= judge: stative use in declarations)
  (equipment is uncountable)

- When you 're estimating how much wall-                             (= that part of the day that begins at noon and
  paper to buy, it's safest to add an extra roll.                    ends at about 6)
  (= making a rough calculation: dynamic use,                     - The best time to phone is around 7 in the
  i.e. at this moment)                                              evening. (Not *afternoon*)
                                                                     (= that part of the day that begins at around 5 and
 etc.                                                                continues till you go to bed)
- Accommodation, food, etc., is provided for                      - / like to get most of my work done before
   the trip, but bring your own pocket money.
                                                                    noon/midday. (Not *afternoon*)
   (Not *e.c.t* *ect* *and etc.*)                                    (= 12 o'clock in the middle of the day)
    (etc. is the abbreviation for et cetera, which is Latin for
    'and the rest')                                               event • fact
                                                                  - It's a fact that world oil resources won't last
                                                                    indefinitely. (Not *an event*)
- The ethics of the situation are self-evident.
                                                                     (i.e. it is true and can be proved)
   (Not *The ethics is* *The ethic is*)
   (plural form + plural verb for specific                        - The first day of the winter term is a major
   references)                                                      event in the school year. (Not *fact*)
- Ethics is part of our course in philosophy.                        (= something that happens)
   (Not *(the) ethic is* *(the) ethics are*)                      eventual • possible • final
   (plural form + singular verb to refer to the                   - Brake failure is a possible reason for the
   academic subject)                                                accident. (Not *eventual*)
 evade • avoid • escape from                                         (i.e. it could be)
- Avoiding payment of tax is quite legal.                         - Over-borrowing led to the eventual collapse
   (i.e. managing your financial affairs so as                      of the company.
   not to pay tax)                                                   (i.e. in the course of time)
- Evading payment of tax is quite illegal.                        - Hitler's final act was to commit suicide.
   (= slipping out of a duty or obligation)                         (Not *eventual*)
- After he escaped from prison, he fled to                           (= last)
   Brazil (Not *evaded*)                                          eventually • possibly/perhaps * finally
    (= run away from a place or person)                           - If there hasn't been much traffic, they've
- We avoid travelling at the height of the                          possibly/perhaps reached home already.
   tourist season. (Not *avoid to travel*)                          (Not *eventually*)
   (= try not to travel)                                          - Pneumonia eventually led to his death.
evasion • flight • avoidance                                        (i.e. it was the end of a continuing process)
- The flight of capital is a basic problem in                     - So you've finally decided to get married.
                                                                    (Not *eventually*)
  third world economies. (Not *evasion*)
                                                                    (= at last, after a long period of time or after a series
  (= disappearance into other countries, or                         of difficulties)
  exchange into other currencies)
- The evasion of taxes is the basis of the black                  ever • always
  economy.                                                        - If you ever need any help, just let me know.
  (= illegal non-payment)                                           (Not *always*)
- The avoidance of taxes is perfectly legal and                      (= at any time)
  every citizen's right.                                          - You can always tell when a person has been
   (= legal non-payment)                                            crying. (Not *ever*)
                                                                    (i.e. every time)
even • still                                                      - You said you d love me always/for ever.
- Mr Wilks is not only working at the age of                        (for always is possible, but not usual)
  95; he's even running a company.                                  (always = continuously; for ever refers to
  (i.e. this is one of the many things he does; surprisingly)       future time)
- Though he's 95, Mr Wilks still plays bowls.                     - We are ever/always hopeful we might win
  (= continues to)                                                  something in the national lottery.
evening • afternoon • noon/midday                                   (ever + adjective = always)
- I'm out to lunch, then I've got meetings all
  afternoon. (Not *evening*)

ever • never                                           evil • bad
- / have never been to Beijing.                        - Don't set a bad example. (Not *evil*)
  (Not *have ever*)                                      (= negative, not good)
  {never + affirmative verb = 'not ever')              - According to the Bible, the love of money is
- / haven't ever been to Beijing.                        the root of all evil. (Not *bad*)
  (Not *haven't never* *have ever*)                        (evil is a noun here)
  (ever with a negative verb = never)                  - / can name quite a few political leaders in
- Have you ever/never been to Beijing?                    the 20th century who were really evil.
  (ever: normal question; never: asking for               (evil = wicked, much stronger than bad)
  confirmation, or expressing surprise)
                                                       evoke • refer to/mention
every day • everyday • all day                         - Professor Kranz referred to/mentioned one
- Going to work in the morning is just part of            or two topics he would be dealing with
  everyday life. (Not *every day*)                        during the course. (Not *evoked*)
  (everyday is an adjective)                           - Someone, 1 forget who, mentioned your
- / run five miles every day. (Not *everyday*)           name to me recently. (Not *referred... to*)
  (every day is an adverb of frequency)                  (refer to will not always replace mention =
- / work hard all day and I just want to watch           'bring into a conversation')
  TV in the evening.                                   - Even the mention of Marion's name evoked
   (= the whole day)                                     memories of a bitter family quarrel.
                                                           (= called to mind)
every one • everyone
- Everyone wants success. (Not *Every one*)            exam
  (everyone = all the people, indefinite               - I'm sitting (for)/taking/doing/having my
  pronoun)                                               final exam next Friday. (Not * giving/making
- Every one of their children did well at                 an exam*; we can also say / couldn't do the
  school. (Not *Everyone*)                               exam paper, not *make*; note pass an exam
   (= all of them)                                       = be successful in an exam: the opposite is
                                                          fail (in) an exam, not *stay in my exams*)
everyone/everybody                                     - The exam starts at 9. (Not *examine*)
- Everyone/Everybody knows what he has to                (exam is the abbreviation of examination;
  do, doesn't he ?                                       exams, the abbreviation of examinations)
  (everyone/everybody + singular pronoun is formally
  correct)                                              examine • interrogate/question • interview •ask
- Everyone/Everybody knows what they have              - Did you ask him ? Did he give you any
  to do, don't they ?                                     reasons? (Not *examine*)
  (they + plural form verb is often used in place of       (ask a question/questions)
  'he or she'; but note everyone/ everybody +          - It's normal practice to interrogate/question
  singular verb)                                          prisoners of war.
                                                           (= ask a large number of questions, especially of
evidence • proof                                           prisoners, police suspects, etc.)
- The video is proof that he broke into the            - A lot of people are questioning the global
   bank. (Not *evidence*)                                 warming theory.
   (i.e. it shows the truth, beyond doubt)                 (= expressing doubts about)
- The video film was part of the evidence used         - Who interviewed you when you got the job?
   in the case.                                          (= asked questions about your abilities and
   (= the information used in a court)                    experience)
- We need more evidence than this to bring a           - David Frost often interviews important
   case against her. (Not *more evidences*)               people on TV.
   (= information needed in a court of law;                (= asks about their opinions, ideas, etc.)
   evidence is uncountable)                            - A doctor examined him but could find
evidently • of course                                     nothing the matter with him.
- Are you going to finish what's on your                   (= looked at his body, gave him a medical
   plate? - Of course! (Not *Evidently!*)                  examination)
- Maxwell isn't going to retire after all.             - The police examined the marks on the lock.
   Evidently, he can't afford to, just yet.               (= looked at them with great care)
   (= it seems, apparently)

 example                                              (Not *exciting* *erotic*) (=
- Who can give me an example of a modal               sexually attractive)
   verb? (Not *show/make/do me an example*)        - / don't want to hear about your erotic
- You should set an example to the others, not       fantasies. (Not *sexy*)
   behave worse than they do! (Not *give*)            (= concerned with sexual feelings)
   (= show others how to behave)                   - There are some exciting items in the current
                                                     fashion show.
 example • copy • specimen • sample                   (= likely to arouse interest; exciting on its own
- Authors get very few free copies of their own       doesn't refer to sex: we have to say sexually
  books. (Not *examples*)                             exciting)
   (a copy = one book, of many in an edition)
- Patients always have to provide a specimen/       excursion
  a sample of their blood before an operation.     - Sally went on a school excursion to Calais
  (Not *an example*)                                  last weekend. (Not *went for an excursion*)
   (= a small amount for analysis)                    (excursion for formally organized outings)
- What do you think of this scent? It was a         excuse
  free sample. (Not *specimen* *example*)          - Please excuse /ik'skju:z/ his/him
  (= a small amount so you can try it)                interrupting all the time. (Not *excuse him
- The fall of Rome in AD 410 is an example of         to interrupt/that he interrupted*)
  how even the greatest empires decay.                 (the possessive my, your, his, her, etc., is
   (i.e. it illustrates the point)                     preferred to him, me, etc., after the verb excuse,
 except • besides                                      though both forms are used)
- / have other cookery books besides these.        - She made an excuse /ik'skju:s/ and left.
  (Not *except* *except for*)                         (Not *did an excuse*)
   (= in addition to)                              excuse (oneself) (for) • apologize (for)/make an
- / have no other/haven't any other cookery        apology
  books except/except for/besides these.           - I've apologized for/made an apology for my
  (i.e. these are the only ones I have)               rudeness. (Not *excused myself for*) (=
 exceptional • extraordinary • strange/ peculiar      said I'm sorry)
- / can't explain her extraordinary/strange/       - / really can't excuse myself for the way I
   peculiar behaviour. (Not *exceptional*)           behaved towards you last night.
   (= unusual, surprising and/or displeasing)         (= provide acceptable reasons)
- Watkins is a man of extraordinary/               - I just can't excuse such behaviour.
   exceptional abililty.                             (= find a justification for, forgive)
   (extraordinary = unusual;                        excuse me • pardon (me) • (I'm) sorry •
   exceptional = outstanding, possibly unique)      forgive me
exchange • change                                  - Sorry/I'm sorry I'm late! (Not *Excuse me*
- Can I change some traveller's cheques in            *Pardon (me)* *Forgive me*)
  the hotel? (Not *exchange*)                          (= 'I apologize')
- Some shops will always exchange                  - Excuse me (for)/Sorry for/Pardon me (for)/
  unsuitable goods. (Not *change*)                    Forgive me (for) interrupting - you're
  (change = alter from an existing state:             wanted on the phone.
  change money, clothes, a job, one's mind;        - How's Ann? - Sorry?'/Pardon? What was
  exchange = give one thing and receive               that? (Not *Forgive me?*; Excuse me? is
  another: exchange ideas, glances, gossip)           AmE only, not BrE)
                                                      (= 'I didn't hear what you said')
excited • get excited                              - Excuse me, can I get past, please ?
- We got excited when we thought we had               (Not *Pardon me* *Sorry* * Forgive me*)
  won the lottery. (Not *We excited*)              - You're standing on my foot. - Sorry!/I beg
- The open window excited the attention of the        your pardon! (Not *Excuse/Forgive me!*)
  police.                                             (Sorry! is recommended; Pardon! and
                                                      Pardon me! as apologies should be avoided)
exciting • sexy • erotic                           - Please forgive me for my awful behaviour
- Clothes that make one person look sexy can          last night. I don't know what got into me!
  make another look quite plain.

  (forgive me = asking for forgiveness for                   (= a public showing of works of art, etc.; show is less
  words/deeds that have offended: formal)                    formal than exhibition: a flower show, a car show,
- Pardon my asking, but didn't I meet you in                 etc.)
  Budapest a couple of years ago? (Not                    - Stephen Hawking's 'A Brief History of Time'
  *Pardon that I ask* *Pardon me to ask*)                   is a good exposition of the subject.
                                                             (= a presentation and explanation, especially of
execute                                                      difficult ideas)
- All the orders received by a mail-order
  company should be promptly executed.                    exodus • exit
  (execute a thing = carry it out)                        - In case of fire, please use the emergency
- The terrorists were executed by hanging.                  exit. (Not *exodus*)
  (execute a person = kill officially; the noun              (= the way out of a hotel, cinema, etc.)
  for both meanings is execution)                         - High rents have led to the exodus of
                                                            ordinary people from inner cities.
exercise                                                    (= a mass departure)
- How often do you take exercise ?
  (Not *make/do exercise*)                                expect
  (i.e. in general, to improve your physical              - / expect you've heard about the resignation
  condition; uncountable)                                   of the chairman. (Not *I'm expecting*)
- I'm doing exercises to strengthen my leg                  (stative use in 'declarations')
  muscles. (Not *taking/making exercises*)                - / expect/I'm expecting to hear from you.
  (i.e. particular exercises; countable)                    (= looking forward to; stative or dynamic)
                                                          - John should have reached home by now. -I
exercise • practise • drill • train (in)                    expect so. (Not */ expect (it).*)
- You play the piano so well! How often do                   (expect + so in affirmative responses)
  you practise? (Not *exercise* *drill*
  *train* or in BrE *practice*)                           experience • experiment
- The soldiers had been drilled for a month               - A scientific experiment is valuable only if it
  before the parade.                                        can be repeated. (Not *experience*)
  (Not *exercised* *practised* *trained*) (= given           (= a test designed to find something out)
  repetitive exercises)                                   - They want someone with a lot of scientific
- These men have been trained in unarmed                    experience for this job.
  combat. (Not *exercised in* *drilled in*                   (= knowledge and practice; uncountable)
  *practised in*)                                         - / had a strange experience the other day.
  (= taught)                                                (i.e. something happened to me; countable)
- You need to be very patient when you train              expert • specialist
  dogs. (Not *drill* *practise*)                          - My doctor has arranged for me to see an eye
  (= teach them to perform tasks; but note: Linda goes      specialist. (Not *an expert*)
  out training most days, i.e. practises as an athlete)      (= a qualified person with detailed knowledge about
- If you own a dog, you need to exercise it                  a subject, often medical)
  every day. (Not *train* *practise* *drill*)             - / think you should have this picture valued
  (i.e. take it for walks to maintain good                  by an expert/a specialist.
  condition: give it exercise)                               (= someone with particular knowledge)
exhausted: get exhausted                                  explain
- We got exhausted walking round the                      - They explained the situation to their
  museum. (Not *We exhausted*)                              friends.
exhibition/show • display • exposition                       (Not *explained their friends the situation*
- We admired the display of spring fashions in               *explained to their friends the situation*)
  the department store windows.                           - Please explain (to me) why you did this.
  (Not *exhibition* *exposition*)                           (Not *explain me why*)
  (= an arrangement of items in a special way             - Let me explain. Let me explain it to you.
  so that people can see them)                              (Not *Let me explain you/explain you it.*)
- Have you seen the exhibition/show of                    - How can you explain (their) knowing in
  Impressionist paintings at the Royal                      advance that the shares would rise?
  Academy? (Not *display* *exposition*)                     (Not *explain them to know/knowing*; the
                                                            noun is explanation, not *explication*)

export/import • exportation/importation                   dial 071 for inner/central London and 081
- Once computers were truly portable, the old             for outer London.)
  restrictions on the export/exportation of
  high technology became unworkable.                    extra • best/finest quality • fine • choice
- Countries are always tempted to create tariff         - Their carpets are the best available/the
  barriers to restrict the import/importation             finest quality. (Not *extra*)
  of foreign goods.                                     - We could do with an extra room.
  (exportation/importation are legalistic and formal;     (= additional)
  import/export are preferable)                            {extra is also an intensifier in e.g. extra-
- Exports have again been lower than                       special, extra-large)
  imports. (Not *exportations/importations*)            - Spain produces some best quality/choice
  (only exports/imports in the plural to refer to         fruit and vegetables.
  goods)                                                   (we often use best quality/choice for food)
                                                        - The Savoy Grill is a very fine restaurant.
expose • display • exhibit/show                           (Not *best quality/choice*)
- I'd like a pen like the one displayed/shown              (= excellent)
  in the window. (Not *exposed* *exhibited*)
  (= on view, especially for sale)                      extravagant • wasteful • eccentric
- The gallery exhibits/displays/shows work by           - It's wasteful to leave these lights on when
  unknown artists. (Not *exposes*)                         you're not in the room. (Not *extravagant*)
  (= has on view, especially to be admired)                (= careless with a valuable resource)
- Curtains are bound to fade if they're                 - We've been extravagant in buying things for
  exposed to sunlight.                                     the children. (Not *wasteful*)
  (= not protected from)                                   (i.e. we have spent too much money)
                                                        - Do you think the critics have been (too)
exposed (to) • put at risk                                extravagant in their praise of this film?
- The amount we have borrowed puts us at                  (i.e. beyond what is normal and necessary)
  risk. (Not *exposes us*)                              - Amy's habits got more and more eccentric
- We are now exposed to the possibility of                as she grew older. (Not *extravagant*)
  takeover. (Not *are put at risk to*)                    (= odd, peculiar)
  (= unprotected from, in danger of)                                             F
extension • spread
                                                        fabric • factory
- There is often danger of a spread of cholera          - The new factory will provide employment for
  in Latin America. (Not *an extension*)
                                                          over 2000 people. (Not *fabric*)
  (= an expansion to cover an area)
                                                          (= a place where goods are made in large
- The extension of our knowledge of the
  behaviour of genes has been considerable.
                                                        - 1 prefer cotton to man-made fabric(s).
  (= enlargement)
                                                          (= cloth)
exterior • abroad • foreign
                                                        fabrication • manufacture
- Our neighbours are on holiday abroad at
                                                        - Low interest rates benefit the manufacture
  the moment. (Not *in the exterior*)
                                                          of industrial goods. (Not *fabrication*)
  (= in another country)
                                                          (= making things in a factory)
- Who's the Minister for Foreign Affairs?
                                                        - This story is a complete fabrication.
  (Not *Exterior* *Abroad*)
                                                          (= an invention, deliberately untrue)
- The exterior of my house needs painting.
  (= the outside surface)                               face
                                                        - / really can't face meeting people this
exterior • outside • outer                                morning. (Not *can't face to meet*)
- An outside (or external) staircase is                 - Our country faces so many problems.
  essential in case of fire. (Not *exterior*)           - We are faced with/are facing so many
- The exterior/outside of our house needs a               problems. (Not *We face with*; with only in
  good coat of paint.                                     the passive)
  {= the outside surface)
- Do you think there's life in outer space?
  (Not *exterior* *outside*)
  (= on the outside, at a distance; compare You

  face • figure
 - Mao Zedong was one of the greatest figures in modern        false • fake(d) • forged • imitation
    China. (Not *faces*) (= well-known people)                 - Some fake/imitation jewellery looks better
- Mervyn came into the room with a big smile                     than the real thing. (Not *false* *forged*)
    on his face.                                                 (fake/imitation jewellery, fur, etc.: a cheaper
                                                                 copy of something expensive)
face • grimace                                                 - They were caught while trying to pass
- / wish you wouldn't pull faces/make                            faked/forged £20 notes. (Not *false*)
  faces/make grimaces/grimace when you're                      - Weapons are often smuggled into a country
  offered the same food twice.                                   on false/faked/forged documents.
   (= shape your mouth to show your disgust)                     (fake/a fake = 'not the real thing'; faked/ forged =
- You should teach your children not to pull/                    copied and used for criminal deception; false =
  make faces at strangers. (Not *grimace*)                       which deceive)
  (= make funny facial expressions)                            false • wrong
faction • party                                                - You've got the wrong number. (Not *false*)
- There are three major political parties in                   - That's wrong! I never agreed to sign the
  Britain. (Not *factions*)                                      contract. (Not *false*)
- Every political party contains factions.                        (wrong = incorrect)
  (a party is a major political organization; a faction is a   - He gave the police a false/wrong address
  group within a larger organization)                            and a false/wrong telephone number.
                                                                 (false = deliberately misleading)
fair • blonde
- He's fallen in love with a beautiful blonde.                 fame • rumour • reputation • character
   (Not * a fair*)                                             - There's a rumour that all cars with dirty
    {a blonde = a woman with yellow-coloured hair)               exhausts will be banned. (Not *a fame*)
- You'll recognize him/her easily because                        (= information that is passed around, but
   he/she has long fair/blonde hair.                             which may not be true)
   (fair/blonde are adjectives here)                           - Famous people should try not to take their
- People with fair skin get sunburnt easily.                     fame too seriously.
   (Not *blonde*)                                                 (uncountable = being known to a very large number
    (= pale in colour)                                            of people and generally admired)
                                                               - Mr Wilkins has an excellent reputation as a
fair • fairly                                                    dentist. (Not *a fame* *a character*)
- The important thing is to play fair.                           (reputation, mainly countable, can be good
   (fair is more common than fairly after play)                  or bad, referring to what others think of you)
- Share the sweets fairly. (Not *fair*)                        - When Meg applied for her job, I acted as
   (-ly to describe a deliberate action after verbs like         referee and vouched for her character.
   distribute, share, treat)                                     (i.e. the qualities that make up her
fall • bump into                                                 personality)
- / bumped into her by accident because I                      familiar (with) • family • well-known
   wasn't paying attention. (Not *fell on her*)                - John West is an old family friend.
- [fell on the escalator and hurt my knee.                       (Not *familiar friend*)
   (i.e. while I was on the escalator; a person or                (= a friend of the family; family as a noun modifier;
   thing falls)                                                   there is an adjective familial, used in sociology, etc.)
false • artificial • processed                                 - Charles Norton is a well-known local
- Some artifical limbs are computer                              author. (Not *familiar*)
   controlled. (Not *false*)                                   - I've never met Charles Norton, but I'm
    (i.e. not the real thing)                                    familiar with his work.
- Perhaps false teeth will be rare in the next                    (i.e. it is known to me/I know it)
   generation. (Not *artificial teeth*)                        - Your face is familiar.
   (false = meant to deceive)                                     (= 'I've seen it before'; familiar is an adjective;
- Avoid all processed foods. (Not *artificial*)                   the noun is familiarity)
   (compare the opposite: natural foods)

family                                                    - People used to think that building a tunnel
- My family is/are abroad at the moment.                    from England to France was just a fantasy.
  (collective noun + singular/plural verb)                  (= a dream that could never be realized)
- Address the card to Mr and Mrs J. Wilson
  and family. (Not *Family Wilson*)                        far from • (away) from • a long way (from)
                                                          - / live twenty miles (away) from here.
famine • starvation                                            (Not *twenty miles far from/far away from*)
- They died of starvation. (Not *famine*)                      (miles, etc. + (away) from = distance from)
  (starvation = a fatal lack of food)                     - Cambridge isn't far (away) from London.
- Famine affects many parts of the world.                    (Not *isn't away from*)
  (famine = a period of food shortage affecting           - Wick is a long way (away) from London.
  whole populations)                                         (far referring to distance is unusual in
                                                             affirmative sentences: It's a long way is
 fancy                                                       preferred, not *It's far away*; also: It's a
- It's a fine day and I fancy driving down to                long way away, It's not far away; away often
   the coast. (Not *fancy to drive*)                         combines wither (far away), a long way (a
    (= I'd like to drive)                                    long way away) and from (away from) to
- Do you fancy a drive to the coast?                         show distance)
   (Not *Are you fancying*)
    (only stative; no progressive form)                    far-sighted • long-sighted
                                                          - They say that as you get older you become
fantasize (about) • imagine • fancy                          long-sighted. (Not *far-sighted*)
- Imagine a desert island with a long sandy                   (i.e. you need glasses to see things that are close up;
  beach! (Not *Fantasize* *Fancy*)                            the opposite is short-sighted)
   (= think of, form a picture in your mind)              - Few politicians are far-sighted enough to
- / wish you'd stop fantasizing about                        make wise decisions. (Not *long-sighted*)
  becoming a famous rock star!                               (= capable of seeing into the future; the
  (Not *imagining* *fancying*)                               opposite is short-sighted)
   (= daydreaming, thinking the impossible)
- Imagine/Fancy inheriting so much money!                  farce • practical joke • slapstick
  {Fancy...! = 'imagine' is used especially to            - In most countries April 1st is the traditional
  express surprise)                                          day for practical jokes. (Not *farces* )
                                                              (= physical tricks played on people to make them
 fantastic • imaginary • imaginative •                        feel uncomfortable or embarrassed)
 imaginable                                               - Charlie Chaplin's films are full of slapstick.
- 'Lord of the Flies' is about life on an                    (Not *farce/farces* *practical tricks*)
   imaginary desert island. (Not *fantastic*)                 (= deliberately foolish acting)
- George is an imaginative little boy. He has             - The French dramatist Feydeau wrote some
   an imaginary friend called Charlie. George                wonderful farces.
   is the most delightful child imaginable.                   (= plays with ridiculous situations)
   (imaginative = possessing imagination;
   imaginary = which doesn't exist, or which              farther • further
   exists only in story; imaginable = which you           - We learnt, further, that he wasn't a qualified
   can imagine)                                             doctor. (Not *farther*)
- A Caribbean holiday would be fantastic!                    (= in addition)
   (= wonderful, perhaps very unlikely)                   - / drove ten miles farther/further than
- What a fantastic thing to say!                            necessary.
   (= hard to believe because it's too wonderful or too      (both possible to refer to distance)
fantasy • imagination • originality                       - / like to drive really fast. (Not *fastly*)
- Characters like Hamlet were the product of                (fast = quickly is both adjective: a fast driver
  Shakespeare's imagination. (Not * fantasy*)               and adverb: he drives fast; there is no -ly
  (= power to make the imagined seem real)                  form; the noun is speed; note that fastness,
- Stravinsky's 'Rite of Spring' is a work of                literary, = a safe place, as in an island
  great originality. (Not *fantasy*)                        fastness)
  (i.e. new, different, unlike anything else)

fat • fatten • get fat • thick                             fear • afraid (of)
- Don't eat so many biscuits. You'll get fat.              - Many children are afraid of the dark. (Not
  (Not *You'll fat* *You'll fatten.*)                         *are afraid the dark* *afraid from* *have
   (= become fat)                                             fear of*; fear the dark is literary, archaic)
- What's the best feed for fattening pigs?                 - I ' m not afraid of the dark.
  (transitive = making them fat; generally                     (Not */ not afraid* *I do not afraid*)
  applied to animals, but we can say fatten                - We 're afraid/We fear that many lives have
  someone up: We'll soon fatten you up.)                      been lost in the crash.
- Oliver Hardy was fat/a fat man.                              (= we feel concern)
  (Not *thick/a thick man*)                                - It is feared that many lives have been lost.
   (fat mainly refers to people and animals and in a few      (Not *It is afraid*)
   cases to things: a fat dictionary)                      - I'm afraid we won't be free next Saturday.
- He hit me with a thick ruler. (Not *fat*)                   (Not */ have fear*)
  (thick mainly refers to things; used                         (= I'm sorry; I fear is formal and literary)
  informally to refer to people, thick means               feast * banquet
  'stupid': He's thick/a thickhead.)                       - The President gave a banquet in honour of
fault • blame for • accuse of                                the returning astronauts. (Not *feast*)
- I don't blame you for what happened.                        (= a very large meal in terms of social
  (Not *fault* *accuse*)                                      importance and number of guests)
   (i.e. see you as the cause of something bad)            - It wasn't just a dinner - it was a real feast.
- The workmanship is superb. You can't fault                 (= a very large meal in terms of the quantity
  it. (Not *blame* *accuse*)                                 of food; banquet has replaced feast to mean
   (= find anything wrong with)                              'a formal dinner')
- After the fire, they accused the night                   feast day • festival • holiday • party • festivity
  watchman of negligence. (Not *for*)                      - The banks are shut tomorrow. It's a holiday.
  (= said he was guilty)                                     (Not *feast/festival*)
- He was accused of negligence. (Not *with*)               - Christmas day is an important feast
fault * mistake * defect                                     day/festival in the Christian calendar.
- This letter's full of spelling mistakes.                   (= a day that is holy)
  (Not *faults* *defects*)                                 - There's going to be a big party tonight to
- I'm sorry we're late. It's my fault. I made a              celebrate the end of the year. (Not * feast*)
  mistake with the train times.                            - The New Year is a time for general festivity.
   (It's my fault = I am to blame)                           (= celebration)
- Lack of punctuality is one of Magnus's                   fed up (with)
  faults/defects. (Not *mistakes*)                         - / got fed up (with) waiting for you.
- The computer won't come on. There's a fault                 (Not *fed up to wait* *fed up from waiting*) (fed up
  somewhere. (Not *defect*, though we could
                                                              of is often heard, but is not universally accepted)
  say It's defective.)
- This chair is well made apart from this small            feed • eat • nourish
  defect/fault. (Not *mistake*)                            - When is it time to eat? (Not *feed*)
   (= imperfection; something not quite right)             - Have you ever watched lions feed?
                                                             (people eat; animals feed or eat)
favour • charm • grace • sake • charming                   - All those sweets and biscuits are hardly
- Of course I agreed to help her. Who could                  enough to nourish the child. (Not *feed*)
  resist such charm ? (Not *favour* *grace*)                 (= help grow and flourish: you can be fed
  (= pleasant, attractive qualities)                         without being nourished)
- Would you mind if I asked you a favour?                  - The plants have been fed with compost. It
  (= an act of kindness)                                     certainly seems to have nourished them.
- Your sister has the grace of a ballerina.
  (= lightness of movement)                                feel
- They both endured a bad marriage for years               - 1 feel/I'm feeling cold. (Not *feel myself*)
  for the sake of the children. (Not * favour*)              (stative or dynamic use depending on the
  (i.e. for the good of the children)                        speaker's viewpoint; feel is followed by an
- What a lovely child! How charming!                         adjective here: not *feel coldly*)
  (Not *What grace!*)

- I feel at home here. (Not *I feel as at home*        fever • temperature
  *I feel myself at home*)                             - 7 have a temperature of 39.3,' he said.
- I could feel myself getting angry.                      (Not *a fever of 39.3* *39.3 temperature*)
  (= sense; reflexive feel + -ing)                     - I had a high temperature. (Not *did/made*)
- It feels cold today.                                    (temperature is countable and is used for
   (referring to the weather: its effect on you)          specific reference)
- Feel the radiator.                                   - If you have a fever/fever, you should drink a
  (i.e. touch)                                           lot of water.
- It feels cold.                                         (countable/uncountable: general reference)
   (i.e. when you touch it)
- You can feel his heart beat/beating.                 few • a few • little • a little
  (Not *feel his heart to beat*)                       - Mona has had very few opportunities to
                                                         practise her English. (Not *a very few*)
 feel like                                               (few is negative, suggesting 'hardly any at all
- I feel like going for a walk.                          and is often used after very with countable
   (Not *feel like to go* *feel as if to go*)            nouns in the plural)
    feet • foot                                        - I'd like to ask a few questions.
-     Dig a six-foot hole. (Not * six-feet*)             (a few is positive, suggesting 'some, a small
-     He's a six-foot man. (Not *six-feet*)              number')
-     Jim is six foot/feet tall.                       - He has very little hope of winning this race.
-     It's ten feet away (from us). (Not *foot*)         (Not *a very little*)
-     Did you walk all that way on foot?                 (little is negative, suggesting 'hardly any at all',
      (Not *with the feet* *by foot* * by feet*)         and is often used after very with uncountable
 fell • felt                                           - I'd like a little time to think about it please,
- The tree fell with a loud crash. (Not *felt*)          (a little is positive, suggesting 'some, a small
   (past tense of the irregular verb fall:               quantity')
- We'll have to fell this tree.                        fewer • less • lesser • smaller
    (= cut it down: present form of the regular verb   - Less oil was produced this year than last.
    fell: fell -felled -felled)                          (Not *fewer oil* *lesser oil* less of oil*)
                                                         (less + uncountable noun)
- I felt tired and went to bed. (Not *fell*)           - That's one thing less to worry about.
   (irregular verb: feel -felt -felt)                    (Not *one less thing*)
 female • feminine • womanly                           - Fewer and fewer people can afford to go
- Some men just can't resist feminine charm.             abroad for their holidays.
   (Not *female*, which is patronizing)                  (fewer + plural countable noun; less + plural
   (opposite masculine, relating to behaviour;           countable is often used colloquially: less
   the noun is femininity)                               people, less newspapers, but is avoided by
- '-ess' in 'waitress' is a feminine ending.             careful speakers and writers)
   (Not *female*)                                      - Jonson is a lesser dramatist than
   (feminine refers to grammatical gender)               Shakespeare. (Not *less*)
- How can you tell whether an insect is male             (lesser = 'smaller', opposite greater, is not a
   or female? (Not * feminine*)                          true comparative and we cannot use than
   (opposite male, relating to sex; note a female is     immediately after it: not */ have lesser than
   used as a noun for animals, not people)               you*; lesser occurs in fixed phrases, e.g. to a
- There's certainly no female equality where             lesser degree, the lesser of two evils)
   top jobs are concerned. (Not *feminine*)            - The USA is smaller in size than Russia.
- I was expecting a bit of womanly sympathy,             (Not *less* *lesser*)
   not a bucket of cold water!                         fight
   (= like a woman, relating to womanhood) (in         - John and his wife are always having fights.
   general terms, feminine refers to sexual               (Not *making/doing fights*)
   attractiveness, female is biological and womanly
   is social, referring to the sometimes idealized     figure • illustration
   qualities of a woman)                               - This book about gardening is full of
                                                          wonderful illustrations. (Not *figures*)
                                                          (= pictures, designs, diagrams)

- A Doric column (figure 7 above) tapers                     - How are you today? - I'm fine.
  gradually upwards from the base.                             (= I'm in good health)
  (= a picture, often numbered, to illustrate a particular
  point in a text)                                           fine • finely
                                                             - We'll be lucky to catch the train; we've cut it
figure(s) • number(s) • price(s) • sum(s)                       very fine. (Not *finely*)
- The numbers of the houses on this side of                      (fine after e.g. cut it, suit someone, and
   the street are even. (Not * figures*)                         is/seems/looks)
- I'm no good at figures/sums.                               - Gold threads were woven finely into the
   (Not *numbers*)                                              cloth. (Not *fine*)
    (= arithmetic)                                              (= delicately; note finely in compounds: finely-
- A Japanese collector has paid an                              balanced, finely-made, etc.)
   astonishing figure/price/sum for a van                    finish • end
   Gogh painting. (Not *number*)                             - And that was the end of the story.
fill • full • get full (up)                                     (Not *the finish*)
- / got full (up) eating all those crisps.                   - We walked over to where we could see the
   (Not *I filled* *1 fulled* *I got filled*)                   finish of the race.
- I can't eat any more. I'm full (up).                           (the end = the way it ended; the finish = the distinct
   (= I've eaten enough)                                         end-point)
- Don't fill yourself (up) with crisps just                  - / read the book from start to finish/from
   before dinner!                                               beginning to end without a single pause.
- Have you filled the bucket with water? Is it               - When are you going to finish writing your
   full?'(Hot *full up*)                                        article ? (Not * finish to write*)
    (note: It's full up = filled to the brim)                - I finished work at 6. (Not * finished from*)
finally * after all                                          fire * light • set fire to
- So you didn't have to pay a parking fine                   - We'll never know if the building was burnt
   after all! (Not * finally*)                                  down by accident or if someone set fire to it.
   (i.e. in spite of what you thought)                          (Not *it lit* *it fired*)
- We've finally decided to go away for the                       (= made it burn by starting a fire)
   New Year. (Not *after all*)                                - It's cold today. Shall I light a fire ?
   (= after a process of e.g. hesitation)                       (Not *set fire* *fire*)
                                                                 (light a fire, a candle, etc. = make it burn: light - lit
find                                                             - lit; but not *light a light* for turn on a light)
- We found him sleeping under a tree.                        - The officer gave the command 'Fire!'
   (Not *found him to sleep*)                                   (= shoot with a gun)
- I find/I'm finding that it's hard to keep a
   family on a single wage.                                  firm • firmly
    (stative or dynamic depending on the emphasis            - / tried to get her to change her mind, but she
    you wish to give)                                           stayed firm. (Not *stayed firmly*)
                                                                 (firm after verbs with a meaning related to be, e.g.
find • find out                                                  hold, stand, stay)
- What we have to do now is find/find out why                - We agreed on a price and shook hands
   the accident happened.                                       firmly. (Not *firm*)
    (= discover information; find and find out can often         (-ly to describe a deliberate action)
    be interchangeable when they mean 'seek and
    discover information')                                   firm • signature • trademark
- I'm sure I've already paid this bill, but I                - Write your signature here. (Not *firm*)
   can't find the receipt. (Not *find out*)                     (= your name as you usually write it)
   (= discover what might be lost; find out                  - The oil company Shell uses a shell as its
   cannot be used with concrete nouns)                          trademark. (Not *firm*)
- I find (that) three hours is long enough.                      (= a legally protected name or symbol used to
   (Not *find out*)                                              identify a product)
    (i.e. that's my opinion based on experience)             - My ambition is to run my own firm.
                                                                (= a business company)
- It's fine today. (Not *It makes fine*)
   (= the weather is fine)

 first • second • third • fourth                            fish • fishes
- / was born on the first/the second/the                    - We had fish for lunch. (Not * fishes*)
   third/the fourth of May.                                 - It's hard to clean these fish/fishes with
    (Not *the first May*)                                      sharp spines without hurting yourself.
- I was born on May the first/the second, etc.                 (fish is both singular and plural; fishes are
   (AmE on May first/second, etc.)                             fish seen individually)
    (ordinal numbers require the when they are spoken
    or written out in full, but not when they are written   fit • fitting
    in abbreviation: 1st May = 'the first of May' May       - When can you have a fitting/come for a
    2nd = 'May the second')                                    fitting? (Not *have a fit* *come for a fit*)
                                                               (e.g. at a tailor's or dressmaker's)
 first(ly) • at first • at the beginning • in the           - That coat's a good fit. (Not *a fitting*)
 beginning                                                     (i.e. it's the right size)
- I didn't ring the bell because at first I                 - / think Miss Saunders will have a fit if she
   thought there was no one in.                                comes in while you're doing that.
    (Not *first(ly)* *at/in the beginning*) (at first           (= be very angry; compare have a fit
    refers to a point of time)                                  referring to a condition like epilepsy: an
- 1 couldn't follow the film because I wasn't                   epileptic fit)
   there at the beginning. (Not *at first*)
    (i.e. at the opening of the story; we can also say      fit • suit • match
    from the beginning, at the start)                       - Pastel colours suit me. (Not *fit* *match*)
- The earth formed 4,500 billion years ago. In                 (= they are right for me/look good on me)
   the beginning/At first there was no life.                - That jacket really fits you at the shoulders.
   (Not *Firstly*)                                             (Not * suits/matches you* *is fitting you*)
    (= in the period during which it began: note the           (stative use = is the right size for you)
    spelling, not *begining*)                               - What are you doing ? -I'm fitting a new lock
- First you turn the computer on, then you                     to the back door.
   load the program. (Not *At first* * Firstly*)                (dynamic use = putting into place)
   (first referring to a sequence of actions)               - That lamp matches the curtains. (Not
- In the first place/First(ly) I don't know what               *matches/is matching with* *fits* *suits*)
   you mean, and in the second place/                          (= has the same colours/pattern as)
   second(ly), I don't want to.                             five • fifteen • fifty
    (first or firstly, second or secondly when we are       - I'm fifteen tomorrow. (Not *fiveteen*)
    giving a list of reasons, etc.)                         - I retired when I was fifty. (Not *fivety*)
- Safety always comes first. (Not *firstly*)                - I can't remember when I was five.
   (first is the normal adverb after be, come, go,
   etc.; the opposite is last, which is also used           flannel • vest • waistcoat
   after these verbs)                                       - / wear a vest in winter. (Not *a flannel*)
                                                              (= a garment worn under a shirt or blouse)
first aid • ambulance                                       - He was wearing grey flannel trousers.
- There's been an accident - ring for an                       (= cloth made of woven wool; uncountable)
  ambulance. (Not *the first aid*)                          - Wipe your face with a flannel.
   (= a special vehicle which takes someone sick or            (BrE = a piece of cloth for washing yourself)
   injured to hospital)                                     - Harry carries an old-fashioned pocket-
- We gave the injured first aid before the                    watch in his waistcoat pocket. (Not *vest*)
  ambulance arrived.                                          (= a piece of clothing without sleeves and
   (= simple medical treatment)                               with buttons down the front, often worn
 first time                                                   under a jacket as part of a suit)
- It's the first time I've ever been to America.            flat • flatly
   (Not *It's my first time to be to/in*)                   - He fell flat on his face. (Not *fell flatly*)
 - The first time 1 went to America, I was only                (flat after e.g. fall, lie, spread)
    18 years old. (Not *In the first time*)                 - Joan flatly refused to lend me her car.
 - She's marrying for the first time, but he's                  (= completely, with verbs like refuse, deny)
    been married before. (Not *the first time*)
                                                            flesh • meat
                                                            - We eat meat twice a week. (Not *flesh*)
                                                               (= the soft parts of animals used as food)

- Some horror films make your flesh creep.               - There's a Christmas party every year for the
  (we generally use flesh in connexion with                old folk/people.
  human beings rather than animals)                        (folk can combine with particular words: the old
                                                           folk, country folk, village folk, etc.)
flew/flown • flow/flowed                                 - You can always hear a lot of popular music/
- We flew to Los Angeles on a charter flight.              songs on radio request programmes.
   We've flown thousands of miles this year.               (popular means 'liked/enjoyed by a lot of
   (Not *We've flied* *We've flowed*)                      people'; not *of the people*)
   (irregular verb: fly -flew -flown)                    - Some composers like Bartok made use of
- Originally, the river flowed several miles               folk songs/music.
   north of this point. (Not *flew*)                       (= traditional, coming from ordinary country
- The river has broken its banks and has                   people)
   flowed into the fields. (Not * flown*)
   (regular verb: flow -flowed -flowed)                  follow • watch • attend
                                                         - I'm watching the match. (Not *following*)
              flipper                                       (= looking attentively at what's going on)
                                      pinball            - Have you ever seen a cat watch/follow a
                                      flipper •            bird's every movement?
                                      pinball               (follow in the sense of 'watch' is highly
-                                        Just think of      specific: 'follow with one's eyes')
                                      the hours          - The dog followed me all the way home.
                                      you've wasted         (= came behind me along the same route)
                                playing                  - When I miss the beginning of a TV serial, I
  pinball! (Not *flipper*)                                 can never follow the story.
  (= a game in which players try to prevent a ball          (i.e. 'with the mind' = understand)
  from reaching the end of a pin-table)                  - I've attended English classes for six months
- Penguins have wings like flippers.                       now. (Not *followed*)
                                                            (= been going to)
flirt • flirtation
- / don't think they had an affair. It was just a        fond of
   mild flirtation. (Not *flirt*)                        - I'm fond of eating. (Not *fond to eat*)
   (i.e. showing sexual interest)                        food • foods
- Joan used to flirt with all the boys when she          - What a lot of food! How many people are
   was young. (Not *make/do flirt*)                         coming ? (Not *a lot of foods*)
   (= try to attract sexual interest)                       (food is normally uncountable)
flock • herd                                             - / love the variety of foods on display at a
- The dog was guarding a herd of cattle.                    delicatessen.
  (Not *flock*)                                             (= different kinds of food(s))
- There was a flock of geese/sheep in the field          fool • foolish
  above the farm. (Not *herd*)                           - Norman is very foolish. (Not *fool*)
   (a flock of birds, sheep; a herd of cattle,           - Norman is a fool. (Not *a foolish*)
   goats, elephants, etc.)                                 (foolish is an adjective; a fool is the noun)
folk • people • popular                                  foolishly
- All the people here have done their best to            - Dennis foolishly locked himself out.
  make this a happy occasion.                              (i.e. it was foolish of him to do this)
  (preferably not the folk)                              - Dennis behaved foolishly at the party.
   {people is the usual word to describe men,              (i.e. in a foolish manner)
   women and children together; folk is patronizing        (the meaning of foolishly changes according to
   after the, these, those)                                whether it is before or after the verb)
- The people of Britain will be voting on May
  14th. (Not *folk*)                                     foot • leg
   (= the mass of the population)                        - Many runners have long legs. (Not *feet*)
- Most folk/people round here have cars.                    (leg = the part of the body above the foot)
  (folk used like an indefinite they)                    - Careful! You're treading on my foot.
                                                           (foot = the part of the body below the leg)

 footstep • pace • step                                           electorate. (Not *force* *strength*) (=
- / was about ten paces behind Jill.                              control, influence)
   (Hot *steps* *footsteps*)                                   - Jackie has great strength. She's at her best
    (pace = the length of a step)                                in a crisis. (Not *strengths*)
- Sh! I think I can hear footsteps downstairs.                   (uncountable use)
   (Not *paces* *steps*)                                       - The support of my family during this difficult
    (footsteps for what you hear)                                time has been a great strength.
- Take a step/a pace to wards me.                                (countable use)
    (Not *Take a footstep* *Make/Do a step*) (= put one
    foot in front of you and bring the other foot alongside    forceful • strong • powerful
    it)                                                        - A strong/powerful leader needs the support
- Can you do this step/do these steps ?                          of the people. (Not *forceful*)
   (Not *make this step/these steps*)                            (non-physical reference)
   (= dance to this pattern)                                   - You have to be strong to become a weight
                                                                 lifter. (Not *forceful* *powerful*)
 for • about                                                     (physical reference)
- Who told you about this? (Not *for*)                         - The barrister made a powerful/forceful/
   (about = concerning)                                          strong plea to the jury.
- How much did you pay for this?                                  (i.e. in an attempt to influence)
   (for = in exchange for)
                                                               forces • powers
 for • to                                                      - The division of Europe was decided by the
- I've come here to learn. (Not *for learn*                      great powers after 1945.
   *for to learn* *for learning*)                                 (= the nations with the greatest influence)
   (to-infinitive to express purpose)                          - The end of the cold war has led to a
- This manual is very useful for learning how                    reduction in the armed forces.
   to type. (Not *to learn*)                                      (= the army, the navy, the air force)
    (for + -ing = for the purpose of; for + -ing and the to-
    infinitive are not generally interchangeable)              forget
- Shut the door please. (Not *To shut*)                        - / have a dental appointment next week, but I
   (the to-infinitive is not used as an                          forget when exactly. (Not * I'm forgetting*)
   imperative)                                                   (mainly stative use)
                                                               - Dont forget to meet Bob on the 4 o'clock
 forbid • prohibit • No + -ing                                   train. (Not *forget meeting*)
- My doctor forbade me to smoke.                                 (referring to a future action)
   (Not * forbade/prohibited me that I should smoke* *         - / met you in Prague. Have you forgotten
   forbade me from smoking*)                                     meeting me ? (Not *forgotten to meet*)
- No Parking, No Smoking, No Waiting, etc.                       (referring to the past)
   (Not *It is forbidden/It is prohibited the
   parking*; public notices use No ... -ing (No                forget • leave
   Parking). It is forbidden to park and Parking               - It's no good telling the teacher you've left
   is forbidden are correct, but unidiomatic; we                 your books at home. (Not *have forgotten*)
   use prohibit in legal notices only: The sale of             - It's no good telling the teacher you've
   liquor to persons under 18 is prohibited.)                    forgotten (to bring) your books.
force • strength • power                                       forgive (for)
- You need a great deal of strength to become                  - Forgive my interrupting you. Forgive me
  a weight lifter. (Not *force* *power*)                         for interrupting you. (Not *Forgive me to
  (= the quality of being physically strong)                     interrupt you/that I interrupt you*)
- The door was opened by force.                                - I forgive him for what he did to me.
  (Not *with force* *with strength*)                             (Not *forgive him what he did*)
  (= the use of great physical strength)                         (forgive someone for something)
- The force/strength of the wind was so great                  form • class • grade
  that roofs were blown off houses.                            - Which form/grade (AmE) are you in at
  (= amount of power)                                            school?
- No politician should forget that in this                        (i.e. level by age)
  country, political power belongs to the

- There are fifteen students in our English                   founded * found
  class. (Not *grade* *form*)                                - I found the address you wanted.
   (i.e. group of pupils/students)                              (Not *founded*)
                                                                (past of the irregular verb find -found -found)
 form • make up                                              - My grandfather founded the family business
- This rug has been made up from different                      in 1900.
   bits of cloth. (Not *formed*)                                 (= established; past of the regular verb found -
    (= deliberately put together)                                founded -founded)
- These valleys were formed by glaciers at the
   end of the Ice Age. (Not *were made up*)                  fountain • spring • source
   (i.e. took shape as the result of a process)              - / know a place in the woods where you can
                                                               drink from a wonderful spring.
form • mould • overall(s)                                       (Not *fountain* *source*)
- If you want to make some shortbread, you                      (= a place where fresh water comes out of
  can use this mould. (Not *form*)                              the ground)
   (= a container used to give shape to things, especially   - The source of the Nile is no longer a
   foods and plastic or metal objects)                         mystery. (Not *spring* *fountain*)
- If you want to do some painting, put on an                   (= the place where a river begins)
  overall first.                                             - Have you seen the Trevi Fountain in Rome?
   (= a protective tunic, from shoulders to knee; compare:     (= a man-made structure to display the
   (a pair of) overalls = an all-in-one trouser suit worn      movement of water)
   by e.g. mechanics, to protect their clothes)
- The chef has sculpted the ice cream in the                 four • forty
  form of a swan.                                            - I'm forty next birthday. (Not *fourty*)
   (= shape)                                                   (spelling: 4 =four; 40 = forty)
formidable • terrific • tremendous • fantastic •             fowl • chicken • hen • poultry
marvellous • super                                           - I'd like roast chicken. (Not *fowl* *hen*)
- What was the play like ? - Terrific!                         I must go out and feed the hens.
  Tremendous! Fantastic! Marvellous!                           (chicken is served as a meal; hen is the live
   Super! (Not *Formidable!*)                                  bird; chickens or chicks are baby live birds)
- Our new headmistress has a formidable                      - Raina eats fish and fowl/poultry, but she
  reputation for discipline.                                   won't touch red meat.
    (= very great, causing fear)                             - Frozen poultry is very reasonably priced at
formula • prescription                                         the moment. (Not *fowl*)
- You need a prescription from a doctor for                    {fowl/poultry: general words for birds like
                                                               hens and ducks; fowl is what you shoot or
  antibiotics. (Not *formula*)
                                                               eat; poultry is what you keep, buy or sell)
   (= an order for medicine made by a doctor)
- How do you make up the baby's formula?                     frank • honest
  (=(milky) drink, especially AmE)                           - You can trust Maggie with your key. She's
- The chemical formula for water is H2O.                        completely honest. (Not *frank*)
  (= the symbol)                                                (i.e. she doesn't steal, cheat or lie)
                                                             - If you'd like my frank/honest opinion, that
fortune • luck • chance/by chance                               colour doesn't suit you at all.
- I've been feeding this fruit machine with
                                                                (frank and honest are sometimes used in the same
  coins but I haven't had much luck yet.
  (Not *fortune* *chance*)                                      way to mean truthful)
- / heard the news by chance.                                frantic
  (Not *by luck* *by fortune*)                               - Sylvia is frantic getting everything ready for
   (= accidentally)                                             the wedding. (Not *frantic to get*)
- / guessed the right answer by pure
  chance/luck. (Not *fortune*)                               free • freely
    (chance = accident; luck - 'good accident')              - Children under five years old travel free.
- Some children have the good fortune/luck to                   (Not *travel freely*)
   be born into happy families.                                 (free = without payment)
    (we could also say are lucky/fortunate to)

- The cage door was open and the lion had                   - A lot of young children love running round
  gone free. (Not *had gone freely*)                          scaring the pigeons. (Not *startling* and
   (i.e. was not under control)                               preferable to frightening)
- It's wonderful to be able to travel freely in                (= causing sudden alarm)
  Eastern Europe.
   (= without restriction)                                  frightened
                                                            - We got frightened when we heard the
 free • single                                                gunfire. (Not *We frightened*)
- / enjoy being single. (Not *free*)
  (= unmarried)                                             from • by • of
- I'm free on Friday evening.                               - / was stopped by the police. (Not *from*)
   (i.e. I haven't got any engagements)                       (by in passive constructions)
                                                            - What did you learn from him? (Not *by*)
 freezing                                                   - Have you read this novel by Hardy?
- I'm freezing this celery so we can use it                   (Not *of* *from*)
   during the winter.                                       - Tess is a character in one of Hardy's novels
   (to freeze something = keep it at a very low               (Not *from*)
   temperature to preserve it)
- Shut that window! I'm freezing!                           from now • from now on
   (= I feel very cold; or It's freezing = the weather is   - From now on I'll do my best not to
   cold)                                                      complain. (Not *From now*)
                                                               (= from this time and into the future)
 fresh • cool                                               - The show begins (in) ten minutes from now.
- At this time of year it's too cool to sit                   (= counting from this moment)
  outside. (Not *fresh*)
   (= not warm enough, chilly)                              fruit • fruits
- / love walking in the fresh air. (Not *cool*)             - / eat a lot of fruit. (Not *a lot of fruits*)
  (= clean and pure)                                          (fruit is normally uncountable)
- After such a hot day, I'm glad it's lovely and            - We import many different tropical fruits.
  cool this evening.                                          (= different kinds of fruit(s))
   (= pleasantly cold)                                      fuel • fuels
- It's nice and fresh outside today.                        - The cost of fuel varies a lot.
  (= pleasantly airy, not stuffy)                             (fuel is normally uncountable)
- Store in a cool place. (Not *fresh*)                      - Fossil fuels cause pollution.
  (= suitably cold)                                           (= different kinds of fuel(s))
fresh • impertinent                                         full • complete
- If it's not an impertinent question, how old              - The new hotel is now complete/completed.
  are you? (Not *fresh*)                                      (= finished)
  (= rude, not showing respect)                             - The hotel is full. (Not *complete*)
- Rita's really annoyed with her boss because                 (i.e. there are no more vacancies)
  he was/he got a bit fresh with her.                       - Have you got a full/complete set of cutlery?
  (i.e. he sexually harassed her)                             (i.e. with nothing missing)
 friendly                                                   full • in full • fully
- He always greets me in a friendly way. (Not               - She struck him full in the face. (Not *fully*)
   *greets me friendly/greets me friendlily*)                 (= directly: full in the face, the chest, etc.)
   (friendly is an adjective: She gave me a                 - Please write out your name and address in
   friendly greeting; the adverb is expressed by              full. (Not *fully*)
   a phrase; also: brotherly, cowardly, fatherly,           - I fully understand why he retired so early.
   lively, lovely, motherly, sisterly)                        (fully as an adverb = 'entirely')
frighten • startle • scare                                  full of • filled with
- Sorry! I didn't mean to startle you.                      - I just love cakes filled with cream.
  (Not *frighten*)                                            (Not *full of* *full with*)
  (= make you jump; take you by surprise)                      (= that have had cream put into them)
- Don't frighten/scare the children with your               - This essay is full of spelling mistakes.
  silly stories!                                              (Not *full with/from* *filled with*)
  (= make them feel fear)                                     (i.e. it contains a lot of them)
- The room was full of people.                            (going is preferable to working for cars and
  (i.e. it contained; if we say The room filled with      machines like fridges and computers)
  people, we mean 'people came in until the room was   - This lap-top computer runs on ordinary
  full')                                                 batteries. (preferable to works, functions)
                                                       - My watch is fast/slow.
fumigated * smoked * fumed                                (is fast/slow = shows the wrong time now; compare:
- Would you like some smoked salmon ?                     My watch gains/loses time, preferable to goes
  (Not *fumigated* *fumed*)                               fast/slow, to refer to a permanent condition)
   (= that has been cured over smoke)
- We had to have our flat fumigated to get rid         funny
  of ants. (Not *smoked* *fumed*)                      - / thought there was something funny about
   (= treated with chemical smoke to kill germs,         the parcel, so I phoned the police.
   insects, etc.)                                         (= peculiar)
- A moment ago you fumed at the waiter and             - / don't find Jim's jokes very funny.
  now you're fuming at me!                               (= amusing)
   (= expressed anger)
                                                       furnace • oven
fun • enjoy                                            - Put the pie in a hot oven. (Not *furnace*)
- We had fun/We enjoyed ourselves at the                 (= a box for cooking e.g. bread, meat)
   party. (Not *We enjoyed at the party.*) (we enjoy   - All this scrap iron will be melted down in a
   ourselves or we enjoy something)                      furnace and recycled.
- Have fun! (Not *Make/Do fun!*)                          (= a device in a factory where metals, etc., are
  (= Enjoy yourself/yourselves!)                          heated to very high temperatures)
- Don't make fun of him.
  (= ridicule)                                         furnish • supply (with) • provide
                                                       - Who supplies you with fresh vegetables?
fun • enjoyment • pleasure (to/of)                       (Not *furnishes* *supplies you fresh
- Our hosts provided everything imaginable               vegetables*)
  for our enjoyment/pleasure. (Not *fun*)                 (= fulfils a need, preferable to provides; the nouns
  (i.e. to make us feel happy)                            are supply and provision)
- You should have come to the party last               - Our parents provided us with everything we
  night. It was fun.                                     needed while we were growing up.
   (Not *enjoyment* *pleasure*) (i.e. it                  (Not *supplied* *provided us everything*; preferable
   was enjoyable)                                         to furnished: old-fashioned) (= made sure we had)
- We had a lot of fun. (Not *a lot of funs*)           - My mother furnished this room.
  (fun is uncountable)                                   (furnish = supply with furniture)
- It's a pleasure to be here. (Not *of being*)
- There's nothing to compare with the                  furniture • a piece of furniture
  pleasure of being with you. (Not *to be*)            - That sideboard is a very nice piece of
                                                         furniture. (Not *a nice furniture*)
function • liturgy • duty                              - We need some furniture for our flat.
- The liturgy in the Eastern Church is rather            (Not *some furnitures*)
  long. (Not *function*)                                 (furniture is uncountable)
   (= order of prayers in a church)
- It's my duty to check all applications for           future: in future • in the future
  visas. (preferable to function)                      - I'm still a student, but in the future I want to
- The function of the apostrophe is to show              work abroad. (Not *in future*)
  possession. (Not *liturgy*)                            (referring to what might happen)
   (i.e. that is what it's for)                        - In future, never post letters without
                                                         checking them first. (Not *In the future*)
function • work • run (on) • go                          (= from now on: often used in warnings/
- My watch won't go/won't work.                          promises: In future I'll be more careful.)
- My watch doesn't work/isn't working all of
  a sudden. (Not *function(ing)* *run(ning)*)
  (function = 'work' is sometimes awkward in
  the negative)
- The car's going/functioning/running very
  well at the moment.

                          G                            It's taken me a lifetime to gather all these
gain • win • earn • profit • benefit                   books. (Not *pick* *pick up*) (= collect)
- Try to save as you earn. (Not *gain*,etc.)        gaze (at) • stare (at) • gape (at)
  (= get money by working)                          - It's rude to stare at strangers.
- It's no good hoping you'll win a lottery.            (Not *gaze at*; preferable to gape at) (= look
  (Not *earn* *gain*, etc.)                            at hard with the eyes wide open)
  (= get money by chance)                           - We all continued gazing at the sky after the
- Who would imagine that a house could gain           sun had gone down.
  so much in a year? (Not *win*, etc.)                 (= looking steadily at, e.g. gaze into space)
   (= increase in value)                            - They gaped at me as if I'd just come back
- Alan's certainly profited/gained/benefited          from the dead.
  from his year in the USA.                            (= looked at with mouth and eyes open in
  (i.e. it has done him good - not necessarily         astonishment)
- Everybody benefits/profits/gains in a             gender • sex
  healthy economy.                                  - Which women truly speak for the female
   (= experiences good, not necessarily               sex? (preferable to female gender, though
   financially)                                       some people say gender because they want
                                                      to avoid using the correct word sex)
 gallon • braid                                     - In many languages nouns are classed by
- He's only a ticket collector, but he looks like     gender, so they may be masculine, feminine
  a general with all that gold braid.                 or neuter. (Not *sex*)
   (Not *all those gallons*)                           {gender is a grammatical term)
   (= woven gold thread to show rank)
- How many litres are there in a gallon ?            genial • gifted
  (= a measure of liquid)                           - Antonia is a gifted writer. (Not *genial*)
                                                       (= of great ability, talented)
game                                                - John's a pleasant, genial sort of man.
- We had a good game. (Not *did/made*)                 (= cheerful and friendly)
garage/service station • filling station            genie • genius
- We're low on fuel and I'll have to pull in at     - It took a genius /'dзi:niəs/ like Einstein to
  the next filling station.                           propose the Theory of Relativity.
  (more accurate than garage)                         (Not *a genie* *a genius person*) (= a
- My car's at the garage/service station at the       person of rare, exceptional ability)
  moment for its 50,000 km service.                 - Aladdin rubbed the lamp and the genie
  (properly speaking a garage is the place            /'dзi:ni/ appeared.
  where a car is kept, serviced or repaired)          (= a spirit in Arab fairy stories)
 gather                                             gentle • kind (of/to) • polite • genteel
- I gather he's ill. (Not *I'm gathering*)          - It was very kind of the Robinsons to offer to
  (stative use = understand)                          put us up for the night. (Not *gentle of*)
- We're gathering information from people           - She's kind to everyone. (Not *kind with*)
  who travel regularly on British Airways.          - My mother had a gentle way of getting us to
  (stative or dynamic use = collecting)               do what she wanted.
gather • pick • pick up                               (= pleasant, calm, not rough)
- / dropped my spoon and bent down to pick it       - Your son is very polite.
  up. (Not *to gather it* *to pick it*)               (i.e. he has good manners, not *kind*
   (= lift something up from a surface,               *gentle* in this sense)
   especially if it has fallen)                     - She probably comes from rather a genteel
- I'll pick you up at the station.                    sort of family. (Not *gentle* * polite*)
                                                      (= with superior manners, breeding)
  (Not *pick/gather you*)
- The children are out in the field gathering/      German
  picking wild flowers. (Not *picking up*)          - I'm learning/doing German.
  (pick is the normal verb to describe the act of     (Not *making German* *german*)
  collecting flowers or fruit while they're           (= the language: proper noun, capital letter)
  growing; gather is more literary)

- He's/She's German.                                 - You can pay this bill by giro.
  (preferable to a German)                             (= a system used by banks and post offices)
  (we generally prefer to use an adjectival
  complement; the noun form is a German)             give
- They're German.                                    - They gave us some advice. They gave some
  (adjectival form)                                    advice to us. (Not *They gave to us some
- They're Germans.                                     advice* *To us they gave some advice.*)
  (noun form)                                          (also: bring, grant, hand, lend, offer, owe,
- / was just speaking to a German/two                  pass, pay, post, promise, read, sell, send,
  Germans.                                             serve, show, sing, take, teach, tell, throw and
  (their sex is not stated, though a pronoun will      write)
  often show whether they are male or female)        glad/happy
- (The) Germans/(The) German people are              - I'm glad/happy you've done so well.
  wonderfully efficient.                               {glad = delighted, very pleased indeed;
  (= the group as a whole) (similarly to refer to      happy = feeling contented and relaxed)
  people: Cypriot, Greek, Iraqi, Israeli, Kuwaiti,   - John's a happy man. (Not *a glad man*)
  Omani, Pakistani, Qatari, Saudi, Thai)               (we don't usually put glad before a noun)
gesture • shake hands                                - / was glad/happy about my exam results.
- We shook hands and said goodbye.                     (Not *glad/happy for*, but we can say
  (Not *gestured*)                                     happy with, not *glad with*)
  (= took each other by the right hand)              - We were so pleased to hear about your
- She brushed him away with an angry                   engagement; we're very glad/happy for you.
  gesture.                                             (i.e. on your behalf)
  (= a movement of the hands, head, etc.)            - I've finished my essay, but I'm not very
                                                       happy with it. (Not *glad with*)
get                                                     (= satisfied with)
- / got a letter from her yesterday.                 - Take a coat with you. You'll be glad of it if it
  (= received)                                         rains. (Not *glad for*)
- Where did you get that idea ?
  (= obtain)                                         glance • glimpse
- Where did you get that lovely jacket?              - / caught a glimpse of him as he walked past
  (= buy)                                              my window. (Not *caught a glance*)
- Which train did you get ?                             (i.e. I saw him briefly)
  (= catch)                                          - Would you mind glancing at/having a
- I'm getting fed up with the weather.                 glance at my essay before I hand it in ?
  (= becoming)                                         (Not *glimpsing* *having a glimpse*)
- Get him to tell you what happened.                    (= looking at briefly, having a quick look)
  (= persuade)
- I got in through the window.
  (= went, but with difficulty)
get rid of
- How do you get rid of an old refrigerator
  you no longer want? (Not *get rid from*)
  (= dispose of)
girl • young woman
- Lorraine has just joined our firm. She's a         glass • jar • vessel
  very ambitious young woman. (preferably            - / can't open this jar. (Not *glass*)
  not girl, which often sounds patronizing)             (= a container, usually made of glass, for e.g jam: a
- We've got a girl of 16 and a boy of 12.               jar of jam, a jam jar)
giro • short walk/turn                               - I'd love a glass of water.
- I'm going to take a short walk/turn round          - I haven't got a single vessel big enough for
  the block. (Not *a giro*)                            all these olives.
                                                       (a general term for a storage container, often in
                                                        the kitchen; rather old-fashioned)

- It would be useful to have two pairs of                 - Exercise does you good. (Not *makes*)
  glasses. (Not *two glasses*)                              (i.e. it is good for you)
   (= pairs of spectacles: a pair/two pairs of glasses,   - It does no good to worry. (Not *makes*)
   plural form only)                                      - It's no good worrying. (Not *to worry*)
- He filled two glasses with water and brought
  them to us.                                             good • nice
   (i.e. so that we could drink)                          - What's Janice like? - She's very nice.
                                                            (Not *good*)
 glassy • glass                                             (i.e. she has a nice character)
- Put the roses in a glass vase. (Not *glassy*)           - Lizzie has been very good.
  (= one made of glass; glass can be a noun                 (= well-behaved, when referring to children;
  modifier: a glass ornament, a glass bowl)                 in an adult reference, this would mean 'has
- She gave me a glassy stare.                               done good/kind things')
   (= 'like glass', without expression)                   - / don't believe anybody can be entirely good
                                                            or entirely bad. (Not *a good* *a bad*)
 go                                                       - The good die young. (Not *The goods*)
- Do you want to go shopping with them ?                    (the + adjective for the group as a whole)
  (Not *go for shopping*)                                 - Teaching is hard work, but the good thing is
- Do you want to go for a walk with them?                   you get long holidays.
  (Not *go walk*; go walking is often used for              (Not *the good is*)
  trekking: We went walking in the Alps.)
- Dogs go bow-wow and cats go miaow-                      good • well
  miaow. (Not *do/make bow-wow*, etc.)                    - John played well. (Not *good*)
- The stamp should go in the top right-hand                 (adverb of manner, modifying played)
  corner of the envelope. (Not *come*)                    - John looks well.
- You should let the most senior people go                  (adjective = in good health; well normally
  into the room first. (Not *come first*)                   comes after be, feel, etc.; however, it is used
   (= proceed; we use come first for competitive            in front of nouns in phrases like He's not a
   activities and listing priorities: The children's        well man or Well Woman's Clinic)
   education comes first.)                                - John looks good in a suit.
                                                            (refers to clothes, etc., not physical features)
 go on                                                    - That pie looks good. (Not *well*)
- Go on ringing the doorbell until someone                  (adjective = has a pleasant appearance)
  answers. (Not *go on to ring*)
   (= continue)                                           goods
- After approving the agenda, we went on to               - All the goods in this shop are marked down.
  discuss finance. (Not *to discussing*)                    (Not *the good is* *the goods is*)
   (= proceeded)                                            (= articles for sale; plural noun with no
                                                            singular form + plural verb)
 God • the gods
- Do you believe in God?                                  gossip
  (Not *in the God* *in god* *in the god*) (proper        - There was a lot of gossip after the
  noun: capital G and no article)                           Arkwrights suddenly left the neighbourhood.
- Did the Romans really believe in the gods ?               (Not *a gossip* *a lot of gossips*)
  (common noun: small g, specific reference                 (gossip = inaccurate conversation about
  to particular gods, therefore the)                        other people's lives, uncountable; a gossip,
                                                            countable, is a person who gossips, has a
golden • gold                                               gossip, or has a gossipy conversation)
- When Mr Pennyweather retired, they gave
  him a gold watch. (Not *golden*)                        got/gotten
  (= one made of gold; gold can be a noun                 - I've gotten myself a new briefcase. (AmE)
  modifier: a gold ring, a gold bracelet)                 - I've got myself a new briefcase. (BrE)
- As the sun set, the sky became golden.                    (get - got - have got/gotten)
  (= 'like gold', but not normally for people: She's a
  wonderful woman, not *golden*)                          got • had (causative)
                                                          - / had my window repaired after the storm.
good                                                        (causative = I paid someone to do it for me)
- Jenny's very good at Art. (Not *good in*)               - 1 finally got my window repaired after the
(got is stronger than had and suggests special effort: the       (great, opposite minor, generally refers to
    use of got is ambiguous here, suggesting I succeeded         importance)
    in doing it myself, or that I got someone else to do      - A lot of people think Buckingham Palace
    the job)                                                     isn't very grand. (Not *great*)
                                                                 (= impressive)
 got • was/were (passives)
 - / was asked to work overtime last week                     grass • grasses • herb
   because there was so much to do.                           - I've just mowed the lawn, so don't get grass
   (preferable to / got asked)                                    on your shoes. (Not *grasses* *herb*)
   (be + past participle for normal passives)                     (grass is normally uncountable)
 - I got dressed as fast as I could. (Not * was*) (get +      - This lawn is made up of a mixture of
   past participle when we do something for ourselves)            different grasses.
 - We got/were delayed in the heavy traffic.                      (= different kinds of grass(es))
   (get for things that are beyond our control;               - Herbs like parsley aren't hard to grow.
   be for normal passives)                                        (= aromatic plants)
 government                                                   grass • grease • oil
 - The government has/have resigned.                          - It's about time you greased the axle of that
   (collective noun + singular/plural verb; note                  old wheelbarrow. (Not *grassed*)
   the spelling, not *goverment*)                                 (= add grease, a thick, oily product which is used for
                                                                  lubrication, but doesn't flow)
 grade • mark • degree • rank                                - That lock needs oiling. (Not * grassing*)
- How many marks did you get for your                           (= the addition of oil, a petroleum product
   essay? (Not *grades* *degrees*)                              which flows and is used for lubrication)
   (a piece of written work is marked and may be given a     - The police arrested the whole gang after
   mark or marks out of e.g. 100)                               somebody grassed on them.
- Marcella got good grades/marks in all
   subjects. (Not *degrees*)                                    (= informed the police; very informal)
   (grades is common in AmE)                                 gratified • obliged (to) • grateful (to)
- I've passed Grade 6 in my music exams.                     - We 're very grateful/obliged to you for all the
   (Not *rank*)                                                help you've given us. (Not *gratified*)
   (= level, on a scale of ability)                            (i.e. we feel indebted)
- It's five degrees below zero outside.                      - Grandpa was extremely gratified by the fuss
   (Not *grades* *marks*)                                      everybody made on his 80th birthday.
   (degrees measure temperature: Celsius or Fahrenheit)        (i.e. he felt satisfied, he appreciated it)
- She left university with a good degree.                    - You are obliged by law to send your
   (Not *mark* *grade*)                                        children to school. (Not *grateful*)
   (= a university qualification)                              (i.e. it is required)
- What rank was your father when he was in
   the army? (Not *grade* *degree*)                          grease • fat • oil
   (= an official position on a scale)                       - What sort of fat do you use in cooking ?
                                                               (Not *grease*)
grand • big/large • tall • great/important                     (fat is the general word for edible fats, e.g. butter,
- That house may be big/large, but it's not                    margarine, meat dripping, seed oil)
  terribly grand. (Not *grand*)                              - We use (olive) oil for most things.
  (big, opposite little; large, opposite small, generally      (= vegetable fat that pours)
  refer to relative size)                                    - I've been working on my car and I've got
- Mike suddenly grew so tall that his clothes                  grease all over my hands. (Not *fat*)
  were too small for him. (Not *grand*)                        (= a thick petroleum product)
  (tall, opposite short, refers to people)                   - Grease/Oil the baking dish first.
- Will this tree grow too tall for our garden ?                (= wipe it with edible fat)
  (Not *grand*)                                              - Please oil these door hinges. (Not *grease*)
  (tall, opposite small, for buildings, trees)                 (= add lubricating fluid)
- Great/important writers always influence
  the language they write in.                                greasy • fatty • oily
  (Not *grand* *big/large/tall* *gross*)
                                                             -      I'm not looking forward to washing up all
                                                             those greasy plates. (Not *fatty* *oily*)
                                                             (= covered with cold, solid fat)
I must wash my hands. They're very                           floor to refer to the lowest level in a
  greasy/oily. (Not *fatty*)                                 building)
   (= covered with fat or oil)                            - We're on the ground floor/on the first floor,
- You should avoid greasy/fatty/oily foods.                 etc. (Not *to* *in*, but we can say: We've
  (= containing fat; greasy = sticky fat that               arrived at the ground floor.)
  doesn't flow; oily = containing liquid fat
  from seeds, or liquid petroleum product)                grow • grow up • get/grow tall • bring up
                                                          - What do you want to do when you 're grown
 green: get/go/turn green                                   up? (Not *when you're grown*)
- Trees go/turn green in spring. (Not *green*)               (grown up = no longer a child)
- The lawn has got/gone/turned so green with              - Ann's grown up a lot since I last saw her.
  all this rain. (Not *has greened*)                        (= become more mature)
- She put this stuff on her hair and it's gone/           -How tall you've got! How you've grown! (Not
  turned green. (Not *greened* *got green*)                  *You've tailed!*) (= increased in height)
                                                          - A big city is not the ideal place to bring up
 grey                                                       children. (Not *grow*)
- / think I'm going grey.
   (Not *I'm greying*; alternative spelling: gray,           (= raise from childhood)
   especially in AmE)                                     guard (against) • look after • keep • watch
                                                          (over) • wake
 grilled • toasted * roast • roasted                      - Who looks after/keeps the shop when you're
- The bread's a bit stale and will taste better             on holiday? (Not *guards* *watches*)
  toasted. (Not *grilled* *roast(ed)*)
                                                             (= minds, takes care of)
   (toast = put bread close to strong direct heat until   - I've had an inoculation to guard against flu.
   it is brown on the outside)                              (Not *to guard (myself) from*)
- How would you like your steak? Grilled?                 - Will you look after/watch (over) the baby
  (Not *Toasted?* *Roast?* *Roasted?*)                      for a minute while I answer the door?
  (grill = cook under or over direct heat)                   (Not guard for people, except e.g. prisoners)
- I'd like some roast beef please.                        - A small dog can guard a very large house.
  (Not *roasted*)                                           (Not *wake*)
   (we use roast as a noun modifier in roast beef,           (= protect)
   roast chicken, roast potatoes, etc., to describe       - Our baby always wakes at dawn.
   meat/potatoes cooked in an oven)
- The meat has been roasted in a hot oven.                guard • keeper • warden • guardian
  (Not *roast*)                                           - Let's ask a keeper when the zoo closes.
                                                            (Not *guard* *warden* *guardian*)
 grippe • flu                                                (= a person who looks after a park or zoo; also
- Angela's in bed with flu. (Not *grippe*)                   note shopkeeper, goalkeeper)
  {grippe = flu - influenza - has never been              - The warden at the old people's home is very
  really anglicized)                                        strict about visiting hours.
- Angela had (the) flu. (Not *a flu* *some                  (= a person in charge of e.g. an old people's
  flu*; not *did/made (the) flu*)                           home, a hall of residence)
   {the is possible with flu, especially when referring   - This form must be signed by a parent or
   to an epidemic)                                          guardian.
gross • fat • large                                         (= a person who acts in place of a parent)
- He's got rather fat lately. (Not *gross*)               - In most European countries, border guards
  George has got a large collection of                      are a thing of the past.
  Antarctic stamps. (Not *gross*)                           (guard often applies to a soldier, a prison
- He's fat, but I wouldn't say he's gross.                  officer, a railway worker)
  (= unattractively fat; compare grossly =                guilty (of) • valuable • valid
  unacceptably, as in grossly rude)                       - Your passport is no longer valid.
ground floor • first floor                                  (Not *guilty* *valuable*)
- I've pressed the button for the ground                    (i.e. it carries no authority)
  floor/first floor. (Not *bottom floor*)                 - Their house is full of valuable antiques.
  (ground floor in BrE is first floor in AmE;               (= worth a lot of money)
  first floor in BrE is second floor in AmE; we
  can say top floor and contrast it with bottom
- The jury found her guilty of murder.                         had (= 'd) • would (= 'd)
  (Not *guilty for/with*)                                      - If I'd (= had) known you were coming, I'd
                                                                 (= would) have baked a cake.
gum • rubber • eraser • tyre                                      (Not *If I had've*)
- You can remove those pencil marks with a
  rubber/an eraser. (Not *a gum*)                              hairdresser • hairdresser's
  (a rubber BrE/an eraser AmE = a piece of rubber for          - Where's Vanessa? She's gone to the
  removing pencil marks; in informal AmE, a rubber is            hairdresser's. (Not *the hairdresser(s)*)
  used to mean a condom - contraceptive sheath)                  (= the hairdresser's shop)
- Some trees produce a lot of gum.                             - It isn't easy to find a good hairdresser.
  (= a sticky substance, resin)                                  (hairdresser's and hairdresser are both
- This front tyre (AmE tire) has worn very                       commonly used to refer to the care of men's
  unevenly. (Not *rubber*)                                       hair, not only women's, and have virtually
  (= the band of rubber filled with air that fits round the      replaced barber's and barber)
  wheel of a car, bicycle, etc.; a tyre is an object; rubber
                                                               hairs • hair
  is a substance)
                                                               - Long hair is very difficult to look after.
gymnasium • grammar school                                       (Not *The long hairs are*)
- / attended the local grammar school before                      (hair = all the hairs on the head;
  I went to university. (Not *gymnasium*)                         uncountable)
- When did you leave (grammar) school?                         - Can you remember the shock of finding your
  (Not *finish the gymnasium*)                                   first grey hair/hairs ?
- Athletes spend a lot of time working out in                     (= a single strand or single strands of hair; countable)
  the gymnasium/gym.
  (= a large room with special equipment for training the      half
  body)                                                        - I'd like half a kilo of cherries please.
                                                                 (Not *a/one half kilo* *half kilo*)
gymnastics • exercise                                          - What's the time ? - It's half past six/It's half
- I try to keep fit by taking exercise regularly.                six. (= 6.30, not '5.30')
  (Not *doing gymnastics*)
- Gymnastics is part of our physical training                  hall • lobby • foyer
                                                               - I'll meet you in the hotel lobby/foyer at 5.15.
  course. (Not *The gymnastics are* *The
                                                                  (preferable to hall)
  gymnastic is*)
                                                                  (= the space at the entrance of a hotel or public
  (= the art of training the body by special exercises
  with bars, ropes, etc.; plural form + singular verb to          building; foyer for cinemas/theatres)
                                                                - It's an attractive house with a large entrance
  refer to the subject as taught and practised)
- Don't do gymnastics on the furniture, dear.
                                                                  (= the space behind the front door of a private
  (Not *do gymnastic*)
  (= behave as if you were in a gymnasium)                        house)
                                                               halt • hold * keep
                              H                                - How long do you intend to hold/keep our
habit • custom • (the) customs                                   passports? (Not *halt*)
- Sending birthday cards is not a very old                        (= have and not give back)
  custom. (Not *habit*)                                        - The smallest accident can bring all the
  (= a traditional social or religious activity often            traffic on the motorway to a halt.
  repeated every year)                                            (= a stop; note also its special use as a verb: 'Halt!'
- Overeating can easily become a bad habit.                       the guard cried.)
  (= something you do often)                                   hand: at/by/in/onAo hand
- Do I declare this camera at (the) customs ?                  - She fainted on the bus, but fortunately there
  (= the place where travellers declare goods                    was a doctor at/on hand. (Not *to hand*)
  when entering a country)                                       (at hand = nearby; on hand = available)
                                                               - This letter was delivered for you by hand.
                                                                 (Not *with hand* *with the hands*)
                                                               - I always keep a few tins of sardines in hand.
                                                                 (Not *to hand*)
                                                                  (= in my stores)

 - Your application is in hand.                         - The sun rises every day. It happens every
   (= it is being dealt with)                             day. It's happening at this moment.
 - /'// give you the address. Have you got a pen          (= occurs/is occurring: stative or dynamic)
   to hand? (Not *in hand*)
                                                        hard • cruel • tough
   (= ready)
                                                        - It's cruel to make a horse pull such a heavy
 handle • business                                        load. (Not *hard*)
 - What was a small shop has grown into a                  (a cruel person, cruel behaviour = causing pain
   very big book business. (Not *handle*)                  and suffering)
 - We handle a lot of business.                         - Jack may be a hard man, but he's also fair.
   (= deal with)                                          (= severe, but not necessarily cruel)
                                                        - You have to be very tough to join the
                                                          parachute regiment. (Not *hard* *cruel*)
                        doorknob                          (= strong; able to tolerate hardship)
                                                        hard • harden • get/go hard
                                                        - The cement has got hard/has gone hard/has
                                                           hardened. (Not *has hard* *has harded*)
                                                        - You need to add resin to harden that
                                                           glue/make that glue hard. (Not *to hard that
  doorhandle                  handle                       glue* *to get hard that glue*)
                                                        - He's hard./He's a hard man.
 handle • doorknob                                        (Not *He's a hard.*)
- Try turning the doorknob/moving the (door)
  handle.                                               hard • hardly
   (doorknob when it's round; (door) handle when it's   - I'll pass if I work hard. (Not *hardly*)
   straight)                                              (hard is both adjective: a hard worker and
- The handle of my suitcase has come loose.               adverb: he works hard)
  (= the part we use for lifting/carrying)              - He's so old now, he hardly works at all.
                                                          (= almost not)
 hanged • hung
- It always rains when I've hung the washing            hardly
  on the line. (Not *I've hanged*)                      - Hardly had he got into the car when he
   (hang - hung - hung: irregular verb: to hang           began moaning. (Not *Hardly he had got*)
   something, e.g. a picture)                             (inversion after negative adverbs; formal and
- In the 19th century, people were hanged for             emphatic. Compare normal word order: He
  minor crimes.                                           had hardly finished speaking when ....
   (hang - hanged - hanged: regular verb: to hang         Also: On no account/On no condition must
   someone, e.g. a murderer)                              you disturb him, Little did he know his fate,
                                                          No sooner had he finished speaking ..... Not
 happen • occur • take place                              only did we arrive late, but we missed our
- Exams always took place at the end of the               next flight as well, Rarely have I seen so
  summer term. (Not *happened* *occurred*)                many tourists, Seldom have we received so
- All these things happened/occurred/took                 many complaints.)
  place long before you were born.
  (things may take place by arrangement;                hardly • hardly any • hardly ever
  happen and occur refer to unplanned events)           - The boy is eight years old and he can hardly
- A strange thing happened.                               read! (Not *can't hardly read*)
  (Not *It/The re happened a strange thing.*)           - John's got hardly any friends.
- What's happened? (Not *What's occurred?*                (Not *hasn't got hardly any friends*)
  *What's taken place?* *What happen?*)                 - We hardly ever go to the cinema these days.
  (happen is more general than occur, so is the           (Not *hardly never go*)
  only verb possible in questions about                   (hardly, negative adverb = almost not; we
  unspecified events)                                     usually have only one negative in a sentence)
- He happens to be at home/It happens that              harm • hurt
  he's at home at the moment.                           - / banged my arm against the door and hurt
  (Not *He is happening* *It is happening*) (i.e.         myself. My arm hurts.
  'by chance'; stative use)

     (Not *harmed* *harms* *hurted*) (hurt =              progressive form emphasizes that an action has been
     cause/produce physical pain)                         in progress throughout a period up to the present)
-    Comments like that really hurt.
     (= cause mental pain)                             have been • went
                                                       - / went to the supermarket yesterday.
-   There's no end to the number of things that
                                                         (Not *have been ... yesterday*)
    can harm your health. (Not *hurt*)
                                                         (simple past tense with time reference)
    (= do damage to)                                   - I've been to the supermarket.
-    Fertilizers have done a lot of harm to the          (present perfect of be without a time
    soil. (Not *made harm* *have done bad*)              reference or with just, already, etc.)
    (= have had a bad effect on)
-   It's a silly question, but there's no harm in      have gone • have been
    asking. (Not *there's no harm to ask*)             - Ah! You're back! Where have you been ? -
-   It does no harm to ask.                              I've been to London. (Not *I've gone*)
     (Not *It does no bad* *It doesn't do bad*)          (i.e. visited and come back)
                                                       - Where has John gone ? - He's gone to
hate                                                     London.
- /hate to disturb you when you're busy.                 (i.e. he is there or on his way there now)
  (= e.g. I'm sorry, but I am about to do so)
- / hate disturbing you when you 're busy.              have to • must • don't have to • needn't •
  (in general)                                          mustn't
- / hate queueing. (Not *I'm hating*)                  - You have to/must slow down here.
  (stative use: the feeling is involuntary)               (must and have to are often used in the same way in
- He has to travel miles to get to work and he            the affirmative to express necessity)
  hates/Tie's hating it.                               - / don't have to/needn't get up early when
  (stative or dynamic use depending on the speaker's     I'm on holiday. (Not *mustn't get up*)
  viewpoint)                                             (don't have to and needn't are often used in
- I'd hate you to think that I lied to you.              the same way to express lack of necessity)
  (Not *hate you should think*)                        - You mustn't park on the yellow lines.
- What sort of car do you have ? -I have a             hazard • danger
  Ford. (Not *are you having* *I'm having*) (stative   - All modern vehicles are fitted with hazard
  use of have = possess, own)                            warning lights. (Not *danger*)
- Don't talk to your father while he's having a          (hazard = 'risk' combines with particular
  shave. He'll cut himself. (Not *he has*)               words, e.g. a health hazard, a fire hazard)
  (dynamic use of have = take, enjoy, etc.)            - In a situation like that you don't think of the
- / must get a ticket. I don't have one.                 danger. (Not *hazard*)
  (Not *I don't have.*)                                - Danger! Keep Out! (Not *Hazard!*)
- I must draw some money. I don't have any.              (danger is the usual noun to express a
  (Not *I don't have.*)                                  possibility of harm)
  (have is always transitive)
have • have got                                        - / have/I've got a headache.
- I have a headache. I've got a headache.                (Not */ have headache. /I've got headache* *I have
- Do you have a headache ? Have you got a                my head.*; compare My head hurts/aches as a result
  headache ? (Avoid Have you a headache ?)               of injury)
- I don't have a headache. I haven't got a             - I got an awful headache/I had an awful
  headache. (Avoid / haven't a headache.)                headache last night. (Not *did/made*)
  (have and have got = possess; generally              healthy • good for • hygienic • sanitary
  questions and negatives are formed Do you            - Fruit is good for you. (Not *healthy for*)
  have? I don't have in AmE and Have you               - It's important to keep fit and healthy.
  got? I haven't got in BrE)                             (= in good health)
have been (painting) • have (painted)                  - See for yourself the hygienic conditions in
- I've painted this room.                                our kitchens. (Not *healthy* *sanitary*)
  (i.e. I've finished the job)                           (= germ-free)
- I've been painting this room.
  (i.e. I haven't finished the job: the

- The health inspector closed the restaurant
  down because it didn't meet sanitary                      - If only that dog would obey!
  requirements. (Not *hygienic* *healthy*)                    {obey = do what you're told to do)
  (= to do with cleanliness, hygiene)                       - You can expect to get into trouble if you
heap • a lot of • pile                                        don't obey the law. (Not *obey to the law*)
- I've got a lot of/a heap of/a pile of old                   {obey + direct object: no preposition)
                                                            - / won't stand this behaviour any longer. Do
  newspapers to send for recycling. (a lot of= a              you hear (me)? (Not *listen to* *obey*,
  large quantity; pile = a quantity of things placed          though we could say Are you listening?)
  one on top of another; heap = an untidy pile)               (= hear with attention)
 hear                                                       hear about/of
 - I hear very well. (Not *I'm hearing*)                    - Have you ever heard of a composer called
   (stative use: natural ability; also I can hear
   very well.)                                                Webern? (Not *heard for* * heard about*)
 - I hear you've been promoted.                               {hear of = have knowledge of)
   (Not *I'm hearing*)                                      - Have you heard about the new copyright
   (stative use = I have been told)                           law? (Not *heard for* *heard of*)
 - I hear/I'm hearing much better with this                   {hear about = receive information)
   new hearing aid.                                         heaven(s) • sky
    (stative or dynamic use depending on the speaker's      - The fighter plane left a great trail of smoke
    emphasis: natural ability)                                across the sky. (Not *the heaven(s)*)
 - We've been hearing all sorts of strange                    (= what we see above us from the earth)
   reports about you.                                       - You will get your reward in heaven.
    (dynamic use = have been told)                            (= the place where good people are supposed to
 - Did you hear him leave/leaving?                            go after they die)
   (Not *hear him to leave*)                                - The heavens opened and the landscape
   (bare infinitive = the whole action, or -ing = part of     vanished behind a curtain of rain.
   the action after hear someone)                             (Not *The heaven* *Heaven*)
 - 1 heard what you said. (Not *heared*)                      {the heavens is literary for the sky. Compare the
   (spelling of past tense)                                   exclamations Heavens! Heavens above!)
 hear • listen to                                           heavy
 -/ hear music in the distance.                             - Your case will get very heavy if you put so
   (stative use: the experience is involuntary; the noun      much into it. (Not *will heavy*)
   is hearing, as in / have good hearing = the ability
   to hear)                                                 help
- / often listen to music.                                  - Who helped you (to) do your homework?
   (stative use of dynamic verb: habit)                       (help + infinitive with or without to)
- What are you doing? - I'm listening to this               - I can't help worrying.
  CD. (Not *I'm hearing* *listening this*)                    (Not *can't help to worry*) (can't help +
  (dynamic use = giving my attention)                         -ing = can't avoid)
- I listen to/hear the 9 o'clock news every                 - Tina needs a lot of help with maths.
  evening without fail.                                       (Not *a help* *a lot of helps*)
   (both verbs are possible to refer to                       (the noun help is uncountable)
   something habitual and deliberate)
- We heard some wonderful music at last                     heritage • inheritance
  night's concert. (Not *listened to*)                      - This property will be part of your
  (hear a live musical performance)                           inheritance. (Not *heritage*)
- Listen to hint sing/singing!                                (- money or possessions passed on when
  (Not *Listen to him to sing!* *Listen him!*)                someone dies)
                                                            - These ancient buildings are an important
hear • listen • obey                                          part of our national heritage.
- / advised him to travel overland, but he                    (= customs, traditions, historical
  wouldn't listen. (Not *hear* *obey*)                        monuments, etc., passed on from one
  (= take something seriously, pay attention)                 generation to the next)
                                                            - Which coat is hers ? (Not *her's*)
                                                              (no apostrophe with a possessive pronoun)

     John's a friend of hers. (Not *of her's* *of              (rent = buy the use of e.g. a house for a
     her*; also: his, ours, yours, theirs)                     continuous period, usually for more than one
he's • his                                                 -   We've let our house to some Americans for
- John's lost his watch. (Not *he's* *hes*)                    the summer. They're renting it from us.
  (his is the possessive relating to he)                       (let to someone; rent from someone)
- John says he's hungry. (Not *his*)                       -   I want to hire/rent a car. (Not *let*)
- John says he's done his homework.                            (hire, AmE rent = make a single payment for the
  (he's is short for 'he is' or 'he has')                      use of e.g. a vehicle for a period)
hide • hide (myself)                                       -   This house is to let. (Not *for rent*)
- He used to hide letters in his drawer.                       (= available for renting)
  (hide used transitively)                                 -   This vehicle is for hire.
- He was hiding behind the door and the                        (Not *to let* *for rent* *to hire*) (=
  children found him.                                          available for hiring)
   (hide used intransitively)                              his • her
- Penny hid (herself) in the bathroom                      - John phones his mother every Sunday.
  cupboard and someone locked her in.                        (= his own mother)
  (optional reflexive for a deliberate act)                - John phoned her mother this morning.
high • highly                                                 (= someone else's mother; the 'someone else' is
- If you can jump that high, you'll qualify for               female)
  the Olympic team! (Not *jump highly*)                    - Ann phones her father every Sunday.
  (high is both an adjective: the high jump and              (= her own father)
  an adverb: jump high, aim high)                          - Ann phoned his father this morning.
- Few dancers are highly paid. (Not *high*)                   (= someone else's father; the 'someone else' is
  (= to a great degree)                                       male)
                                                             (the possessive adjectives his, her, etc., refer to
high school • college                                        the possessor, not the thing possessed)
- / went to college after leaving school.
  (Not *(the) high school*)                                historic • historical
   (= an institution of higher learning for                - The falsification of historical records is
   students of 16+)                                          common practice in totalitarian regimes.
- After high school, I went to college.                      (Not *historic*)
   (= a secondary school for children of 11+;                 (= relating to the study of history)
   especially AmE for children of 15+)                     - Pulling down the Berlin Wall will be
                                                             remembered as one of the historic events of
hill • mountain                                              the late 20th century.
- Everest is the highest mountain in the                      (= important in history)
  world. (Not *hill*)
- Let's cycle to the top of the hill.                      history • story
   (a hill is lower than a mountain, but hill can also     - Climb into bed and I'll read you a bedtime
   be a general term: high hills; the highest hills in a     story. (Not *history*)
   region or country are sometimes called                  - We often know little about the history of our
   mountains)                                                own times.
                                                              (a story is an account, often fictional, of what
hinder • prevent (from)                                       happened in someone's experience; history is a
- The climbers hadn't gone far when a heavy                   factual account of past public or universal
  fall of snow hindered their progress.                       events or 'the study of history')
   (= made it difficult, but didn't stop it)
- The strikers prevented workers from                      hold • catch • keep • take
  entering/prevented them entering the                     - We don't want him in our team. He can't
  factory. (Not *prevented them to enter*)                   even catch a ball. (Not *hold*)
  (= stopped, didn't allow to; prevent + -ing;               (= take hold of a moving object)
  from is usually optional after prevent)                  - We can only hope the police will catch this
                                                             thief. (Not *keep/hold/take*)
hire • let (to) • rent (from)                                (catch somebody stealing)
- We've rented a villa in the south of France
  for the summer. (Not *let* *hired*)

 -Please hold the baby till I get the pram.               homework • housework
    (Not *catch*)                                         - Who does the housework when you're both
    (= support, carry)                                      at work? (Not *homework* *the
 -I don't want the book back. You can keep it.              houseworks* *makes the housework*)
    (= have as your own; possess)                            (= cleaning, etc.; uncountable)
- If you like it, take it.                                - / had to tell my teacher I hadn't done my
    (= remove it and have as yours)                         homework.
- This jug holds two litres. (Not *is holding*)              (Not *made my homework* *homeworks*) (=
  (= contains, stative use)                                  work set by teachers for students to do at home;
- Where's my bag? - You're holding it!                       uncountable)
   (= you have it in your hands; dynamic use)
                                                          honestly • sincerely
 hollow • empty • vacant                                  - / sincerely hope they return safely soon.
- The fridge is almost empty.                                (Not *honestly*)
  (Not *hollow* *vacant*)                                 - I honestly think you've made a mistake.
  (= with nothing in it)                                    (Not *sincerely*)
- That house has been empty/vacant for a                  - Angela sincerely/honestly believes she's
  long time. (Not *hollow*)                                  doing the best for her children.
   (vacant = not occupied)                                   (sincerely refers to 'true feelings'; honestly
- The Customs men found the drugs in a                      means 'without cheating or lying')
  hollow space under the seat of the car.
  (= not solid, an empty space inside                     honour • credit
  something, e.g. a hollow wall)                          - Your children have done brilliantly and are
                                                            a real credit to you. (Not *an honour to*)
home                                                      - You should give credit where it's due.
- Where's John? - He's at home/He's home.                   (be a credit to = bring honour, glory; give
  (Not*He's to home.*)                                      credit = acknowledge, show respect)
- Where have you been? - I've been (at)                   - It was a great honour to be invited to such a
  home. (Not *I've been to home.*)                          party. (Not *credit*)
- Where did John go ? - He went home./                       (i.e. it made us feel pleased and proud)
  Home. (Not *went to home*)                              - Your concern for your friend is to your
- She left home at 8. (Not *left from home*)                credit. (Not *in your honour*)
- What did you do on Sunday? -I stayed (at)                  (be to someone's credit = bring respect)
  home. (Not * I stayed to home.*)                        - When our boss retired, the company gave a
- We arrived home late.                                     party in his honour. (Not *to his credit*)
   (Not *arrived to/in/at home*)                            (in (his) honour = as a mark of respect)
- Where have you come from? - I've come
  from home. (Not *from the home*)                        hope
- I'm going to the home/I was at the home of              - We hope/are hoping business will recover
  a friend/at a friend's home.                              next year.
   (specific reference with the: house is also possible      (stative or dynamic depending on the
   here)                                                     emphasis you wish to give)
                                                          - Will he phone you when he arrives ? - / hope
home • house                                                 so. (Not *I hope* * I hope it.*)
- They live in a large house. (Not *home*)                - Will you be too late ? -I hope not.
- When I'm abroad, my thoughts are never far                 (Not */ hope no.* *I don't hope so.*)
  from home. (Not *(the) house* *the home*)               - I hope (that) she'll recover/she recovers
  {house generally refers to the building; a                soon. (Not *hope her to recover*)
  house ox flat becomes home when you refer               - I hope to get into university./I hope that I'll
  to it as the place you live in)                            get into university.
- Isn't your father abroad at the moment? -                  (to or that after hope when the subject is the
  No, he's (at) home.                                        same)
  (Not *house* *at house* *to house*) (= e.g.
  not away)                                               hospitality
- Where's your father? - He must be                       - We were shown wonderful hospitality
  somewhere in the house. (Not *at home*)                   wherever we went.
  (= inside the building)                                   (Not *a hospitality* * hospitalities*)

     (i.e. we were welcomed; hospitality is                  house
     uncountable)                                           - What a beautiful house! (noun: pronounced
 host • guest                                                  /haus/)
                                                            - What beautiful houses! (noun: pronounced
- We have a guest from Nigeria who is staying                  /'hauziz/
   with us. (Not *host*)
                                                            - How are we going to house the refugees?
   (= a person who is invited)                                 (verb: pronounced /hauz/)
- Our host welcomed us with a glass of hot                  - House, like Family, is not used as a form of
   spicy wine.                                                 address: Mr and Mrs Wilson and family =
   (= a person who invites; the feminine form hostess is       everyone in the Wilson family, not *House
   sometimes avoided)                                          Wilson* *Family Wilson*
hot                                                         housemaid • homemade
- It (= the weather) is hot today. (Not *It has             - There's nothing like the smell of fresh,
   hot* *It makes hot/heat* *Is hot today.*)                  homemade cakes.
- Drink your coffee while it's hot.                           (Not *housemaid* *housemade*)
  I'm hot. I think I'll take off my coat.                   - My great-grandmother was a housemaid in
   (Not *I have hot.* *I hot.*)                               a large country house.
   (= I don't feel cool)                                      (= a female servant, now old-fashioned)
- You're hot. I think you've got a temperature.
   (= you have a high body temperature)                     how • as
                                                            - Please do it as I tell you. (Not *how*)
hot • heat • warm • heated • get hot                          (= in the way)
- / got hot working in the sun.                             - Please tell me how to do it.
    (Not *I hot* *I hottened* *I heated*; preferable          (= which way)
    to I got warm)                                          - This steak is cooked just how/as I like it.
- It's warm enough to sit out of doors today.                 (= the way)
   (preferable to hot; warm/warmth is less
   intense than hot/heat)                                   how • as if • like
- I've heated the soup for you.                             - It seems as if he heard the news before we
   (Not *hotted* *hottened*)                                  did. (Not *It seems how* *It seems like*)
   (= made it hot)                                            (seem, etc. + as if in clauses of manner)
- We had a heated discussion about farm                     - / don't know how he heard the news before
   subsidies. (Not *hot*)                                     we did. (Not *know as if* *know like*)
- The heat is fantastic today. (Not *The hot*)                (indirect question with how)
  (heat is the noun; hot is the adjective)                  - Yesterday's meeting was just like the first
                                                              one, a complete waste of time. (Not *as if*)
hound • dog                                                   (like + noun in direct comparisons)
- What's your dog called? (Not *hound*)
- If I were a fox, I wouldn't want to be chased             how • what
  by a pack of hounds.                                      - What do you call this? (Not *How*)
  (= hunting dogs)                                          - How do you know this? (Not *What*)
                                                              (= in what way)
hour • time • o'clock                                       - What do you think of him ? (Not *How*)
- What time do you want to get up tomorrow?                   (= what's your opinion)
    (Not *hour* *o'clock*)                                  - How do you make things like that?
    (What time is it?; tell the time, etc.)                   (= in what way)
- We have to put the clocks back an hour                    - How do you like it?
    tomorrow.                                                 (i.e. 'tell me')
    (= a period of 60 minutes)
- I'll see you at 11 o'clock. (Not *hour*)                  how • what... like
- It's five past 10. (Not *five past 10 o'clock*)           - What's your new boss like ?/How's your new
   (o'clock only with exact hours)                            boss? (Not *How ... like?*)
- It's fourteen minutes past 10.                              (refers to appearance, character, but How's your new
  (Not *fourteen past 10*)                                    boss? can also refer to health)
    (minutes to/past the hour when the reference isn't to   - What was the film like?/How was the film?
    fives, tens or quarters)                                  (Not *How... like?*)
                                                              (i.e. 'tell me')

 - We won't really know what the room will              - Can there really be humane ways of rearing
   look like/how the room will look until it's          animals cheaply for food? (Not *human*)
   decorated. (Not *how it will look like*)             (= showing consideration, kindness; the
                                                        opposite is inhumane = 'not showing human
 How are you? • How do you do?                          kindness', as in the inhumane treatment of
 -This is Mr Simms. - How do you do?                    animals)
   (Not *How are you?*)
   (How do you do? in formal introductions; the        humidity • moisture * condensation •
   response is also How do you do?, not *Very          damp/dampness
   well, thank you. *)                                - There was a dampness, just short of actual
- 1 haven't seen you for ages! How are you ?            rain, in the air. (Not *a damp/a humidity*)
  Are you well? (Not *How do you do?*)                  (dampness is a local, not a general state)
  (How are you? when asking about health)             - If you close up that chimney, you'll have a
                                                        problem with damp.
 how long (ago) • for how long/how long for              (Not *dampness* *humidity* *moisture*) (=
- How long have you been waiting?                        slight general wetness, usually undesirable;
  (Not *How long ago*)                                   uncountable)
   (how long to refer to a period of time)            - The ground was too damp to sit on.
- How long ago did you arrive? - A couple of            (= just slightly wet)
  hours ago.                                             (damp is primarily an adjective)
   (how long ago to refer to a point of time in the   - / like the heat if there isn't too much
   past)                                                humidity. (Not *moisture* *dampness*)
- How long is your dining table ?                       (= water vapour in the air)
  (= what length?)                                    -How can you prevent condensation forming on
- / visited Gibraltar once. - For how long/              the windows in the kitchen? (Not *humidity*
  How long for?                                          *dampness*) (= steam turning to water on a cold
   (= for what period of time?; for is                   surface)
   compulsory with how long here)                     - The soil is so sandy that it won't hold any
- / visited Gibraltar once. - How long ago?             moisture.
  (= when?; ago is compulsory after how long             (= dispersed water)
                                                      hundred: a hundred and one
 how much • how many                                  - I've got a hundred and one things to do this
- How many names are there on the list?                 morning. (Not *a hundred one*)
  (Not *How much names*)                                 (also a thousand and one, a million and one, a
   (how many + plural countable noun)                    billion and one)
- How much bread did you buy? (Not *How
  many bread(s) * How much breads*)                   hundreds • hundred • hundred per cent
  (how much + uncountable noun)                       - How many people were present? - About
- How much is it? How much does it cost?                a/one hundred. (Not *About hundred. *)
  (Not *How many... ?* *What costs?*)                   (a or one hundred)
                                                      - How many people were at the meeting? -
how much time • how long                                About two hundred. (Not *two hundreds*)
- How long have you lived here? - I've lived          - The company has laid off two hundred
  here for ten years. (Not *How much time*)             workers. (Not *two hundreds workers* *two
  (How long to refer to long periods of time)           hundreds of workers*)
- How much time/How long did you spend on                (hundred is singular after numbers)
  your homework? - A couple of hours.                 - How many people were there? - Hundreds!
  (we can use either How much time or How long
                                                        (normal plural)
  to refer to short periods of time)
                                                      - Hundreds of people went to the funeral.
humane • human                                          (plural form + of)
- Using language is the essence of being                 (also billions/billion, dozens/dozen,
  human. (Not *humane*)                                  millions/million, thousands/thousand)
  (= a member of the human race; the opposite is      - It's a hundred per cent certain that our
  inhuman = 'cruel', as in the inhuman treatment of     flight will be delayed. (Not *hundred of
  prisoners)                                            hundred* *hundred by hundred*)

hunger • hungry                                      - Some Byzantine churches contain old and
- Is there anything to eat? I'm hungry.                valuable icons. (Not *images* *pictures*)
  (Not */ have hunger* *I hunger.*)                    (= paintings of holy people)
- Take some sandwiches with you. You might           - Twiggy was the style icon for the swinging
   get hungry. (Not *might hunger*)                    sixties.
- Hunger makes him irritable.                          (= an image for others to imitate)
- A hungry person is generally a bad-
  tempered one. (Not *A hungry*)                      idea
  (we cannot use hungry on its own to mean 'a        - I've had an idea. (Not *It came to me an
  hungry person')                                        idea*, but we can say An idea came to me.)
- We must do all we can to feed the hungry.          - Who had the idea of inviting him to our
  (Not *the hungries*)                                   party? (Not *idea to invite*)
  (the + adjective: the group as a whole)            - Whose idea was it that we should invite
- He hungers after money and fame.                       him?/Whose idea was it to invite him to our
  (= longs for)                                          party? (Not *idea ... of inviting*)
hurried • hurry • in a hurry                         idiomatic • proverbial
- I'm in a hurry. (Not *hurried* *I hurry.*)         - 'A stitch in time saves nine' is a proverbial
    (= I can't wait, I can't take too long)            saying (or a proverb). (Not *idiomatic*)
- We'd better hurry. (Not *hurry ourselves*)         - In 'We laughed till we were in stitches', 'in
   (= move, act fast)                                  stitches' is an idiomatic expression (or an
- / won't put up with careless, hurried work.          idiom) to describe uncontrollable laughter.
  (= carried out too quickly)                          (a proverb is a traditional, 'wise' saying; an
                                                        idiom is a group of words which taken
hymn • anthem • psalm                                  together mean something different from their
- Few people know more than the first verse            literal sense)
  of the national anthem.
  (Not *hymn* *psalm*) (= a                          idle • lazy
  ceremonial song)                                   - Kim's too idle/lazy to get a proper job.
- A carol is a special hymn for Christmas or         - Everyone's on strike and the machines are
   Easter. (Not *anthem* *psalm*)                      idle. (Not *lazy*)
   (= a song of praise)                                 (lazy or idle to describe people who are unwilling
- The church choir sang a psalm at the end of           to work; idle for machines, etc. = 'not in use')
   the service.                                      if
   (= a setting to music of words from the Book of   - If you look out of the window, you'll see it's
   Psalms in the Bible)                                 raining hard. (Not *If you will look*)
                                                        (if+ present + will)
                          I                          - If you asked him a question, I'm sure he'd
                                                        answer it. (Not *If you would ask*)
ice • a cube of ice                                     (if+ past + would)
- Would you get some ice from the fridge             - If you had asked him a question, he would
   please? (Not *an ice*)                               have answered it. (Not *If you would ask*
- One cube (of ice) or two?/One ice cube or             *If you had've asked*)
   two?                                                 (if+ past perfect + would have)
  (ice = frozen water, uncountable)                  - Shall I hold the door open for you? - Yes, if
- A day at the zoo is expensive. Even an ice            you will/if you would.
   (cream) costs/a couple of ices cost a fortune.       (if+ will/would to show willingness)
   (ice = ice cream is countable)
                                                     if • whether
icon • image • picture                               - Whether he likes it or not, I'm going.
- I have an image/a picture in my mind of a              (Not *If*)
  cottage by the sea. (Not *an icon*)                - The question is not when but whether he will
(= a mental picture)                                    sign the contract. (Not *if*)
- / can take beautiful pictures with this            - It depends on whether he'll sign the
  camera. (Not *images* *icons*)                         contract. (Not *on if*)
                                                        I don't know whether to disturb him or not.

     (Not *if to*)                                          - Life must be hard for her now. -I imagine
     (= whether I should ...)                                 so. (Not */ imagine. * *I imagine it.*)
      (we use whether, not if, to begin a sentence, after      (= that's what I think)
  be, after prepositions and in front of to)                - Imagine being stranded in Paris without
- Ask him whether/if he'd like to join us. (whether or             any money! (Not *Imagine to be*)
  if after verbs like ask and a few adjectives like         - Imagine him/his not knowing the answer to
  (not) certain, (not) sure)                                        such a simple question!
                                                              (some native speakers would approve only of a
 ignorant (of) • badly brought up                             possessive adjective like his)
 - It's not her fault she behaves like that. She's
   badly brought up. (Not *She's ignorant.*)                imitate • forge
   (= wrongly raised from childhood)                        - It looks as though someone has tried to
 - Some pupils are almost completely ignorant               - forge your signature. (Not *imitate*) (=
   when they leave school.                                    copy for serious criminal deception)
    (i.e. they leave school knowing nothing) I'm            —However hard I try to imitate my teacher's
    completely ignorant of the law. (= lacking                accent, I'll never speak like a native.
    knowledge of)                                              (= copy)
 ignore • neglect                                           immaterial (to) • indifferent (to) • it doesn't
 - Heavy drinking is one reason why some                    matter (to me) • don't worry
   people neglect themselves. (Not *ignore*)                - When Mandy gets depressed she becomes
   (= fail to care for)                                       completely indifferent to her children.
 - / won't accept any responsibility if you                   (= uncaring, pays no attention to)
   choose to ignore my advice. (Not *neglect*)              - It is indifferent to me/immaterial to me/It
   (= pay no attention to; ignore never means                 doesn't matter (to me) what you do.
   'not know')                                                (i.e. I'm not interested/I don't care)
                                                            - It doesn't matter to me whether you
 ill (with) • sick (of/with)                                     complain to the management or not. (Not
 - I ' m sorry, I didn't know you 'd been ill in                 *I'm indifferent* *It's indifferent whether*)
    hospital. (Not *sick* in BrE) (= not in good            - I didn't get any fresh milk while I was out. -
    health)                                                      It doesn't matter. (Not *Don't worry.*)
- She fell/became/got ill at the end of last                - Don't worry! Everything will be all right!
   year. (Not *She illed/sicked*)                                (Not *It doesn't matter!*)
- Jimmy's just been sick. (Not *'s been ill*)
   (= has vomited; was/is being/will be/has                 immobile • property/real estate
   been sick = vomit)                                       - Property (Real estate AmE) is not always a
- / think I'll go home. I'm feeling sick/ill.                   good investment. (Not *(the) immobile*)
   (after verbs like look and seem, sick = ill to           - A lot of British people are looking for (a)
   mean 'not in good health', but feel/feeling                  property/for properties in France. (Not *a
   sick suggests 'about to vomit')                              real estate* *an immobile* *immobiles*)
- Maurice is a sick man. (Not *an ill man*)                     (property = land, buildings, or land and
   (= not in good health; an ill (man) is heard,                buildings may be countable or uncountable;
   but not universally accepted)                                real estate cannot be plural, though we can
- Maurice is ill with flu. (Not *ill of*)                       say a piece of real estate)
- I'm sick of asking you to tidy up your room.              - Keep the patient completely immobile.
   (= fed up with, often expressed as sick and                  (adjective = without movement)
   tired of)                                                important • considerable
- I was sick with fright.                                   - Health insurance costs a considerable sum
   (i.e. with that feeling)                                   of money these days. (Not *important*)
imagine                                                        (= large and noticeable)
- / imagine you 'd like to rest after your long             - It's the city council's job to preserve
  journey. (Not *I'm imagining*)                              important buildings. (Not *considerable*)
   (stative use = I think)                                    (i.e. buildings of value)
- / thought I heard something, but perhaps I
  was imagining it.
   (dynamic use = forming mental images)

 impose (on) • be essential/vital • impress • manage        impression (of)
-It is essential/vital (for us) to control the spread of    - How can I make a good impression at job
   malaria. (Not *It imposes (us)*)                           interviews ? (Not *do an impression*)
- Our new headmaster has the kind of                        - That comedian does a very good impression
   authority which impresses everyone he                      of the prime minister. (Not *makes*)
   meets. (Not *imposes on*)                                  (= copies, to make people laugh)
   (= commands respect/admiration)                          - I'll go home with a good impression of
- She knows how to manage a class of unruly                   Britain. (Not *impression about*)
     children. (Not *impose herself on*)                    impression • feeling/sense
- In some countries, traffic police can impose              - / read the exam questions with a feeling/
     instant fines on motorists.                                sense of panic. (Not *an impression*)
   (= place by force)                                       - Do professors like to give the impression
- We mustn't impose (ourselves) on them                         they're absent-minded? (Not *do/make*)
   without warning.                                             (i.e. create that image)
   (= take advantage of)
                                                            impression • printing
imposition • tax                                            - Desktop publishing has made it easy for us
- Tax on drink and tobacco should go up for                    to undertake the printing of our own
   health reasons. (Not *Imposition*)                          catalogues. (Not *impression*)
- Expecting teachers to mind children in the                - Charlotte's novel is a runaway success and
   playground is an unfair imposition on them.                 is now in its 14th impression/printing.
   (= burden)                                                  (i.e. it has been printed 14 times)
impotent (to) • incapable (of)                              in • into
- Eric has proved himself to be quite                       - We're flying into Heathrow, not Gatwick.
  incapable of making important decisions.                     (Not *are flying in*)
  (Not *impotent* *incapable to make*)                         (movement verb + into shows movement from one
  (= without the ability to make; the opposite is capable      place to another)
  of+ -ing, not *capable to*)                               - Please phone me when you're in Heathrow.
- People living under dictatorships feel quite                 (Not *into*)
  impotent to do anything.                                     (in shows position, destination after movement)
  (= unable to, without power to)                           - We walked into the park.
- A man who is impotent should seek medical                    (i.e. we were outside it and we entered it)
  advice. (Not *incapable*)                                 - We walked in the park.
  (= not able to function sexually)
                                                               (i.e. we were already inside it)
impress (with/by)                                           - He put his hand in/into his pocket.
- Steve's skill as a salesman impresses                        (both prepositions are possible after a few
    everyone. (Not *is impressing*)                            movement verbs like drop, fall and put)
    (mainly stative use)                                    in to
- I ' m impressed by your grasp of the politics of the      - John's gone to Paris. (Not *at*)
    Middle East. {impress is often used in the passive)          (i.e. he's there or on his way there)
- / was very impressed with/by him.                         - John's in Paris at the moment. (Not *to*)
    (Not *impressed from*)                                       (in an area: destination after movement)
impress • affect • touch                                    in all cases • in any event • in all respects
- The sad case of the kidnapped child                       - / don't know whether it's a formal reception.
   affected/touched us all. (Not *impressed*)                  In any event, I'd better put a suit on.
   (affected = influenced our mood or                          (Not *In all cases*)
   behaviour; touched = made us feel pity)                     (= whatever happens, whether it's going to
- No one could fail to be affected/impressed                   be formal or not)
   by Olivier's performance as Othello.                     - Many young girls do better in school than
   (affected = moved emotionally; impressed =                  young boys in all respects/in every respect.
   filled with admiration)                                     (Not *in all cases*)
                                                               '- in every way)

  - In a recent survey, doctors found that in all cases   indoors • inside
    patients respond better to treatment if it is         - It was nice and warm inside the building.
    explained to them. (= in every instance)                (Not *inside of/indoors the building*)
                                                            {inside is a preposition + object here)
   include • enclose • comprehend                         - It was nice and warm inside/indoors.
  - We enclose our account for your attention. (Not         (adverbs = in a building: the opposites are
     *include*) (= put in the same envelope with a          outside, out of doors)
     letter)                                              - The inside of the box was beautifully lined.
  - Does the bill include a tip ? (Not *Is the bill         (noun)
      including* *Does the bill enclose* *Does the bill
      comprehend*) (stative use = 'does the bill          industrious • industrial
      contain?')                                          - Japan is an industrial nation.
- We're including you in our team.                          (Not *industrious*)
  (dynamic use = making you part of)                         (i.e. with highly developed industries)
    It was clear from the expression on his face that     - The Japanese people are very industrious.
    he couldn't comprehend a thing. (= understand,          (Not *industrial*)
    usually negative; formal)                                (= hardworking)
 indeed • really • (not) at all                           industry • company • business • firm
- I'm sorry I didn't answer the phone. I really           - Glaxo is a very big company/firm.
  didn't hear it ring. (Not *indeed*)                       (Not *industry*)
- Ann wants to stay for a week. Indeed, she               - Our company/firm has offices all over the
  intends to arrive tonight. (Not *Really*)                 world. (Not *industry* *business*)
  (= in fact, as a matter of fact)                          (company and firm are specific)
- Thank you very much indeed. (Not *Thank                 - A business like publishing is labour-
  you indeed* *Thank you really*)                           intensive.
   (indeed usually intensifies very much)                    (Not *industry* *company* *firm*)
- Your mother isn't at all well.                             (business = any kind of activity that is
   {at all for emphasis in the negative)                     designed to make money)
                                                          - An industry like ship-building needs huge
 independent of                                             capital investment.
- I became quite independent of my parents in                (industry generally refers to manufacture)
   my teens. (Not *independent from*)                     - Boeing make airplanes and they know their
 index (of/to) • forefinger/index finger •                  business.
 indication                                                  (possessive + business = what they are
- The finger you point with is called your                   about)
   forefinger/index finger. (Not *index*)                 - Pharmaceuticals is big business/a major
- There's no indication of a possible change                industry worldwide.
   in the weather. (Not *index*)                             (i.e. it involves big money)
                                                          - Mind your own business!
   (= sign)                                                 (Not *Mind your business!*)
- The price of a hamburger is a good index
                                                             (fixed phrase = don't interfere with things that
   of/to the cost of living.                                 don't concern you)
   (= a pointer to something on a scale of
   measurement)                                           infamous/notorious • not famous • famous
                                                          - He's well-known as a singer in this country
indisposed • ill * not disposed to                          but is not famous worldwide.
- How long has Martha been ill?                              (Not *is infamous*)
  (preferable to indisposed)                                 (= not well-known to a lot of people)
- Mr. Potts is indisposed, I'm afraid, and will           - Al Capone was an infamous/a notorious
  have to postpone his lunch with you.                      gangster.
   (ill is the normal word for 'unwell'; indisposed
                                                            (= well-known with a bad reputation; the
   = 'unwell' in a vague way)                               opposite of famous is unknown, not infamous)
- You may be right, but I'm not disposed to               - Charles Dickens is the most famous novelist
  argue with you.                                           in English literature. (Not *notorious*)
  (= not willing to)                                        (= well-known, with a good reputation)

  infer • imply                                             - How many people live on/inhabit this
 - From what you say in your letter, we Can-only infer        planet? (Not *dwell on*)
     that you won't be meeting our agreed delivery dates.      (inhabit is formal)
     (Not *imply*) (= conclude)                             - We have a farm and live on what we
- What you say implies that you can't meet the                produce. (Not *live from* *live with*)
    agreed delivery date. (Not *infers*)                      (= e.g. eat, clothe ourselves)
    (= suggests)                                            - Once upon a time, in a far-off land, there
                                                              dwelt a handsome prince.
inflammable • flammable                                        (dwell = 'live' is archaic)
- You should switch off your engine. Petrol is              - / know you've lost a lot of money, but I wish
   highly inflammable/highly flammable.                       you wouldn't dwell on the subject.
   (i.e. it catches fire and burns easily: it is               (= keep talking about)
   combustible)                                             - Two people can't occupy such a big house.
   (inflammable and flammable are not opposites, but          (= fill)
   mean the same; precise and technical uses prefer
   flammable to inflammable. Opposites are                  injection
   uninflammable, non-inflammable and non-flammable)        - My dentist had to give me an injection so I
                                                              wouldn't feel any pain. (Not *do/make*)
influence on
- Teachers have/exert a lot of influence on                 ink
   young people. (Not *influence with*) (have or exert      - Please write in ink. (Not *with ink*)
   influence are preferable to exercise influence)            (also: in pencil)
inform (about/of)                                           inn • pub • guesthouse • bed and breakfast •
- Who informed you about/of this ?                          boarding house * board and lodging/bed and
   (Not *informed you for*)                                 board • pension
- We wish to inform passengers that flight                  - The Crown and Cushion is an inn as well as
   departures may be delayed.                                 a pub. (Not *a guesthouse*)
- Passengers are informed that flight                          (pub is an abbreviation of 'public house'; a pub
   departures may be delayed.                                  serves drinks; an inn is a pub with beds available for
   (Not *Are informed the passengers*) (very                   travellers to stop overnight)
   formal)                                                  - In the high season most guesthouses display
                                                              the sign 'No Vacancies'. (Not *pensions*)
information • a piece of information • news                   (a guesthouse in Britain is usually a private
- Here's an interesting piece of information.                 house which has turned itself into a small
   (Not *an information*)                                     'family hotel' business; unlike an inn, it
- There was some interesting information                      doesn't cater for non-residents)
   about airfares on the news this evening.                 - Can you recommend a good bed and
   (information and news are uncountable)                     breakfast round here?
- Who gave you that information ?/Where did                    (= a guesthouse which offers a bed for the night with
   you get that information ?                                  breakfast in the morning)
   (give/get information, not *take*)                       - Some old people prefer to live permanently
- Do you ever listen to the local news ?                      in a boarding house.
   (Not information* *informations*)                           (= a guesthouse, not a hotel, that provides meals; it
                                                               doesn't cater for non-residents and residents tend to
ingenious • ingenuous                                          stay for long periods)
- You'd have to be completely ingenuous to                  - It's £100 a week for board and lodging/bed
   believe a story like that. (Not *ingenious*)               and board. (Not *pension*)
   (= simple, easily-deceived)                                 (board refers to the provision of meals)
- The ingenious Thomas Edison patented                      - My pension /'penə∫n/ is enough to live on.
   hundreds of inventions. (Not *ingenuous*)                  (= money paid during retirement; pension is
   (= clever and inventive)                                   understood as a French word by English
inhabit • live (in/on) • dwell (on) • occupy                  speakers to refer to a guesthouse: We stayed
- How many people live in this house?                         at a small pension /'pansjo/ in the Alps.)
   (live in a house is the normal phrase)                   inquiry • enquiry
                                                            - Police are making inquiries relating to
                                                              forged banknotes. (Not *doing inquiries*)

    - The bank has had a lot of enquiries about its       instantly • momentarily
      new savings scheme.                                 - / only caught a glimpse of her momentarily.
      (an inquiry = an investigation; an enquiry = a        (Not *instantly*)
      request for information)                               (BrE = for a moment; AmE = at any moment:
                                                             We'll be arriving momentarily.)
     inscribe • enrol • register • put one's name         - When you phone her she answers instantly.
     down                                                   (Not *momentarily*)
    - Gerald has enrolled in a creative writing              (= immediately)
       course this year. (Not *inscribed*)
       (= put his name down for a school, etc.; the       instead of
       noun is enrolment)                                 - Instead of shouting, you should have kept
    - You're obliged by law to register the birth of        your temper. (Not *Instead of to shout*)
       a child. (Not *inscribe* *enrol*)
                                                           instructions • directions
       (= put on an official record; the noun is          - We lost our way and had to ask a policeman
       registration)                                          for directions. (Not *instructions*)
    - You have to be rich to put your son's name              (usually directions for route-finding)
      down for a fee-paying school the moment             - We'd better read the instructions before
      he's born. (Not *inscribe him* *enrol him*              trying to install the machine.
      *register him*)                                         (instructions for information on how to do
      (= apply for deferred membership)                       something)
    - When I retired the company gave me a gold
      watch with my name inscribed on the back.
      (= written formally, 'specially engraved', e.g.                                  t
      on stone or metal; the noun is inscription)                                      o
    insensible (of) • insensitive (to) • unconscious •s                                o
    senseless                                                                          l
-    You have to be completely insensitive to                                          s
     your neighbours to play loud music in the
     middle of the night. (Not *insensible to*)
      (= having no consideration for; the opposite is
-    Jenny went on talking, insensible of the
     effect she was having. (Not *insensitive to*)
     (= unaware of, not able to feel; the opposite            instruments
     of insensible is not sensible, but conscious)
-    Someone fainted on the train today and was            instrument • tool
     unconscious/senseless for several minutes.           - We need some basic tools like a hammer and
     (= without awareness of the world, not                  a screwdriver. (Not *instruments*)
     conscious, without sense)                            - A dentist's instruments need to be constantly
-    His actions seem quite senseless.                       sterilized.
     (= without meaning, foolish)                             (tools for manufacture and general handiwork;
 insist on/that                                               instruments for precise scientific and technical
- / insist on speaking to the manager.                        processes)
   (Not *insist to speak*; the noun is insistence on,     insult • heart attack • offence • injury
   not *insistence to*)                                   - Mr Trent died after a serious heart attack.
- My wife insists that I (should) have a                    (Not *heart insult* *heart injury*)
   general checkup. (Not *insists me to have*)            - The news gave him/caused him a heart
instant • moment                                            attack. (Not *attacked his heart*)
- Please wait a moment. (Not *an instant*)                  (we use the word attack to describe sudden
- For an instant/a moment the sky was lit up                illness: an attack of malaria, etc.)
  by a shooting star.                                     - Drawing graffiti on tombstones is an insult
  (instant and moment are generally only used in the        to the dead. (Not *injury* *offence*)
  same way when they refer to an extremely brief            (i.e. it shows lack of respect)
  period of time)                                         - His insensitive remarks caused a lot of
                                                            offence. (Not *caused... injury/insult*)
                                                            (cause offence = hurt someone's feelings)
                                                          - Factory workers are insured against injury.
                                                            (= physical hurt)

insult • offend                                                ('interrupter' = a person or device that
- They haven't answered my invitation and I                    interrupts barely exists in English)
  feel a bit offended. (Not *insulted*)
   (i.e. I have hurt feelings)                              interview
- You shouldn't insult the waiter just because              - / went for/had an interview for a job
                                                               yesterday. (Not *did/made an interview*)
  you don't like the food. (Not *offend*)
   (= speak or act rudely towards)                          intrigue * plot
intensive • intense                                         - The characters in the play may be banal, but
                                                                 the plot is gripping. (Not *intrigue*)
- I banged my elbow on the door-handle and
  felt intense pain. (Not *intensive*)                      - The downfall of the president was the result
                                                                 of intrigue among the senior ministers.
   (= very great)
- The drug was developed after years of                        (= secret conspiracy; plotting)
  intensive/intense research.                               introduce
  (intensive = highly concentrated)                         - Marion introduced Tom to her friends.
                                                            - Marion introduced her friends to Tom.
interested in/to                                               (Not *Marion introduced Tom her friends.* * Marion
- / got interested in stamp collecting when I                  introduced to Tom her friends.*) (present = introduce
   was a boy. (Not */ interested*)                             is old-fashioned or theatrical)
- I'm very interested in first editions of 20th             - / wonder when tomatoes were introduced
   century poetry. (Not *interested for/with*)                 into Europe.
- I'm interested in emigrating to Canada.                       (= made available for the first time)
   (Not *interested to emigrate*)
   (i.e. I might do this)                                    invalid • war-wounded
- I'm interested in hearing your opinion.                   - The war-wounded/Those wounded in the
   (i.e. it is of interest at any time)                         war receive state pensions for the rest of their lives.
- I'm interested to hear your opinion.                          (Not *The invalids*) (the war-wounded is rare; we
   (present and future reference)                               generally use the disabled or disabled ex-servicemen
                                                                to refer to men wounded in battle)
interesting condition • expecting a                         - Gordon has been an invalid since his
baby/pregnant                                                  accident, six years ago.
- Mrs Wilson is expecting a baby/pregnant.                      (= someone ill, temporarily or chronically)
   (Not *in an interesting condition*)
   (be in an interesting condition = pregnant, is            involuntary • unwilling
   archaic)                                                 - I've never seen so many unwilling helpers!
                                                               (Not *involuntary*)
interior • inland • inner                                       (i.e. who don't want to help)
- How much does it cost to send this parcel                 - As he approached me, I made an
   inland? (Not *to the interior*)                             involuntary gesture. (Not *unwilling*)
   (= within the same country; inland is often used            (i.e. I had no control over it)
   administratively for post, tax, etc.)
- We travelled inland for several days.                     involve
   (= away from the coast, towards the middle; inland is    - The job involves a knowledge of physics.
   an adverb here)                                            (Not *is involving*)
- Colonel Fawcett disappeared on an ill-fated                  (stative use = requires)
   expedition into the interior.                            - She's trying to raise money for the homeless
   (= the inside of a large country, away from the coast;        and she's involving everyone she knows.
   interior is a noun here)                                      (dynamic use = making them participate)
- The novel is more than a good story: it has a             - / don't want to accept the invitation if it
   deep inner meaning. (Not *interior*)                          involves driving across London.
   (i.e. 'not superficial')                                    (Not *it involves to drive*)
- Can you recommend an interior decorator?
   (an interior decorator = someone who will                 is • it is
   paint the inside or interior of a house)                 - It's hot today. (Not *Is hot today.*)
                                                                 (it is an 'empty subject'; the subject in an
interrupter • light switch
- This faulty light switch should be replaced.
   (Not * interrupter*)

    English sentence must be expressed or strongly            Italian
    implied)                                                  - I'm learning/doing Italian.
                                                                 (Not *making Italian* *italian*)
  island • Iceland                                               (= the language: proper noun, capital letter)
  - Iceland has a high level of volcanic activity.            - He's/She's Italian. (preferable to an Italian)
    (Not *Island*)                                              (we generally prefer to use an adjectival
  -Iceland is a very large island.                              complement; the noun form is an Italian)
    (= a piece of land surrounded by sea)                     - They're Italian.
  isn't it?                                                     (adjectival form)
  - The play begins tomorrow, doesn't it?                     - They're Italians.
    (Not *isn't it?*)                                           (noun form)
  - The play is a great success, isn't it?                    - / was just speaking to an Italian/two
    (we don't use the tag isn't it? as a general question       Italians.
    to suggest isn't that so?, but only after is; eh ? as a      (their sex is not stated, though a pronoun will
    general tag is very informal in spoken English)              often show whether they are male or female)
                                                              - (The) Italians/(The) Italian people are
 isolate • insulate                                             wonderfully creative.
 - This electric wire isn't sufficiently well                   (= the group as a whole) (similarly to refer to
   insulated for outdoor use. (Not *isolated*)                  people: Algerian, Argentinian, Asian,
   (= closed in, so that heat, sound, electricity               Australian, Austrian, Belgian, Brazilian,
   cannot escape; the noun is insulation)                       Bulgarian, Canadian, Colombian, Egyptian,
 - Have scientists isolated the virus that causes               German, Hungarian, Indonesian, Iranian,
   legionnaire's disease? (Not *insulated*)                     Nigerian, Norwegian. Russian, Saudi Arabian,
   (= separated completely in order to study; the noun          Scandinavian, Syrian, Tanzanian, Tunisian)
   is isolation)
                                                              its • it's
 issue • publish                                              - Look at the time. It's/It is later than you
 - When was your book published?                                 think. (Not *Its*)
    (Not *issued*)                                            - It's/It has taken longer to finish these letters
    (= printed, distributed and sold)                            than I thought. (Not *Its*)
- These leaflets on healthy diet have been                       (it's is short for 'it is' or 'it has'; has shortens to
   issued by the Ministry of Health.                             's only when it is an auxiliary verb)
    (= officially made available)                             - My pen's lost its top. (Not *it's*)
- When was your passport issued?                                 (its is the possessive adjective related to it)
   (Not *published*)
    (= officially made available, delivered)
 it • so                                                                           J
- Has the mail arrived? -I think so.
   (Not */ think.* *I think it.*)                             jam • sweet(s)
    (so after believe, hope, think, etc.)                     - Sweets ruin children's teeth. (Not *Jams*)
- / don't say he's a crook, but I think it.                     (sweets = toffees, chocolates, etc., made of
   (Not */ think so*)                                           sugar; AmE candy/candies)
   (= 'I think this, but I don't say it')                     - There's a nice sweet to follow. (Not *jam*)
it/they • this/that/these/those                                 (BrE = dessert; also pudding, or informal
- Is this/that yours? - Yes, it is.                             afters; sweet is short for 'a sweet course',
  (Not *Yes, this/that is.* *Yes is.*)                          served at the end of a meal)
- This/That suit is expensive, isn't it?                      - Put some jam on that bread. (Not *sweet*)
  (Not *isn't this/that?* *is no?* *is not?*)                   (= sugar and fruit boiled together: apricot
- Are these/those yours? - Yes, they are.                       jam, plum jam, strawberry jam, etc.,
  (Not *Yes, these/those are.* *Yes are.*)                      normally uncountable)
  (it and they replace this/these, etc., in short             - Baxters do a good range of jams.
  responses)                                                    (= different kinds of jam(s))
                                                              - I'm learning/doing Japanese.
                                                                 (Not *making Japanese* *Japanese*)
                                                                 (= the language: proper noun, capital letter)

- He's/She's Japanese.                                      joke • trick
  (preferable to a Japanese)                                - Can you do card tricks ? (Not *jokes*)
  (we generally prefer to use an adjectival complement;       (= actions that seem like 'magic')
  the noun form is a Japanese person)                       - / must tell you a funny joke I heard at the
- They're Japanese. (Not *Japaneses*)                         office this morning. (Not *trick*)
  (adjectival form)                                            (= a funny story)
- I've been corresponding with a Japanese                   - He's always playing silly jokes/tricks on
  man/a Japanese woman.                                       people. (Not *making/doing jokes/tricks*)
  (preferable to a Japanese)                                  (play jokes/tricks - perform actions which
- 1 was just speaking to two Japanese                         are meant to be amusing; note make jokes =
  men/two Japanese women. (Not *two                           tell funny stories)
  Japaneses*, preferably not two Japanese)
- The Japanese are/The Japanese people are                  journal • newspaper/paper • diary
  wonderfully inventive and hardworking.                    - Which newspaper/paper do you prefer: The
  (Not *Japanese* *Japaneses*)                                Times or The Independent? (Not *journal*)
  (= the group as a whole) (similarly to refer to people:     (a newspaper, often called a paper, comes
  Burmese, Chinese, Lebanese, Maltese, Portuguese,            out every weekday and/or on Sundays)
  Sudanese, Swiss, Taiwanese)                               - Our library subscribes to several important
                                                              journals like The Economist.
jealous of                                                     (journals are serious magazines that often specialize
- / think my little boy is jealous of his                      in one topic and are published weekly, monthly,
  younger sister. (Not *jealous his sister*)                   quarterly or yearly)
jewellery • a piece of jewellery                            - Are you free tomorrow? - I'll just look in my
- That ring your mother gave you is a fine                    diary. (Not *journal*)
  piece of jewellery. (Not *a jewellery*,                      (= a day-by-day record of appointments)
  though we can refer to pieces of jewellery by             - / kept a journal/diary during my trip across
  name: a necklace, a bracelet, etc.; a jewel is              South East Asia.
  a small valuable stone like a diamond or a                   (= a daily record of events; journal is literary)
  sapphire; plural: jewels)                                 journey • trip • voyage • travel • travels
- You shouldn't keep so much jewellery in the               - We're taking a weekend trip to Moscow.
  house. (Not *so many jewelleries*)                          (Not *journey* *voyage* *travel*)
  (jewellery, AmE jewelry, is uncountable)                     (a trip is temporary, an interruption of the normal
job                                                            condition of being in one place)
- Thank you for your report. You've done an                 - I'm just back from a business trip.
  excellent job. (Not *made a job*)                           (business combines with trip: a business trip
   (a job = a piece of work)                                  is temporary, but not necessarily short)
- / always have a lot of jobs to do on Saturday             - It's a really long journey travelling by car
  mornings. (Not *jobs to make*)                              from coast to coast across the USA.
   (= tasks to perform)                                        (Not *voyage* *travel*; a trip is possible) (a
- He made a good job of it.                                    journey refers to the act of travelling, especially
  (i.e. he did it well)                                        long distance overland; it contains no reference to an
- He made rather a job of it.                                  end point)
   (i.e. he did it with some difficulty)                    - / can remember the time when the voyage/
                                                              journey/trip from England to Australia took
join • become a member of                                     over six weeks. (Not *travel(s)*)
- How many countries can join the European                     (we use voyage for long trips by sea)
   Community ? (Not *join with/to*)                         - / always prefer to travel by air if I can.
- I became a member of/joined the golf club.                  (travel is used mainly as a verb, not a noun)
   {become a member of/join a club, join the                - We're specialists in student travel.
   army, etc.)                                                (travel as an abstract uncountable noun)
- / used a strong glue to join all these broken             - / suppose you'll be writing about your
   pieces together.                                           travels when you return home.
    (= bring together)                                        (travels as a general collective for
                                                              unspecified trips; sometimes literary)

  - I'm not prepared to go on/make such a long
     journey/trip/voyage at my age. (Not *do*)        - I think the jury came to a just/fair decision.
  - Have a good journey/trip!                             (fair = 'without prejudice' is general; just
   (Not *Make/Do a good journey/trip!*)                   refers to justice and is often legal)
 - We've been on a long journey/trip.                 - You've taken more than your share and
    (Not *have been for a journey/trip*)                  that's not fair. (Not *exact* *just*)
 joy • happiness                                        (fair = proper, correct; we say It's/That's not fair
   - Human beings are obsessed with the pursuit         to protest about lack of 'fair play')
      of happiness. (Not *joy*)                       - / can't find the exact word to describe my
                                                        feelings. (Not *just*)
   (happiness when we are referring to a general
      state of mind)                                  just • just now/right now
  - I've had my share of happiness/joy as well        - He's just phoned. He phoned just now.
     as sorrow. (Not *happinesses*)                      (Not *He('s) just now phoned.*) (i.e. a
     (happiness is not normally countable: a lot         moment ago)
     of happiness, a great deal of happiness; joy     - Mr Wilkins can't speak to you at the
     = delight in something specific, can be            moment. He's busy just now/right now.
     countable: a joy; joys and sorrows, or             (= at the moment)
     uncountable: to our great joy)
                                                      justice • the legal system
 joyful • happy                                       - The French legal system is based on the
  - According to the philosopher Solon, no man             Napoleonic Code. (Not *justice*)
     is happy until he dies. (Not *joyful*)           - It's only right that terrorists should be
     (happy to refer to the abstract ideal of              pursued and brought to justice.
     happiness)                                          (the legal system -- the courts and how they
  - The air was filled with the joyful/happy             operate; justice = the process of the law)
     voices of children.
   (either word here, though joyful is more intense   justly • exactly
      and elevated than happy)                        - /'// expect a call from you at exactly five
                                                        o'clock. (Not *justly*)
judge • criticize                                        (= precisely)
  - Don't criticize him: he's doing his best.         - It's always hard to deal justly with a conflict
    (= comment on negatively)                           between two people.
  - It's not for me to judge your behaviour.             (= fairly)
    (= decide whether it is good or bad)              - He behaved badly and was justly punished.
                                                        (= rightly, in line with justice)
judge • think of
  - What do you think of A.S. Byatt's latest                                   K
     novel? (Not *How do you judge*)
   (= what is your opinion of)                        keen to • keen on/like
  - It's going to be hard to judge which novel        - I'm keen on/I like cycling. (Not *It likes me
     should win the Booker Prize this year.               the cycling.* *keen to cycling/cycle*)
  (= give a decision on/about)                        - I can't drive yet, but I'm keen to learn.
                                                          (keen on + -ing = be enthusiastic about an
                                                          activity; keen to do = want to do in the
  - It was just a wrong number.
     (= only)
  - It's just five o'clock.                           keep
     (= exactly)                                      - Don't throw that newspaper article away. I
  - The exhibition is just wonderful.                   want to keep it.
     (= absolutely)                                     (= have for some time; not lose)
  - This letter has just arrived for you.             - You keep saying I'm clumsy.
     (= a very short time ago)                          (Not * You're keeping*)
                                                        (keep + -ing: stative use = continue)
just • fair • exact                                   - Keep (on) trying. (Not *Keep to try*)
  - Everyone will be pleased with his will. He          (on further emphasizes continuity)
     was always a fair man. (Not *just*)

 kernel • pip • stone                                         - We 're having a new kitchen fitted.
- / grew this tree from an apple pip.                           (= the place in a house or restaurant where the
   (Not *kernel*)                                               cooking is done)
   (= a small, soft seed found in e.g. apples and oranges)
- Stuff the lamb with rice and pine kernels.                  knickers
   (a kernel = the inside of a nutshell, often                - How much is this pair of knickers ?
   edible: a nut)                                             - How much are these knickers ?
- I cracked a tooth on a cherry stone.                          (Not *is this knicker*)
   (cherries, peaches, olives have stones)                      (plural form only except in compounds like knicker
                                                                elastic; also: bathing trunks, jeans, panties,
kick                                                            (under)pants, pyjamas (BrE)/ pajamas (AmE),
- They kicked him while he was on the                           shorts, tights, trousers; similarly: binoculars,
  ground. (Not *gave him kicks*)                                glasses, pliers, scissors, spectacles, tweezers)
  (kicked him = once or more than once)
- Someone gave him a kick/kicked him while                    knock at • hit
  he was on the ground.                                       - He fell backwards and his head hit the door.
   (i.e. once)                                                  (Not *knocked (at)*)
                                                                (= struck, perhaps painfully)
killed • get killed                                           - Someone's knocking at the door. (Not *is
- Their son got/was killed in a road accident                   knocking the door* *knocking to the door*)
   when he was only 18. (Not *killed*)                          (i.e. so that someone will answer)
- Dogs that kill sheep can be shot on sight.
                                                               know (about/how to) • recognize •
kind of/sort of                                                acknowledge • identify
- / enjoy this kind/sort of film.                             - You didn't recognize me because I've grown
- I enjoy films of this kind/of this sort.                       a beard. (Not *didn't know* *didn't
- I enjoy these kinds/sorts of films.                            acknowledge* *weren't recognizing*)
- I enjoy all kinds/sorts of films.                              (stative use = identify by seeing)
  (Not *this kind/all kind (or sort) of films*, though it     - The insurance company is now recognizing
  is often heard; we avoid kinds of/ sorts of+ singular          that our claim is justifiable.
  countable: */ use all kinds of/sorts of pencil* for / use      (dynamic use = acknowledging)
  all kinds of/sorts of pencils, but we can say kinds         - You don't know me. I've just moved into the
  of/sorts of+ uncountable: They sell all kinds of/sorts         house next door. (Not *aren't knowing*)
  of cloth. Not *all kind/sort cloth*)                        - Do you know about this? (Not *know for*)
                                                              - Do you know how to change a wheel on a
kindly                                                           car? (Not *Do you know to change*)
- Dennis kindly invited us to lunch yesterday.                   (stative use only = have information about)
   (i.e. it was kind of him to do this)                       - / acknowledge the truth of what you say.
- / greeted her and she smiled kindly.                           (= admit to recognizing)
   (= smiled in a kind manner; the meaning of kindly          - The police asked us to identify the dead
   changes according to whether it comes before or after         woman.
   a verb)                                                       (= recognize and say who she was)
- She gave me a kindly smile.
   (adjective = friendly)                                                                 L
kitchen • cuisine • cooking • cookery                         laborious • hardworking
- They do French regional cuisine/cooking/                    - Being busy is not the same as being
   cookery at this bistro. (Not *kitchen*)                       hardworking. (Not *laborious*)
   (= a style of cooking; cuisine suggests a grand               (i.e. working hard)
   style; cooking and cookery are the normal words;           - Collating all these pages is extremely slow
   both are uncountable)                                         and laborious work.
- I've just been on a cookery course.                            (i.e. it needs a lot of slow and tedious work)
   (Not *cooking*)                                            labourer • workman
   (cookery to refer to 'the art of cooking')                 - Our electrician is an extremely good
                                                                 workman. (Not *labourer*)

  (= a man who does physical work involving skill)       lamp • light • flash of lightning • flashlight
- You can always earn money as a labourer                - There was a roll of thunder and a sudden
  on a building site. (preferable to workman)                 flash of lightning. (Not *lamp* *light*)
  (= a person who does physical work that                     (lightning, uncountable = a light in the sky
  needs real strength)                                        caused by electricity)
                                                         - Where did you get that beautiful table lamp/
lack                                                          light?
- There's a lack of trained engineers at the                (= a device, often decorative and movable, which
   moment. (Not *a lack from*)                              gives light)
   (= a shortage of)                                     - There's a light at the end of the tunnel.
- We lack trained staff at the moment.                        (= any source of light)
   (Not *It lacks us* *We lack from/of*)                 - If you 're going to be walking home late, take
   (= we are short of)                                        a flashlight (AmE; torch BrE) with you.
lack • lacquer                                                (Not *lamp*)
- The surface of the table has been treated              land • country • countryside
  with hard lacquer. (Not *lack*)                        - Both my grandfathers worked on the land.
  (= paint/varnish that dries to a hard shiny surface)        (on the land = in farming)
- There's a complete lack of demand for                  - Many Londoners would rather live in the
  houses at the moment.                                       country. (Not *the countryside* *the land*)
   (= absence)                                                (the country = the area away from large
              ladder                                          towns or cities: the country, not the
                                                              countryside, is the opposite of a town or
                                                              city; country also means nation as in my
            steps/stepladder                                  native country; note the pronunciation
                                                              /'kAntri/, not */'kauntri/*)
                                                         - Motorways have led to the destruction of a
                                                              great deal of the countryside.
                                                         - There's a lot of beautiful countryside not far
                                                              from Manchester. (Not *a countryside* *a
                                         rung                 lot of countrysides*)
                                                            (countryside = country scenery is
 ladder • steps/stepladder •                                uncountable)
- The stairs lead/The staircase leads to the             lard • bacon
                                                         - It's fairly unusual these days to have bacon
   attic. (Not *ladder* *steps*)
- I need a ladder to get onto the roof.                    and eggs for breakfast. (Not *lard*)
- You need a small stepladder/a pair of steps               (= salted, sometimes smoked, pork belly and back,
                                                            usually sliced thinly and fried)
   to reach the top of those cupboards.
                                                         - Most people cook with vegetable oil these
- Mind the step(s)!
                                                           days rather than butter or lard.
- Hold the ladder and put your right foot on
                                                            (= clarified pork fat used for cooking)
   the first rung. (preferable to step)
laid • lain • lied (past participles)                    large • wide/broad • generous
- She's lain on the beach all morning and                - We can't thank you enough for your
  she's terribly sunburnt. (Not *laid* *lied*)                generous hospitality. (Not *large*)
                                                              (= open-handed, freely-given)
  (lie - lay - have lain = be in a flat position)
                                                         - 'Unter den Linden' is a broad/wide avenue in
- I've laid your clothes on the bed and you can
  put them away. (Not *lain* *lied*)                          Berlin. (Not *large*)
   (lay - laid - have laid = put down)                      (i.e. referring to distance from side to side)
- Why should I believe you this time? You've             - A large house is expensive to heat.
  lied to me before. (Not *laid* *lain*)                    (= big in scale in relation to others)
  (regular: lie - lied - have lied = tell lies)          largely • greatly
                                                         - The original motorway has been greatly
                                                             widened and improved. (Not *largely*)
                                                         - The managing director was largely
                                                             responsible for the collapse of the company.

   (Not *greatly*)
                                                         laughter • laugh
   (= mainly, to a high degree)                          - Suddenly, I heard a loud laugh behind me.
last • latest                                                 (Not *a laughter*)
- Have you read Forsythe's latest hook?                  - I could hear a lot of laughter and shouting
     (= most recent)                                          from next door, (Not *a lot of laughters*)
- Have you read Graham Greene's last book?               - I could hear a lot of laughs and shouts from
     (= final, the last one he ever wrote)                    next door.
                                                            {laughter is uncountable, and we generally
last • the last                                             prefer it to laughs)
- / saw her last Monday. (Not *the last*)                - We all had a good laugh at the school
    (no the in front of last in point of time              reunion dinner. (Not *had a laughter*)
    references)                                            {have a (good) laugh is a fixed phrase)
- Who was the last Roman Emperor?
   (= the final; as opposed to the first, the            lavatory • washbasin • sink
   second, etc.)                                         - I've put some fresh soap by the washbasin.
- When was the last time you saw her?                      (Not *lavatory*)
   (= the most recent or final; note that the last can      (a washbasin is usually found in a bathroom)
   be ambiguous)                                         - There are a lot of dirty dishes in the sink.
                                                           (Not *washbasin*)
last/least: at last • at least                              (a sink is usually found in a kitchen)
- After days of anxiety, at last we learnt the           - The lavatory's occupied at the moment.
  climbers were safe.                                      (= 'toilet' in BrE, though lavatory can mean
   (= after a long period of time)                         'washbasin' in AmE)
- There isn't much news about the missing
                                                         lay • laid • lied (past tense)
  climbers, but at least we know they're safe.           - We were so tired after last night's party, we
  (i.e. that's an advantage in a bad situation)               lay in bed all morning. (Not *laid* *lied*)
lastly • last • last of all                                   (lie -lay - have lain = be in a flat position)
- We arrived last/last of all. (Not *lastly*)            - / laid your clothes on the bed so you can put
    (we use last, not lastly, after the verb: He              them away. (Not *layed*)
    mentioned that last. He came in last.)                  (lay - laid - have laid = put down; compare
- And last (of all)/lastly, I want to thank all             normal spelling of vowel + -y: play - played -
    my supporters. (Not *lastly of all*)                    played)
    {lastly is possible when we are listing a              (the past form lay = was in a flat position, is
    sequence beginning with first(ly); last is             the same as the present form lay = put down)
    sometimes possible)                                  - I know Peter lied when he said, he d put the
                                                           cheque in the post.
late • lately                                               (lie - lied - lied = tell lies)
- The train arrived late. (Not *lately*)
     {late is an adverb meaning 'not on time')           lay • lie (present form/imperative)
- / sat up to watch the late show.                       - Are you going to lie in bed all morning?
   {late as an adjective normally goes after the           (Not *lay*)
   verb, usually be: I was late, but can precede            (lie - lay - have lain = be in a flat position)
   some nouns referring to events, not people: a late    - Please lay the book open on the coffee table.
   appointment, a late night)                              (Not *lie*)
- My late uncle left me some money.                        (lay - laid - have laid = put down) (the present
     (i.e. he died recently)                               or imperative form lay = put down, is the same
- We haven't seen you lately.                              as the past form lay = was in a flat position)
     {= recently)                                        - / wish Peter wouldn't lie so much.
                                                           (lie - lied - lied = tell lies)
laugh • laugh at
- You're very kind to laugh when I tell a joke.          laying • lying (present participles)
- You always kindly laugh at my jokes.                   - Are you going to spend the whole morning
    (Not *laugh with*)                                     lying in bed? (Not *laying* *lieing*)
   (= laugh to express amusement)                          (lie/lying - lay - have lain = be in a flat
- If you go round saying things like that,                 position)
  everyone will laugh at you.
   (= treat you as if you were foolish)

- I'm laying your clothes on the bed so you              - When does the train leave for Glasgow?
  can put them away. (Not *lying*)                         (leave a place = depart from it; leave for a
  (lay/laying - laid - have laid = put down)               place = start a journey towards it)
- Peter says he put the cheque in the post, but
  I'm sure he's lying. (Not *laying*)                    leave • let/allow
  (lie/lying - lied - lied = tell lies)                  - / want to help in the kitchen, but they won't
                                                           let me/they won't allow me to.
 lead/led                                                   (Not *won't leave me* *won't allow me*)
- The bushman led us to a spot in the desert             - We don't let our children watch TV/allow
  where there was water. (Not *lead*)                      our children to watch TV after 8 o'clock.
  (lead/li:d/ - led/led/ - led /led/)                      (Not *let/allow to our children*)
 leaden • lead                                              (= permit; allow someone to is more formal
- Lead /led/ pipes are a real health hazard.                than let someone + bare infinitive)
  (Not *leaden*)                                         - Promise you'll never leave me.
   (= made of lead; lead can be a noun modifier:           (= go away from, abandon)
   lead piping, a lead roof)                             leave • let go (of)
- It was a bleak day with a leaden sky.                  - The dog's got hold of one of your slippers
  (= 'like lead')                                          and he won't let it go/let go of it.
    learn (how) to • teach (how) to • learn to •            (Not *leave it*, though leave go of it, not *leave
    learn about                                             it go*, is possible informally) (let go (of) =
-    Who taught you (how) to knit?                          release something held)
     (Not *learned you (how) to*)                        - The dog's left your paper by the front door.
-    I learnt (how) to knit when I was eight.                 (= put)
     (teach/learn (how) to for skill; the person         - / left them arguing among themselves.
     who gives the knowledge, skill, etc.,                    (Not *left them to argue*)
     teaches; the person who acquires the                   (i.e. they were arguing when I left them)
     knowledge, skill, etc., learns)                     lecture • reading material/matter
-    We soon learnt to do as we were told in Mr          - Have we got enough reading material/
     Spinks' class. (Not * learnt how to*)                 matter for the journey? (Not *lecture*)
     {learn to for 'learn from experience')              - Some people think a lecture must have been
-    / want to learn about life in other countries.        good if they couldn't understand it.
     (Not *learn for*)                                      (= a long talk on a particular subject)
 learner • teacher                                       - Professor Newton gave us a wonderful
- / once worked as a teacher in an infants'                lecture. (Not *did/made a lecture*)
   school.                                               less (good) • better • more
   (i.e. I taught infants)                               - My pen looks rather like yours, but it's less
- A good teacher should also be a good                      good (than yours).
   learner.                                                 (= not as good as; implying they are both good;
   (= someone who learns)                                   worse than implies they are both bad)
 leave: on leave • holiday: on holiday                   - My pen looks a bit like yours, but yours is
- Our neighbours have just gone (away) on                   better (than mine). (Not *more good*)
   holiday. (Not *for holiday* *for holidays*               (we can use less + one-syllable adjectives,
   *they are in holidays* *they are on leave*)              but more + one-syllable adjectives is
- Vince is on leave from the navy.                          unusual)
- When are you going to have/take a holiday?             - Yours is more expensive than mine.
   (Not *do/make*)                                          (more + longer adjectives)
   (you are on holiday when you don't go to work;        lesson
   you are on leave when you have permission to          - Many teachers of English give private
   leave a place where you hold an appointment,             lessons. (Not *do/make lessons*)
   especially in the armed services: on leave is short   - Kay's having driving lessons.
   for on leave of absence)                                 (Not * doing/making lessons*)
leave • leave for                                        let('s)
- We left London at 9. (Not usually left from)           - Let's take a taxi. (Not *Let's to take*)
                                                            (imperative Let's for suggestions)

 - Let's not waste any more time.                     - You can't drive round without a licence.
     (Not *'Let's no waste* *Let's don't*)              (in BrE licence is the noun and license the
     (Let's not or Don't let's for negatives)           verb; in AmE license is both noun and verb)
- Let him speak. (Not *Let him to speak*)
      (let = allow + bare infinitive)                 lid/top • cap/top • cover
- They didn't let us speak. (Not *let's*)             - What did I do with the cap/top of my pen ?
    (let us = allow us is not abbreviated to let's)      (Not Hid* *cover*)
                                                      - I can't get the lid/cap/top off this jar.
 lexicon • dictionary                                    (a top is the removable upper part of
- What's a 'gnu'? -I don't know. Look it up in           something - a box, a tin, a jar, a pen, etc.; a
     the dictionary. (Not *lexicon*)                     cap fits closely over the end of e.g. a pen;
- The Greek-English Lexicon by Liddell and               the general term for the thing we use to close
     Scott has never been surpassed.                     any container is a lid)
     (dictionary is the modern word; lexicon is       - I protect my keyboard with a cover when I'm
     old-fashioned and used mainly with                  not using it. (Not *lid* *cap* *top*)
     reference to ancient languages, especially          (a cover is a layer of e.g. cloth, plastic, metal, etc.,
     Greek, Latin, Arabic and Hebrew)                    that completely hides or protects what is inside)
                                                      - / like the cover of this book.
liberate • discharge (from)                              (= the outer front of a book which may be hard or
- / was discharged from the army in 1984.                soft; a removable paper cover is a dust jacket or
   (Not *liberated from*)                                dust wrapper)
    (= officially allowed to leave)
- When was Crete liberated following its              life • live
   occupation in World War II?                        - We live in London. (Not *life*)
    (Not *discharged*)                                - I prefer life in the country. (Not *live*)
    (= set free; we use liberate for places rather       (life, noun, plural lives; live is the verb)
    than people)                                      - Life is difficult. (Not *The life*)
                                                         (no article in general statements)
liberty • freedom
- / never feel such freedom as when I'm               life • living
     climbing mountains. (Not *liberty*)              - / earned a living as a cook. (Not *life*)
- Oppressed peoples have no choice but to                (the phrase is earn a living)
     fight for their liberty/freedom.                 - What do you do for a living? (Not *make*)
     (freedom is personal and often physical and         (i.e. as an occupation, to earn money)
     psychological; liberty is often collective,      - How does he make a living? (Not *do*)
     social or institutional)                            (= earn money to live)
                                                      - You seem to have a comfortable life.
librarian • bookseller                                   (Not Hiving*)
- It's hard for small booksellers to survive              (i.e. style of living)
     these days. (Not *librarians*)
     (booksellers sell books in bookshops)            life's aim • aim in life
- She's head librarian at our local library.          - What's your aim in life ?
     (librarians work in public or specialized            (Not *life's aim* *aim of your life*) (= your
     libraries where people can borrow books)             purpose in life)
                                                      - His life's aim is to be Prime Minister.
library • bookshop • bookcase                             (= his one and only ambition)
- / must buy a new bookcase to store all these
   books. (Not *library* *bookshop*)                  lighten • lighter • get lighter
   (= furniture with shelves for storing books)       - The evenings are getting lighter. (Not
- You can buy all the best-selling titles at our         *lightening* *lightening themselves*)
     local bookshop. (Not *library*)                  - Take something out of your case to make it
- I've been collecting books for years and I             lighter/to lighten it.
     now have a large library. (Not *bookcase*)       - Joe has lightened his hair/made his hair
     (= a collection of books)                           lighter.
- Borrow the book from your local library.               (i.e. in colour)

licence • license
- Is your car licensed? (Not *licenced*)
   (i.e. is its use officially allowed?)

like                                                        limit • limitation
- John likes fast cars. (Not *is liking*)               -   These rules are a severe limitation on our
     (stative use)                                          freedom. (Not *limit*)
- John's got a job in a supermarket, but he                 (= a restriction, and note compounds like speed
     isn't liking it very much.                             limit, time limit = restriction)
      (dynamic use = enjoying)                          -   This word processor is quite good, but it has
- Do you like London ? - Yes, I do./Yes, I like             its limitations.
     it. (Not *Yes, Hike.*)                                  (i.e. it does a limited number of things)
- Would you like a day in London? - Yes, I              -   / won't put up with any more nonsense.
     would./Yes I'd like it/that. (Not *I'd like. *)        That's the limit. (Not *limitation*)
     (like is always transitive)                             (= the extreme, the end)
- I'd like a coffee please.                             -   I've worked to the limit of my ability.
     (Not */ like a coffee*)                                (Not * limitation*)
- Do you like to watch TV? - Yes, I do./ Yes, I              (i.e. to the best I'm capable of, the end)
     like to. (Not * Yes, I like.*)
- Would you like to watch TV? - Yes, I                  linen • linens • white goods
     would./Yes, I'd like to. (Not *I'd like.*)         - Linen is a very acceptable wedding present.
- Hike watching TV/to watch TV.                             (Not *A linen is* *Linens are*)
     {to or -ing after like)                               (linen, i.e. sheets, etc., is normally uncountable)
- I'd like you to help me.                              — They're having a sale of household linen(s).
      (Not *I'd like that you (should) help me.*)           (= different kinds of linen(s))
- I like/I'm fond of football. (Not *It likes me        — They're having a sale of white goods.
     the football* *Football likes me.*)                    (jargon for refrigerators, cookers, etc.)
like • as • as if • such as                             linguistics
- Please do as I say. (Not *like I say*)                - Linguistics is a relatively new academic
- She's behaving as if she's mad. (Not *like*)              subject. (Not *(the) linguistics are* *(the)
    (as and as if are conjunctions; like is heard,          linguistic is*)
    especially in AmE, but is not universally                (plural form + singular verb to refer to the
    accepted)                                               academic subject)
- There's no one like you. (Not *as you*)               liquidation • clearance sale
    (= to compare with)                                 - That department store is closing down and
- He acts like a king. (Not *like king*)                   they're having a big clearance sale.
    (= in the same way as a king)                           (Not * liquidation*)
   (like is a preposition + object; like + countable        (i.e. selling goods cheaply to clear them)
     noun: like a king; like + uncountable noun: like   - The company is bankrupt and is going into
    lightning)                                             liquidation.
- He's acting as headmaster.                                (= to be sold to meet debts)
     (= taking the place of the headmaster)
      As your lawyer, I wouldn't advise it.             literati • literate
     (Not *Like your lawyer*) (as: preposition = in     - Annual book prizes are well attended by the
     the capacity of)                                       literati. (Not *literate*)
- Junk food such as/like fizzy drinks and                    (= people interested in literature; formal)
    hamburgers have invaded the whole world.            - What percentage of the population is
    (Not *Junk food as fizzy drinks*)                       literate ?
   (such as or like when giving examples)                    (= able to read and write)
lime • file                                             little • small • short • young
- I've broken one of my fingernails. Can I              — Our flat is very small. It's a small flat.
   borrow your file ? (Not *lime*)                          (Not *little*)
    (= a tool with a rough surface for smoothing        — He likes to work in a little corner of his own.
    things)                                                 (Not *small*)
- Guess what 1 paid for a fresh lime!                       (small is the normal word for indicating small
   (= a green fruit like a lemon)                           size, and means 'in relation to other similar things
                                                            or people'; little describes absolute size as it
                                                            strikes an observer. Little

  can also imply 'charming': a little box, or 'defenceless':     following the rules of logic; reasonable = just or
  a little child; we can say smaller, smallest, but the          fair)
  forms littler, littlest are rare)
- They specialize in clothes for short people.                 loneliness * lonely • solitude
  (Not *small/little*)                                         - It's easy to feel lonely in London.
  (= not tall)                                                   (preferable to loneliness)
- Surely she's still too young to be given the                 - I often like to spend time in the solitude of
  key to the door. (Not *little/small*)                          my own room. (Not *loneliness*)
  (= not old)                                                     (= the state of being alone)
                                                               - The old often suffer from loneliness as their
live • leave                                                     friends die off. (Not *lonely* *solitude*)
- What time do you leave ? /li:v/ (Not *live*)                    (= a feeling of unhappiness from being without
- Where do you live ? /liv/                                       company)
   (spelling and pronunciation; and note: He left the
   room. He lived in Rome.)                                    lonely • lone • alone
                                                               - Mrs Cartwright lives alone. (Not *lonely*)
lively • animated                                                (= without others; we cannot use alone in
- When I raised the subject of payment he                        front of a noun)
     became extremely animated. (Not *lively*)                 - / don't think she's lonely. I'm sure she isn't a
     (= very excited at that moment)                             lonely woman. (Not *alone*)
- Anita is a lively sort of person.                               (= sad because of being alone)
     (= generally full of life)                                - A lone rider disappeared into the sunset.
                                                                 (Not *an alone rider* *a lonely rider*)
lively • unruly                                                  (= not accompanied; lone is relatively rare
- Class 2 is very unruly and hard for a                          and always used in front of a noun)
   teacher to manage. (Not *lively*)
   (= badly behaved)                                           long • during
- The children in that class are very lively and               - It rained (all) during the night.
   it's a pleasure to teach them.                                 (Not *long the night*)
   (= full of life)                                               (during = within the period named, either
                                                                  continuously or occasionally)
load/unload • charge/discharge                                 - It rained all night long. (Not *all during
- I'll have to charge my battery before I can                    night* *all night during*)
     start my car. (Not *load*)                                   (= within a period, without stopping)
- Don't forget your car lights, or you'll
     discharge the battery. (Not *unload*)                     long/length
     (charge/discharge = store/run down power                  - How long/What length is this room? (Not
     in a battery)                                               *How much long is/How much length has*)
- Help me load/unload the luggage.                             - This room is three and a half metres (long).
     (Not *charge/discharge*)                                     (Not *has length three and a half metres*)
   (- put/remove luggage, etc., into/from a vehicle)
- If you want to take a picture, you'll have to                long: (for) long • (for) a long time • much
   load the camera. (Not *charge*)                             - Jill came round this morning, but she didn't
   (= put in a film)                                             stay long. (Not *much* to indicate time)
                                                                  (= she wasn't here long, a long time)
logical • reasonable • sensible                                - We haven't seen you for a long time. (Not
- The kind of pay rise you're asking for simply                  *for long* *for much time* *a long time*)
     isn't reasonable. (Not *logical* *sensible*)              - I'm going out, but I won't be long.
     (= just or fair)                                            (Not *for long* *for much*)
- With sensible/reasonable investment, your                    - Sally called yesterday, but she didn't wait
     money will grow. (Not *logical*)                            (for) long. (Not *for a long time/for much*)
     (sensible = sound; reasonable = well-                       (long often refers to how much time
     considered or quite good)                                   something takes; for long refers to how
- It's easy to be persuaded by such a                            much time something continues. Use (for) a
     sensible/logical/reasonable argument.                       long time in affirmatives: Sally stayed (for) a
     (sensible - making sense; logical -                         long time, and use (for) long in negatives
                                                                 and questions: Sally didn't stay (for) long.)

- You didn't sell your car for much, did you ?                     morals and buy/sell (e.g.) potatoes loose: i.e. not
  (= for a lot of money)                                           packaged)
- We haven't seen George much lately.                            - I feel very hot. I think I'll loosen my tie.
  (refers to opportunity, not time)                                (verb: loosen - loosened - loosened = make
 look • look after                                                 less tight)
- Please look after the children while we 're                    loss
   out. (Not *look the children*)                                - Our firm made a big loss last year.
- Look! The plane's coming in to land!                              (Not *did a loss*; note that loss is the noun from the
                                                                    verb lose)
 look (at) • see • watch                                         - We didn't know what to do. We were at a
- / see very well without glasses.                                  loss. (Not *We were lost*)
   (Not Hook* *watch* *I'm seeing*)
   (stative use: the action is involuntary)                         (= uncertain)
- I'll be seeing you tomorrow.                                   lot: a lot/lots • a lot of/lots of
   (dynamic use: see = meet, etc.)                               - I've got a lot of work/lots of work today.
- We saw a good film at the Rex last night.                           (Not *a lot/lots work* *a lots of work*)
   (see a film or play at a cinema or theatre)                   - How much work have you got today? - A
- How long have you been watching the                                 lot./Lots. (Not *A lot of./Lots of.*)
   match? (Not *seeing* *looking at*)                               (a lot or lots on their own, or a lot of/lots of +
- Do you have to watch me eat/eating my                             countable or uncountable noun; lots (of) is informal)
   supper? (Not *watch me to eat*)
    (bare infinitive = the whole action, or -ing = part of the   loud • aloud • loudly • strong
    action after watch someone) (we deliberately watch an        - When I told them the story, they all laughed
    action that continues over a period of time)                      aloud/loudly. (Not *laughed loud/strong*)
- Look at this card that John's just sent.                            (aloud, or out loud = so you can hear; loudly
   (Not *Watch* *See* *Look this card*)                               = not quietly, making a big noise)
    (we look at something deliberately and with attention,       - / could hear loud music coming from
    e.g. a picture, an object)                                        upstairs. (Not *aloud* *loudly* *strong*)
- You look well./You're looking well.                                 (loud is an adjective)
    (= appear: stative or dynamic depending on the               - Don't talk so loud/loudly. (Not *aloud*)
    emphasis you want; look is followed by an adjective               (we can use loud as an adverb with a few
    here: It looks bad, not *badly*)                                  verbs like talk and play (music))
- Have/Take a look at this. (Not *Throw*)                        - There was a very strong wind/strong smell.
                                                                      (Not *loud*)
look (here) • look at this                                          (= powerful)
- Look at this! (Not *Look here!*)
  (look here does not mean 'look in this                         love
  direction')                                                    - John loves fast cars. (Not *is loving*)
- Look (here), let's get this straight.                               (stative use)
  {look (here) often expresses impatience and draws              - John's at university and he's loving every
  attention to what you're about to say)                              minute of it.
                                                                    (dynamic use = enjoying)
look forward to                                                  - Do you like London ? - Yes, I do./Yes, I love
- / look forward to seeing you during the                             it. (Not *Yes, I love.*)
  weekend. (Not *look forward to see* *look                      - Wouldn't you love a day in London? - Yes, I
  forwards to seeing* *look forward seeing*)                          would./Yes, I'd love it. (Not *I'd love.*)
  (to functions as a preposition + -ing here,                         (love is always transitive)
  not as part of the infinitive)                                 - Do you like to watch TV? - Yes, I do./Yes, I
                                                                      love to. (Not *Yes, I love.*)
loose • lose • loosen                                            - Would you like to watch TV? - Yes, I
- Try not to lose your ticket. (Not *loose*)                          would./Yes, I'd love to. (Not *I'd love.*)
  (verb: lose - lost - lost)                                     - I love watching TV/to watch TV.
- The handle on this suitcase is very loose/has                       (to or -ing after love)
  come loose. (Not *lose*)                                       - I'd love you to see our new flat.
   (loose, adjective = not firm; compare loose                        (Not *I'd love that you (should) see*)

- I love/I'm fond of football.                                  luxurious • luxury • de luxe
    (Not *It loves me the football.*)                          - The company paid all our expenses
- Make love, not war. (Not *Do love*)                             including our accommodation at luxury
 lovely • loving • lovable                                         (Not *luxurious* *de luxe* *luxus*)
- She's lucky to have such loving children.                    - The luxury/de luxe model of this car has
     (i.e. they love her and/or each other)                       air-conditioning. (Not *luxurious*)
- She's lucky to have such lovely children.                        (de luxe model: e.g. to describe products such as
     (i.e. they're beautiful, wonderful)                           cars)
- She's lucky to have such lovable children.                   - Who wouldn't like to lead a life of luxury ?
     (i.e. it's easy to love them)                                (Not *a luxury life* *a luxurious life*)
 lower/higher • inferior/superior (to)                            (i.e. in great comfort, very expensively)
- There's no reason for you to feel inferior/                  - The furnishings are extremely luxurious.
   superior. (Not *lower/higher*)                                 (Not *luxury* *de luxe*)
    (i.e. in status)                                               (= very grand, expensive)
- This year's exam results are inferior                                                    M
      to/superior to last year's.
- The number of passes was lower/higher this                   macaroni
      year.                                                    - Have some macaroni. (Not *macaronis*)
   (lower/higher refer to level; inferior/ superior refer to   - This macaroni is overcooked.
   quality, though we can refer to high and low quality)         (Not *These macaronis* *These macaroni*)
low • lowly                                                      (macaroni is uncountable; also: spaghetti)
- We flew low over the sea. (Not *lowly*)                      machine * camera • apparatus
    (low is an adjective or adverb: a low                      - Would you mind taking a photo of me with
    building/fly low; low paid workers)                          my camera? (Not *machine* *apparatus*
- William began in a lowly position at the                       * photographic machine/apparatus*)
    bank, but rose to the top. (Not *low*)                       (we don't use machine or apparatus in place of the
    (lowly is only an adjective = low in rank or                 word camera)
    status, 'humble'; rather old-fashioned)                    - This machine not only washes clothes but
                                                                 dries them as well. (Not *engine*)
luckily • by chance                                              (a machine stands alone)
- / heard the news by chance. (Not *luckily*)                  - Divers must check their own breathing
     (= accidentally, without expecting to)                      apparatus.
- / was in a crash on the motorway, but                          (= equipment for a special purpose)
     luckily I wasn't hurt.
   (Not *by chance* *by luck*) (=                              machinery • a piece of machinery
   fortunately)                                                - This is a wonderful piece of machinery.
lucky • happy                                                    (Not *a machinery*)
- A merry Christmas and a happy New Year!                      - They're installing a lot of new machinery at
    (Not *lucky* *good*)                                         our factory. (Not *a lot of machineries*)
- You have to be very lucky to win the pools.                    (machinery is uncountable)
    (= fortunate)                                              madden • mad • get mad • go mad
- Aren't you lucky! Lucky you! You lucky                       - /'// go mad if I have to live in this house on
    girl! I'm the lucky one!                                     my own. (Not */'// mad* *I'll madden*)
   (Not *Aren't you a lucky!*, etc.) (we cannot                  (= become insane)
   use lucky as a noun)                                        - Don't get mad at me just because I'm ten
lust • desire                                                    minutes late! (Not *go mad at/with*)
- / have no desire to spend every evening                        (= become angry with)
     watching television. (Not *lust*)                         - It's her unpunctuality that maddens
                                                                 me/drives me mad/makes me mad.
- I sometimes wonder whether Jake knows the
                                                                 (= makes me cross; irritates me)
     difference between love and lust.
   (= strong sexual desire; also used                          made of/out of • made from • made with
   metaphorically: lust for power)                             - Beer is made from hops and other
                                                                 ingredients. (Not *made of/out of*)

       (made from when the ingredients aren't            make • cause
       immediately obvious)                              - What caused the damage? (Not *made*)
    - Our new garden gate is made of/out of                {cause + noun = bring about)
      wrought iron. (Not *made from*)                    - What made her faint/caused her to faint ?
      {made of/out of when we can recognize the            (Not *made her to faint*)
      material)                                            (make + object + bare infinitive, or cause +
    - This cake is made with fresh cream.                  object + to = be the cause of)
      {made with = using; compare filled with =          - He was made to change his mind.
      'containing')                                        (Not *was made change his mind*)
                                                           (make = compel + a bare infinitive in the
  madness • craze                                          active; + a to-infinitive in the passive)
- The latest teenage craze is having your nose
  pierced. (Not *madness*)                               make as if • pretend
   (= fashion)                                           - How many people pretend to be out of work
- It would be madness to tax bread.                        in order to draw unemployment benefit?
  (= a very foolish action)                                (Not *make as if* *make that*)
                                                         - He made as if to leave but then changed his
    magazine • shop • store • boutique •                   mind. (Not *pretended*)
    department store • storeroom                           (= appeared to be about to)
-   You can buy anything in our village shop.
    (Not *magazine/boutique*; not store in BrE)          male • masculine • manly • mannish
-   The company aims to have a store in every            - I'll get my brother to use his masculine
    important town in Europe.                              charm. (Not *male*)
     (preferable to shop if the reference is to a          (opposite feminine, relating to behaviour; the
     department store or chain store) {= a large shop)     noun is masculinity)
-   You'd pay the earth for a skirt like that if you     - 'He' is the masculine third person subject
    bought it at a boutique. (Not *shop*)                  pronoun. (Not *male*)
     (= a small specialized fashion shop)                  (referring to grammatical gender)
-   London has wonderful department stores.              - How can you tell whether an insect is male
    (Not *magazines* *departments*)                        or female? (not *masculine*)
     (= very large shops)                                  (opposite female, relating to sex; note a male is
-   We don't have your size on display. I'll look          used as a noun for animals, not people; also
    in the storeroom. (Not *magazine*)                     note the abstract noun maleness = the essence
-   My favourite magazine is Woman's Weekly.               of being male)
    (= a periodical, published weekly/monthly)           - Being able to act like Superman is just a
                                                             male fantasy. (Not *masculine*)
 magical • magic                                         - Tom has a firm handshake and a fine, manly
- The wicked witch put a magic spell on the                  way of greeting people.
  beautiful princess. (Not *magical*)                      (= like a man, relating to manhood)
  (i.e. by the use of secret powers)                     - Women's clothes in the 80's were rather
- On stage, the prima ballerina seems to                   mannish, both in colour and outline.
  dissolve in the mist. The effect is magical.             (in general terms, masculine refers to sexual
  (= like magic)                                           attractiveness, male is biological and manly is
                                                           social, referring to the sometimes idealized
majority • most
                                                           qualities of a man; mannish = imitating a man;
- Now that I've retired, I spend most of my                not complimentary)
  time looking after the garden.
  (Not *the majority of* *the most of*)                  man/husband • woman/wife
- In Britain the majority is/are in favour of            - You must meet my husband/wife.
  longer prison sentences.                                 (Not *man/woman*)
  {the majority, without of takes a singular or            (= the man/woman I'm married to) (man =
  plural verb, otherwise we have to say the majority       husband occurs in a few old-fashioned fixed
  of people are; the majority means 'more than half        phrases, e.g. man and wife; man/woman =
  and should not be used to replace most; we               'male/female companion' occurs in limited
  cannot use majority to refer to an uncountable           contexts: Who's the new man/woman in your
  quantity like time)                                      life?)

 man/woman • men/women                                      mark
- Where are the men's/women's toilets                       - My teacher gave me a very good mark for
  please? (Not *man's/woman's*                                my essay. (Not *put a mark*)
  *mens/womens* *mens'/womens'*)                            - I got a good mark for my essay.
  (men/women: irregular plural; the possessive                (Not *took a mark*)
  forms are man's/woman's, singular, and
  men's/women's, plural)                                    marmalade • jam
                                                            - / love jam made from fresh strawberries.
mania • passion                                               (Not *marmalade*)
- I have a passion for jazz. (Not *mania*)                    (= sugar and fruit boiled together: apricot jam, plum
   (a passion for something is generally within the           jam, strawberry jam, etc., made from all kinds of
   bounds of normality or sanity)                             fruit except citrus fruit: bread and jam is associated
- Gregory has a mania about his health.                       with tea-time)
  (Not *passion*)                                           - What sort of marmalade is that? - Oh, the
   (= more concern than is normal or sane)                    usual. Seville orange. (Not *orange jam*)
                                                              (= sugar and citrus fruit and peel boiled
manic • maniac(al) • fanatical                                together; toast and marmalade is associated
- He's fanatical about cleanliness.
  (Not *manic* *maniacal*)                                    with breakfast-time)
   (= obsessed)                                             maroon • chestnut
- Her manic commitment to work keeps her at                 - English chestnuts are smaller than those the
  the office for up to twelve hours a day.                    French use for marrons glaces.
   (= unreasonably enthusiastic)                               (Not *maroons*; we tend to call the French sweets
- / worked like a maniac to get the job                        marrons glaces, rather than 'crystallized chestnuts',
  finished on time.                                            though we do speak of crystallized fruits)
   (i.e. with extreme energy; maniac is a noun)             - Maroon doesn't suit you.
- The film's main characteristic is a note of                 (= a wine-red colour)
  desperate maniacal violence.
   (= demented)                                             marque • make • brand • mark
                                                            - What make is your car?
manifestation • demonstration                                  (Not *marque* *brand* *mark*) (i.e. What
- There's a demonstration about                                company is the maker?: a make of car, watch,
  homelessness in Hyde Park today.                             computer, dishwasher; compare: What type of car is
  (Not *manifestation*)                                        it? - A hatchback.)
  (= a public meeting in which people 'demonstrate'         - What brand of soap do you use?
  their feelings about a cause; often abbreviated              (Not *marque* and preferable to make) (i.e. What
  informally to demo)                                          name does it carry?: a brand of soap, toothpaste,
- The number of people out of work is a clear                  washing powder; such products have a brand name)
  manifestation/demonstration of the extent                 - Jaguar is now owned by Ford, so this
  of the recession.                                           famous marque has been saved.
  (a manifestation = a sign; a demonstration = a piece of      (= an expensive car from a particular manufacturer;
  evidence, display)                                           the word marque is not in everyday use)
inarch • walk                                               - My teacher gave me a good mark for my
- Shall we walk or go by bus? (Not *march*)                   essay. (Not *marque*)
- During the ceremony, the soldiers marched                 marriage • wedding
    past the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.                   - We had a quiet wedding. (Not *marriage*)
    {march = walk in step like a soldier)                   - What is the secret of a happy marriage ?
marine • navy                                                 (wedding refers to the ceremony marking the
- Join the navy and see the sea.                              event; marriage refers to the state of being
    (Not *the marine*)                                        married; we can also use marriage ceremony
- He was in the marines in World War II.                      in particular contexts: The marriage
    (the Marine Corps, AmE, or the Royal                      ceremony took place in a small country
    Marines, BrE)
- Marine life is threatened by pollution.
    (marine = of the sea)

 marry                                                   mathematic is*)
- I married in 1980.                                     (plural form + singular verb)
- 1 married my wife in 1980.                           - Maths is/Math is a compulsory subject.
   (Not */ married to/with my wife*) {marry              (mathematics is commonly abbreviated to
   with or without an object)                            maths in BrE and math in AmE)
- They married their daughter (off) to a               - I'm doing/taking Math(s) as one of my main
  professor. They married her off.                       subjects. (Not *making Math(s)*)
  {marry someone to someone/marry off=                   (the name of a subject is often spelt with a
  find a husband/wife for: old-fashioned in              capital letter)
  some cultures)
- I got married in 1980. I got married to John         matter
  in 1980. (Not *got married with*)                    - You've made a spelling mistake in this letter,
   {= I married John)                                    but it doesn't matter.
- I'm married. I'm married to Tom's sister.              (Not *it isn't mattering*)
  (Not *I'm married with*)                               (stative use only; no progressive form)
   (i.e. I married Tom's sister)                       - Are you all right? What's the matter?
                                                         (Not *What have you?*, etc.)
 martyr • witness • testimony                          - I forgot to post your letter! - It doesn't
- You saw what happened. You were a                      matter. (Not *No matter.*)
  witness. (Not *martyr*)                              - No matter/It doesn't matter where you go,
- Executing terrorists is a sure way of turning          you can't escape from yourself.
  them into martyrs.                                     (No matter + question-word introduces a
{= people who are put to death for their beliefs and     complete sentence: No matter what 1 say, you
therefore become heroic) -• The witness's testimony      interrupt.)
convinced the jury. (= what a witness says, in         matured • mature • ripe/ripen • soften
speech or writing)                                     - / don't think they're mature enough to get
 mass • bunch • bouquet                                  married. (Not *matured*)
- A bunch of roses costs £10. (Not *mass*)               (= grown up; opposite: immature)
  (= a number of things tied together)                 - This cheese isn't mature/hasn't matured.
- There was a mass of people queueing for                (= developed to its best point, especially for
  tickets. (Not *bunch*)                                 products like cheese and wine)
   (= a lot: mass for people, things, etc.)            - These pears aren't quite ripe, but they will
- / sent a bouquet/a bunch of flowers to say             ripen/soften in a few days. (Not *mature*)
  'thank you'. (Not *bouquet of flowers*)                (ripe = ready to be eaten, mainly of fruit)
  {bouquet is more formal; bunch is also used          may/might
  for grapes/bananas: a bunch of grapes)               - She may/might arrive early.
massage                                                  (Not *mays/mights (to) arrive*)
- I've had a relaxing massage.                           (= it's possible; might expresses greater
  (Not *made/done a massage*)                            uncertainty than may)
  (and note give someone a massage, not                - If you had read my letter, you might have
  *make/do*)                                             avoided this mess. (Not *may*)
                                                       - May I/Might I make a phone call?
master • Mr                                              (= I'd like permission to; might is more polite
- You should address the letter to Mr John               than may, but less commonly used)
  Smith. (Not *Master* *Mister*)                       - She said she might be late.
  (the written form of address to an adult male;         (might is only a 'past form' in indirect
  we never write Mister in full)                         speech)
- Address the letter to Master John Smith.
  (the written form of address to a young boy,         may be • maybe
  not abbreviated: becoming old-fashioned;             - Maybe I'll ring next week. (Not *May be*)
  these days we generally use the boy's name             (= perhaps; maybe is an adverb)
  with no title: John Smith)                           - Let's book seats now: it may be our last
                                                         chance to hear her sing. (Not *maybe*)
mathematics/Math(s)                                      (= perhaps it is: may + be)
- Mathematics is a compulsory subject at
  school. (Not *{the) mathematics are* *(the)

me • mine                                                       (means + singular or plural verb depending on the
- Ron is a friend of mine.                                      word in front of it)
  (Not *a friend of me* *a friend of my*) (we use a           - Miss Lovelace is a woman of means.
  double genitive in this kind of construction; similarly a       (Not *with means* *of mean* *of goods*)
  friend of his/hers/ ours/yours/theirs, not *a friend of         (of means = rich)
  him/her/ our/your/their*; we use's after names: a friend    - Her means are considerable. (Not *goods*)
  of John's, not *of John*)                                       (= wealth and possessions)
- What must you think of me!                                    (plural in form + plural verb)
  (object pronoun after a preposition)                        - May I wait here? - By all means.
                                                                (fixed phrase = certainly)
meagre • lean • thin • skinny
- She's lean and fit. (Not *meagre*)                          means • contacts • relations
  (= healthily and attractively thin)                         - I've got some useful contacts in the building
- / wish I weren't so skinny.                                   trade. (Not *means* *relations*)
  (Not *lean* *meagre*)                                         (= people you know who might be useful)
  (= thin/underweight in an unattractive way)                 - We may be rivals in business, but we have
- Lean meat is best. (Not *Meagre*)                             excellent relations. (Not *contacts*)
  (= without fat)                                               (= dealings, ways of co-operating)
- I'd like a thin slice of bread please.                      - We haven't the means to go abroad much.
  (Not *lean* *meagre*)                                         (= money)
  (= cut thin)
- Some restaurants serve meagre portions.                     measles
  (= small, ungenerous)                                       - Measles is a dangerous disease.
                                                                (Not *The measle(s)* *Measles are*)
meal                                                            (no article; plural in form + singular verb;
- Let's have a meal.                                            similarly: diabetes, mumps)
  (Not *have meal* *take a meal*) (= eat)
mean • think                                                  - This desk measures 125 by 60 cms.
- / think that museums should be free of                        (Not *is measuring* *makes*)
  charge. (Not */ mean*)                                        (stative use)
  (= that's what I think, that's my opinion)                  - What are you doing ? - I'm measuring this
- / would have met you at the station. I mean,                  room.
  you didn't tell me when you'd be arriving.                    (dynamic use)
  (= that's what I'm trying to say, that's my
  meaning; we often use / mean when we want                   meat • meats
  to explain something)                                       - You shouldn't eat so much meat.
                                                                (Not *so many meats*)
meaning • intention • opinion                                   (meat is normally uncountable)
- / don't think that's a good decision. What's                - You shouldn't use the same knife to cut
  your opinion? (Not *meaning*)                                 cooked and uncoooked meats.
  (= 'what do you think?')                                      (= different varieties of meat(s))
- It's never been my intention to retire early.
  (Not *meaning*)                                             mechanics
  (= plan)                                                    - The mechanics of a camera are a mystery.
- What is the meaning of 'meagre' in English ?                  (Not *The mechanics is* *The mechanic is*)
  (i.e. what sense does it have?)                               (plural form + plural verb for specific
                                                                references = the way it works)
means                                                         - Mechanics is a branch of physics.
- We've tried every means possible to rescue                    (Not *The mechanics is* *The mechanic is*) (plural
  them. One means is still to be tried.                         form + singular verb to refer to the academic subject)
  (Not *One mean is* *One means are*)
- All means to rescue her were tried.                         media • medium
  (Not *All means was* *AH mean was*)                         - The media here is/are under the control of
  (= way(s) to an end)                                          the government.
                                                              - News is shown round the globe instantly
                                                                through the medium of television.
                                                                 (media is the plural of medium; media can be

     used with a singular or plural verb to refer to radio, - Professor Hawkins gave us an interesting
    TV and the press as a group)                              lecture on termites. (Not * conference*)
                                                              (= a talk, usually by an expert)
- Don't forget to take your medicine.                       member • limb
(= a substance to cure an illness; note take or swallow - How long does it take for a broken limb to
    medicine, rather than drink)                              mend? (Not *member*)
- How long do you have to study medicine                      (= an arm or a leg)
    before you can qualify as a doctor?                     - Are you a member of the local golf club?
(= the study of disease)                                      (= part of)
                                                            - This involves every member of our family.
medicine • remedy (for) • cure (for)                          (Not *family member*)
- This herbal mixture is a well-tried remedy
    for the common cold.                                    memoir(s) • memory
- A century ago it seemed unlikely that we                  - My memory is not as good as it used to be.
    would find a cure for TB. (Not * remedy*)                 (Not *memoir is/memoirs are*)
- Aspirin is probably the most useful medicine                (= the ability to remember)
    known to man.                                           - He wrote his memoirs/They wrote their
(remedy = a specific method of treating something,            memoirs.
    often traditional; cure = something that eradicates a     (= a written account of one's own life
    problem entirely; medicine - a substance with             experiences; a memoir, singular, is an account
    which to treat illness)                                   of a person by someone who knew him/her)
meet • met                                               menu * dish of the day
- I'd like to meet your mother. I've never met her       - What's the dish of the day? (Not *menu*)
    before. (meet - met - met)                              (= a particular dish at a restaurant prepared
                                                            for a particular day of the week)
meeting • appointment • rendezvous                        - What's on the menu? (= a list of dishes at a
- What time is your appointment with the dentist?           restaurant)
   (Not *meeting* * rendezvous*) (= a meeting for
   professional services)                                merchant • trader • dealer • tradesman
- I'm afraid I can't put you through to Mr Grey at       - If you have any problems with your car, you
   the moment. He's at/in a meeting. (i.e. having a        should get in touch with your dealer.
   discussion with other people)                           (Not *merchant* *trader* *tradesman*) (a
- The directors had a secret rendezvous before the         dealer = a product specialist who buys at
   formal meeting took place. (= a meeting, often          source and sells to the public: a car dealer, an
   secret or in strange circumstances)                     antique dealer, an art dealer, etc.)
                                                         - Mr Hill works as a trader/dealer in
meeting • conference • lecture                             commodities in the City of London.
- I can't disturb him now. He's in a meeting/in            (Not *merchant* *tradesman*)
   conference.                                           - Ask your timber merchant about fencing.
   (= at a private gathering of people where               {a merchant = someone who sells common
   business is discussed)                                  or ordinary items, such as tea or coffee;
- If you're serious about your subject, you                merchant often combines with the name of
   mustn't ignore international conferences.               the commodity: a wine merchant, a timber
   (= formal meetings on a particular subject,             merchant, etc.; merchant = businessman is
   often attended by large numbers of people)              now old-fashioned: Once upon a time, a rich
- The Prime Minister will address a meeting                merchant wanted to find a bride ...)
   in Cambridge tonight. (Not *conference*)              - Value Added Tax has made life difficult for
   (= a public gathering of people at which                the small tradesman.
   there may be a speaker or speakers)                     (= a shopkeeper)
- When are we having our next meeting?
    (Not * doing/making a meeting*)                      merit • deserve • be worth
                                                         - It must be hard to decide each year who
                                                           merits/deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.
                                                           (Not *is worth* *worths*)

   (merits = ought to receive; deserves = has earned)       - On average, we get 28 cms of rain a year.
- / don't think she deserves the prize.                       (Not *In average*)
  (Not *merits* *worths*)
   (a person deserves reward or punishment)                 middle • centre
- This proposal merits/is worth your                        - What's the distance from the centre of the
     consideration. (preferable to deserves)                    circle to the perimeter? (Not *middle*)
     (something merits or doesn't merit attention,          - I was held up for hours in the middle of a
     consideration, etc.)                                       traffic jam. (Not *centre*)
- / wouldn't pay so much for a meal. It isn't               - Let's take the next photo with you and Jill in
     worth it. (Not *doesn't merit/deserve*)                    the middle/centre (AmE center).
   (= doesn't have that value)                                (middle and centre are often used in the same way,
- / wouldn't throw that bike away. It's                       but the centre is an exact point and the middle is the
  certainly worth repairing. (Not *It worths to               central area)
  repair.* *It's worth to repair.*)                         Middle Ages/medieval times • middle
   (i.e. it's valuable enough to repair; worth is an        years/middle-aged
   adjective, not a verb, and is used after be)             - / only caught a glimpse of him, but I would
merry •happy                                                    say he was a person in his middle years/he
- We were all very happy.                                       was middle-aged. (Not *a middle-aged*)
    (= pleased)                                                 (= aged between 40 and about 60;
- "We were all rather merry.                                    middle-aged is an adjective)
   (= cheerful as the result of alcohol, BrE)               - The middle-aged often bear heavy
- Happy/Merry Christmas!                                        responsibilities. (Not *the middle-ageds*)
  (we can often use merry and happy in the same way             (the + adjective for the group as a whole)
  in certain fixed phrases: a merry/ happy party, etc.)     - Life in the Middle Ages/in medieval times
                                                                must have been short and brutish.
mess                                                          (= between about 1000 and about 1400 AD in
- / made a mess of my exam. (Not *did*)                       Europe)
     (= failed to do it properly)
- Make some jam if you want to, but don't                   middle of the night • midnight
                                                            - The bar closes at midnight. (Not *in
     make a mess in the kitchen. (Not *do*)
                                                                midnight* *in the middle of the night*)
     (= make it dirty and untidy)                           - I couldn't get to sleep, so I watched TV in
- The dog has done/made a mess on the                           the middle of the night.
     doorstep.                                                (= between midnight and morning)
   (done/made a mess = defecated; made a mess = e.g.
   covered with muddy pawmarks: not *done*)                 might • could
                                                            - As we came in to land, we could see the
microbe • germ • bug                                            lights on the runway. (Not *might see*)
- Don't let the baby put that in his mouth! It's                (could for ability with verbs of perception)
    full of germs. (Not *microbes* *bugs*)
                                                            - We'd better wait. She might/could arrive at
- Pasteur's work established the link between
    microbes and disease.                                       any moment.
  (germ is the informal word; bug can mean insect, but        (could or might for degrees of possibility; might
  means germ or virus in phrases like pick up a bug, go       expresses less certainty)
  down with a bug; microbe is general for 'miniscule life   - Could I/Might I use your phone ?
  form')                                                      (could or might for permission; might is
                                                              more polite, but less common)
middle • average • on average
- What's the average life expectancy for males              miles/kilometres
    in Japan? (Not *middle* *on average*)                   - How many miles/kilometres an hour were
    (an average is calculated arithmetically)                   you doing? (Not *making*)
- This advertising campaign is aimed at                     - How many miles/kilometres to the gallon/
    people with a middle income.                                litre do you do? (Not *make*)
  (= in the middle; middle is a noun modifier)              military
                                                            - The military have surrounded the building.
                                                              (Not *The military has* *The militaries

   (collective noun + plural verb; soldiers is usually   minute * just a minute
   preferred to the military as a noun)                  - Do hurry up! - Just a minute!
                                                           (Not *Minute!* *A minute!*)
 milk • a carton of/a bottle of/a litre of milk
                                                            (avoid One minute! unless you are a person in authority
- Please get me a carton of milk/two cartons                and/or e.g. giving orders)
  of milk while you're out. (Not *a milk* *two
                                                         - Wait for me here. I'll only be a minute/I'll be
  milks*, though two milks is possible when                   with you in a minute.
  ordering something to drink)                           - I'll tell him the minute he arrives.
- We don't use much milk now the children
                                                              (Not *the minute he will arrive*)
  are grown up. (Not *a lot of milks*)
  {milk is uncountable)                                  miracle
                                                         - I'll do my best, but don't expect me to
 mince • mincemeat • minced beef/steak                     do/work/perform a miracle! (Not *make*)
- These tomatoes have been stuffed with rice
  and mince/minced beef/minced steak                     miscarriage • misdelivery • abortion
  (BrE)/mincemeat (AmE).                                 - This letter isn't for us. It's a misdelivery/
   (= ground meat; minced meat is rare, perhaps              wrong delivery. (Not *miscarriage*)
   because mince, the most common term in BrE,               (i.e. delivered to the wrong place)
   always refers to beef, and if you mean any other      - Mrs Watson was rushed to hospital, but
   kind, you say what it is: minced lamb, minced             unfortunately she had a miscarriage/lost the
   pork, etc.)                                               baby. (Not *had a misdelivery*)
- Mince pies are eaten at Christmas in                     (= accidentally gave birth too early)
  Britain. They're made of pastry stuffed with           - Abortion raises difficult moral questions.
  mincemeat. (Not *stuffed with mince*)                      (= the deliberate ending of pregnancy)
   (= a sweet spiced mixture of raisins and
   citrus peel, nowadays without any meat)               miser • miserly • mean/stingy
                                                         - It makes no sense to be mean/stingy with
 mind                                                         your money when you're alive and then
- Mind the step!                                              leave a fortune to your heirs. (Not *miser*)
  (= be careful of)                                           (= ungenerous; miserly is literary)
- Can you mind the baby this evening?                    - The old miser preferred to leave all his
  (= take care of)                                            money to a dogs' home than to his children.
- Would you mind waiting a moment?                            (a miser is a mean or stingy person who
  (Not *mind to wait*)                                        hates giving anything and likes to hoard
  (= object to waiting)                                       money and possessions)
- / hope you won't mind my asking, but how
  old are you ?                                          miserable/wretched • poor
  (preferable to mind me asking)                         - Mother Teresa devoted her life to the poor.
- To my mind, that's no way to spend a                        (= those without money; poor and miserable
  holiday. (Not *In my mind*)                                 occurs as a fixed phrase in e.g. She lived to a
  (= in my opinion)                                           poor and miserable old age.)
                                                         - I've had a cold for three weeks and I'm
mine • my                                                     feeling miserable/wretched. (Not *poor*)
- My car's a Ford. (Not *Mine car*)                           (= very unhappy)
  (my is a possessive adjective, so we use it in front
  of a noun)                                             misery • poverty
- This car here is mine. (Not *my*)                      - Poverty is the greatest source of misery.
  (mine is a possessive pronoun, so we use it on its         (poverty = lack of money; misery =
  own)                                                       unhappiness)
                                                         - The air traffic controllers' strike made our
minority                                                     flight home (an) absolute misery.
- Only a minority is/are against the proposal.             (= a state of pain, unhappiness, discomfort)
  (a/the minority - without of- takes a singular
  or plural verb, otherwise we have to say               Miss/Ms
  a/the minority of people are; note that a              - Good morning, Miss/Ms Jackson.
                                                           (Miss is followed by a surname; on its own, it is
  minority means less than half of a number
  and cannot be used with uncountable                      sometimes used by schoolchildren: Please Miss! From
  quantities like time)                                    one adult to another, e.g. a customer, Ma'am or Madam
                                                           is more

  socially acceptable than Miss: Can I help you           mode • in/out of fashion • old-fashioned
  Ma'am/Madam? rather than Miss; Ms /miz,                 - Wide lapels are the latest fashion/are in
  məz/ + surname refers both to married and                 fashion. (Not *mode* *in mode*)
  unmarried women and is more common in                   - I thought short skirts had gone out of
  writing than speech)                                         fashion. (Not *out of mode*)
                                                          - Our mode of life had to change when the
miss • lose • fail                                             baby was born. (Not *fashion of life*)
- I've lost my pen. (Not *missed*)                             (= way of life)
  (i.e. I can't find it)                                  - There was a time when flared trousers were
- We lost a lot of time. (Not *missed*)                        all the mode/the latest mode.
  (= wasted)                                                 (mode = fashion is rare and is limited to a few fixed
- Hurry or you'll miss the train. (Not *lose*)               phrases)
  (i.e. you won't be able to catch it)                    - The word 'topping' to mean 'marvellous' is
- I missed that film on TV. (Not *lost*)                    now old-fashioned. (Not *out of fashion*)
  (i.e. failed to take the opportunity to see)              (old-fashioned is more permanent than out of
- I missed my English lesson. (Not *lost*)                  fashion)
  (= failed to attend)
- The Greens left the district last year and we           modest • humble
  really miss them. (Not *lose*)                          - After a humble/modest start in life, John
   (i.e. we wish they were here)                            achieved great success.
- I just missed cutting myself.                             (= low)
   (Not *failed cutting* *missed to cut*) (i.e. I         - He's too modest to mention it, but he won a
   nearly did)                                              medal for bravery. (Not *humble*)
- / dialled your number for an hour, but I                  (= shy, not boastful) (humble usually describes
  failed to get through. (Not *missed to*)                  someone's situation, but not people themselves: a
  (i.e. I didn't succeed in getting through)                humble background; modest describes people and
                                                            their behaviour: a modest person/manner; and
missing • lost                                              things that are not showy: modest qualifications,
- When he left the country, I knew the money                modest demands)
  I'd lent him was lost forever.
   (= gone forever, not recoverable)                      molest • derange • disturb • perturb
- After he left the firm, we found that a lot of          - Don't disturb him while he's busy.
  important documents were missing.                           (Not *molest* *derange* *perturb*)
   (= not there, not where they should be)                    (= interrupt)
                                                          - Sometimes I think you're quite deranged.
mist • fog                                                    (= mad)
- A light mist descended on the mountain.                 - Men who molest children must be sick.
- There's a lot of fog today. We often have fog               (= harm, harass or sexually attack)
  in winter. (Not *It (often) makes*)                     - / couldn't help feeling perturbed when I saw
   (mist is low cloud or very fine rain; fog is a thick       a policeman at the door.
   mixture of moisture and air pollution)                    (= rather anxious)
mistake • error • wrong number                            molten • melted
- You've made quite a few mistakes/errors in              - Brush the pancake with melted butter.
  this essay. (Not *done mistakes/errors*)                    (Not *molten*)
- I dialled the wrong number by mistake/in                - The molten metal flows into these moulds.
  error. (Not *from/in mistake* *by error*)                   (Not *melted*)
  (error is more formal than mistake)                       (molten only for substances that melt at very high
- Sorry! Wrong number! (Not *Mistake!*                      temperatures like metal, rock, lava)
  *You've made a mistake!*)                               moment • just a moment • the moment
mock * make fun (of)                                      - Do hurry up! - Just a moment!
- On my first day at school, the big boys made              (Not *Moment!* *A moment!*)
  fun of my spectacles. (Not *mocked*)                      (avoid One moment! unless you are a person
   (= ridiculed, laughed unkindly at)                       in authority and/or e.g. giving orders)
- Lydia always mocks my attempts to speak                 - Wait for me here. I'll only be a moment.
  French, but at least I'm willing to try.
   (= disagreeably refuses to take seriously)

- We'll discuss the matter the moment he
  arrives. (Not *the moment he will arrive*            moral * morale • ethic(al)
  *the moment as he arrives*)                          - How can we raise the morale in our
  (the moment as a conjunction + present tense           company? (Not *moral* *ethic*)
  form when referring to the future)                     (= spirit, confidence)
                                                       - Whatever happened to the old work ethic ?
 money • note/coin • cash • (small) change               (Not *moral* *morale*)
- I've got a note/a coin in my pocket.                   (an ethic is a system of moral behaviour; the work ethic
   (Not *a money*)                                       = the belief in hard work)
 -Are you carrying any money/any cash ? (Not           - Any society has to live by a set of moral/
    *any moneys*, but we can say any notes, any          ethical principles.
    coins, or any cash, uncountable, which refers to     (= based on the idea of right and wrong)
    coins and/or notes)
- You can make/earn a lot of money in the              most • the most • mostly
   used-car trade. (Not *do/gain/win money*)           - This is the most reliable car I've ever
   {money is uncountable, though a plural                owned. (Not *This is most reliable car*)
   exists in legal English in e.g. The moneys/           (superlative: the most + adjective of more
   monies are in various accounts round the              than two syllables)
   world.)                                             - Most doctors don't smoke.
- Have you got (small) change for a twenty               (Not *The most doctors* *Most of doctors*)
   pound note? (Not *(small) money*)                   - Most wine is imported.
- Keep the change! (Not *money*)                         (Not *The most wine* *Most of wine*) (no the
                                                         when most means 'the greatest number of or 'the
   (= money that is given back to you when you have
                                                         greatest amount of)
   paid more than something costs)
                                                       - This car is most reliable.
 montage • assembly                                      (no the when most = very)
- This table is sold as a kit; the customer does       - My work isn't very varied. It's mostly office-
  the assembly. (Not *montage*)                          work. (Not *most* *the most*)
  (= putting it together)                                (= mainly)
- There's a wonderful montage by Matisse               most of • most
  called 'Melancholy of the King'.                     - Most people lead unadventurous lives.
  (= a picture made from pieces that have been cut       (Not *The most people* *Most of people*)
  out and pasted on a surface)                           (most + noun for general references)
 monument * memorial • the sights                      - Most of the people I meet lead
- Every November there's a ceremony at the               unadventurous lives.
  War Memorial. (Not *War Monument*)                     (most of+ the for specific references)
- There are many monuments to Queen                    most times • most of the time
  Victoria. (Not *memorials*)                          - You're lucky to find him in. He's out most of
  (a monument is a notable building or statue; a         the time.
  memorial is an object - often a monument -created      (Not *most times* *most of the times*)
  in memory of some person or event: e.g. a war        - Who's won the World Cup most times ?
  memorial)                                              (= on the greatest number of occasions)
- I'd love to show you the sights of London.
  (Not *the monuments* *the memorials*)                move
  (= famous buildings, etc., which are                 - It's time for us to make a move. (Not *do*)
  particularly interesting to tourists)                  (make a move has two meanings: 'begin to
- Now I'm in Bangkok I want to do/see the                leave' and 'act on a decision'; and note It's
  sights. (Not *make the sights*)                        your move in games like chess)
moody • brave/courageous (of)                          movement • motion • traffic • business
- It was very brave/courageous of her to risk          - The traffic in London is very heavy during
  her own life for the baby.                             rush hour. (Not *movement* *motion*)
  (Not *moody of* *courageous from*) (= not            - Shopkeepers say there isn't much business
  showing fear)                                          at the moment. (Not *movement* *motion*)
- The trouble with Jake is he's so moody.              - The movement/motion of the ship has made
  (i.e. his feelings affect his behaviour, so that       me feel quite seasick.
  he is in a good mood or in a bad mood)                 (= changing position)

 Mr • Sir
- Can I help you, Sir? (Not *Mr*)                           - How was the concert? - Very good. (Not
  (Sir is the form of address to a man whose name you         *Much good* *Far good* *A lot good.*)
  don't know, e.g. a customer. It is used instead of Mr +   - This battery isn't much good/isn't very
  surname from a junior to a senior person: e.g. in           good. (Not *far good* *a lot good*)
  organizations and schools. In AmE Sir is commonly         - I don't much like fish. I don't like fish
  used to address a male stranger or acquaintance. We         much/a lot. I don't like fish very much.
  can begin a letter to a man we don't know with Dear         (not much/not a lot with like and enjoy)
  Sir, not *Dear Mr*. In BrE, Sir + first name may be       - I much/far prefer swimming to cycling.
  used to address a titled man. We can say Sir John or        (Not *I a lot prefer* *I very prefer*)
  Sir John Smith, but not *Sir Smith*)                        (much/far with prefer)
- Good morning, Mr Smith. (Not *Good                        much • many • a lot of/lots of (quantity)
  morning, Mr* *Good morning, Mr John.*)                    - He hasn't much money.
  (Mr is the written form of Mister, we use it                (Not *many money*)
  in front of a surname, but never in front of a              (not much + uncountable; avoid much +
  first name. A full stop after Mr to mark an                 affirmative: not *He has much money.*)
  abbreviation is optional; the modern                      - He hasn't many books. (Not *much books*)
  tendency is to leave it out)                                (not many + plural countable; avoid many +
Mrs • Madam • lady                                            affirmative, especially with concrete nouns,
- Can I help you, Madam ?                                     not *He has many books.*)
  (Not *Mrs* *lady*)                                        - He has a lot of money. He has a lot of
   (Madam is the form of address to a woman whose             books. (or lots of money/books informally)
   name you don't know, e.g. a customer. In AmE               (a lot of+ uncountable or plural countable,
   Ma'am is often used to address a female stranger or        mainly in the affirmative)
   acquaintance. We can begin a letter to a woman we        much more • (very) much
   don't know with Dear Madam, not *Dear Mrs/Dear           - I feel (very) much better.
   Lady*. In BrE, Lady + first name (Lady Ann) or +           (Not *much more better*)
   surname (Lady de Vere) is used to address a titled         (= better than I was; (very) much with comparatives)
   woman)                                                   - We need much more time.
- Good morning, Mrs Smith. (Not *Good                         (= more than we have; much more + uncountable noun)
  morning, Mrs.* *Good morning, lady*
  *Good morning, Mrs Ann.*)                                 mud
  (Mrs + name is the form we use to address a married       - Please don't bring any mud into the house.
  woman; we use it in front of a surname, but not in          (Not *any muds*)
  front of a first name)                                      (mud is uncountable)
- Mrs Wilkins is a very nice lady.                          music • musician
  (lady is a polite/respectful way of referring to a        - Fidel is a fine musician. (Not *music*)
  woman)                                                      (= a performer, composer, etc.)
much/price                                                  - / like that music. (Not *those musics*)
- How much is this tie? (preferable to What                   (music is uncountable)
  price is ... ?; not *What price has?* *How                must
  many is/has?* *What it makes?*)                           - She must leave early tomorrow. (Not *must
- It's 24 dollars. (Not *It has 24 dollars.* *It              to leave* *musts to leave* *musts leave*)
  has price 24 dollars.*)                                     (no to-infinitive or third person -(e)s ending
much • far • a lot • very (intensifiers)                      after must and other modal verbs)
- A mountain bike is much/far/a lot better                  - Must you leave now? (Not *Do you must?*)
  than an ordinary one. (Not *very better*)                 must • had to
  (much/far/a lot + comparative, or we can say              - Our son was very ill last night and we had
  very much + comparative: very much better,                  to call the doctor. (Not *must call* *musted
  very much faster)                                           call* *musted to call*)
                                                              (must has no past form and we use had to to express
                                                              'inescapable obligation' in the past)

- My lawyer said he must/had to warn me not              mustn't (be) • can't (be)
  to answer any questions.                               - / know he looks older, but he can't be more
   (we can use must or had to as past forms in             than 30. (Not *mustn't be* *mustn't to be*)
   indirect speech)                                        (can't (be) is the negative of must (be) to
                                                           express certainty or deduction. Compare: He
 must • have to                                            must be more than 30.)
- We have to complete these tax returns                  - In future, he mustn't be so careless.
  before the end of the month.                             (mustn't (be) expresses negative obligation)
   (have to is often preferable to must when we refer
   to an 'external authority')                           mutton • lamb • sheep
- You really must come and see us some time.             - There was a flock of sheep grazing on the
  (must is always preferable to have to for                hillside. (Not *mutton(s)* *sheeps*)
  'pressing invitations')                                  (sheep - singular and plural form - is the
                                                           name of the live animal)
 must • should/ought to                                  - We 're having roast lamb/mutton for Sunday
- I'm sure your mother's worried. You should               lunch. (Not *sheep*)
  phone/ought to phone her.                                (lamb/mutton is meat from sheep; lamb is meat from an
   (should and ought to when we give advice)               animal less than two years old; mutton is from an
- We must leave by 3 to avoid the rush hour.               animal of two years or more. These days, mutton is
  (Not *should leave/ought to leave*)                      rare and expensive. Lamb is also used to describe a
  (must for 'inescapable obligation')                      young live animal: young lambs in spring)
 must • will have to                                     my/your, etc. • the
- I will have to phone them/must phone them              - The boys were fighting and one of them
  tomorrow morning. (Not *will must phone*                 punched the other in the teeth.
  *will must to phone*)                                    (Not *in his teeth*)
  (we use must or will have to to refer to future          (we often use the after prepositions to refer to parts of
  obligation; must has no future form)                     the body, hair or clothing: pull someone by the hair, by
 must have • had to • should have/ought to have            the sleeve)
  I didn't know you'd been so ill. You should have       - I'm cleaning my teeth. (Not *the teeth*)
  told/ought to have told me.                              (normal use of a possessive adjective)
  (Not *must have told* *had to tell*) (i.e. it          myself • by myself
  was your duty to do this, but you didn't do it)        - / live by myself.
  James could see I wasn't well, so I had to tell him      (= alone)
  about it. (Not *must have told*) (had to for           - / did all the work (by) myself.
  'inescapable obligation' in the past: I did tell him     (= without help)
  about it)                                                (and for other reflexive pronouns: yourself, himself,
- Here's a note from Colin. He must have                   herself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves)
  called while we were out.
  (Not *had to call*)                                                       N
  (must have + past participle for deduction)
mustn't • shouldn't (worry)/oughtn't to                  name • call
(worry)                                                  - What's he called?/What's his name?
- You shouldn't worry./You oughtn't to                     (Not *How's he called/named?* *What's he named?*)
  worry.                                                 - What's this called in Greek? (Not *named*)
  (Not *shouldn't to worry* *oughtn't worry*) (i.e.      - What do you call it? (Not *How do you
                                                           call/name it?* *What do you name it?*)
  in my opinion, it is not advisable to; mustn't           (call for "What name do you use?')
  worry is also possible and would simply be             - What's your name?
  stronger)                                                (Not * What/How do you call yourself?*)
- That sign means we mustn't turn left.                  - They named/called him John.
  (Not *shouldn't* *oughtn't to* *mustn't to*            - He was named/called after his father,
  *haven't to*)                                            (name or call = give a name to people)
  (mustn't for a strong prohibition imposed by some
  outside authority)

nap                                                       neat • net • clean • clear
- Don't disturb your mother now. She's                    - The packet contains 60 grams net. The net
  having/taking a nap. (Not *doing/making*)                 weight is 60 grams.
                                                             (Not *neat/clean/clear weight*)
nation • country                                          - What's the net tax/profit?
- Haiti is a poor country. (Not *nation*)                   (Not *neat/clean/clear profit*)
  In 1901 the British nation mourned the                     (net can combine with weight, tax, profit: net weight = the
  death of Queen Victoria. (Not * country*)                  actual weight, without packaging; a net/clear profit = actual,
- The President will speak to the country/                   after all expenses, etc.)
  nation this evening.                                    - We made a net/clear profit of £200.
  (country refers to the area within national borders;      (Not *did a clear profit* *neat* *clean*)
  nation refers to the people who live there; sometimes     (to make or show a clear/net profit/gain)
  either word will do)                                    - I've just vacuumed your office, so it's nice
natives • locals                                            and clean. (Not *neat*)
- If you're travelling in Wales, you'll find that            (= not dirty)
  the locals are very friendly. (Not *natives*)           - My desk is neat and tidy.
  (= the people who live there; very informal)               (i.e. everything is well arranged)
- The original settlers carried on a brisk trade          - My desk is clear.
  with the natives.                                         (= without work that needs attention)
  (= the original people) (natives = 'tribal people' is   - / was able to drive to London quickly
  offensive in most modern contexts. The reference is       because the roads were clear. (Not *clean*)
  usually joking: If you want to find a good pub in         (= without traffic)
  London, ask one of the natives.)                        necessary • have to
natural • physical                                        - / have to go to the doctor's tomorrow.
- Boxers take a lot of physical punishment.                 (we normally use have to or must to express inescapable
  (Not *natural*)                                           obligation; it's/it was/it will be necessary to are possible, but
  (= of the body)                                           less common)
- It's quite natural for a boy's voice to break           necessitate
  when he's about 14. (Not *physical*)                    - Increasing competition necessitates (our)
  (i.e. to be expected, a process of nature)                cutting costs. (Not *to cut*)
nauseous • sick                                             (i.e. we have to cut costs)
- Stop the car! I feel sick!                              need • emergency
  (AmE also feel nauseous)                                - Dial 999 in an emergency. (Not *a need*)
  (= 'I'm going to vomit'; note also airsick, carsick,      (= an unexpected, dangerous event)
  seasick and travelsick)                                 - There was a great need for food and tents
- Most women feel nauseous in the third                     after the earthquake. (Not *an emergency*)
  month of pregnancy.                                       (= a requirement)
  (= wanting to vomit; nausea and nauseous are
  technical medical terms)                                need • need to
                                                          - He needs to leave now if he's going to get
nearly • near (to) • close (to)                             that plane. (Not *He need/needs leave*)
- We sheltered in a cave close to/near the top              (in affirmative sentences, we use the full
  of the mountain. (Not * close the mountain*)              verb need to. Need as a modal - that is
  (near and close to as prepositions)                       without the use of to after it - occurs mainly
- We were near to/close to exhaustion.                      in the negative: We needn't leave now, or
  (near to has limited uses, suggesting                     with negative adverbs: / need hardly tell you
  'approaching')                                            how important this is.)
- That dog is vicious. Don't go near/close!               - Need I say what a relief it is ?
  (Not *nearly* *closely*)                                  (Not *Need I to say*)
  (near/close can be used adverbially)                    - Do we need to carry any money with us ?
- I'm nearly ready.                                         (Not *Do we need carry*)
  (= almost)                                                 (question forms of need and need to)
  (nearly is an adverb of degree)

need • take
- It takes an hour by bus. (Not *It needs*)               - I have/get awful nerves before exams.
  (= 'that's how long the journey lasts')                     (= become anxious, not 'angry')
- We need an hour to get to the airport.                  - She's annoyed with me. (Not *has nerves*)
  (= 'that's how long we require')
- This clock needs fixing. (Not *needs to fix*)           nervous (of) • tense • irritable • irritated
                                                          - Our teacher is so irritable you can hardly
needn't • don't need to                                     ask her a question. (Not *nervous*)
- We needn't leave yet. We don't need to leave               (= easily annoyed, often in a bad mood)
  yet. (Not * needn't to leave*) (we use either           - Our teacher was extremely irritated this
  needn't + bare infinitive, or don't need to; they           morning. (Not *nervous*)
  have the same meaning: 'we have a choice')              - Muhammad is an extremely tense and
                                                              ambitious young man. (Not *nervous*)
needn't have • didn't have to • didn't need to •              (= highly-strung)
shouldn't have • oughtn't to have                         - I feel very nervous/tense before exams.
The following three sentences mean 'I went there,             (= anxious, worried)
but it was unnecessary'; after didn't in the second and   - Old Mrs Willis is very nervous of strangers.
third examples, have and need are stressed in speech:         (Not *nervous with*)
- I needn't have gone to the office yesterday.              (= afraid of someone or something)
- I didn't have to go to the office yesterday.
- I didn't need to go to the office yesterday.            - I can never read a map and drive a car at
The following two sentences mean 'I knew it                 the same time. (Not * can't never*)
was unnecessary and I didn't go'; have and need             (only one negative in any one clause)
are unstressed in speech:                                 - Never have so many died for so few.
- / didn't have to go to the office yesterday.              (Not *Never so many have died ...*)
- I didn't need to go to the office yesterday.              (inversion after negative adverbs; formal and
Shouldn't have and oughtn't to have suggest                 emphatic; also: never again, never before
criticism of an action:                                     and at no time. Compare normal word order:
- / shouldn't have paid/I oughtn't to have                  So many have never died ...)
  paid the plumber in advance.
  (= but I did pay him)                                   new • young
                                                          - / want to have children while I am still
neither • nor • neither... nor                                young/a young woman. (Not *new*)
- Neither of us is/are working today.                         {= young in years; opposite: old)
  (a plural verb is usual in everyday speech, though      - Our new secretary is highly-trained.
  a singular verb is formally correct)                        (= newly employed; compare: Our old
- / don't like crowds. - Neither/Nor do I.                    secretary was very efficient = former)
  (Not *Neither and me./Nor and me. *)                    - Our new car has a catalytic converter.
- There isn't any danger. Neither/Nor is there              {= recently made or bought; opposite: old)
  any cause for concern.
  (Not *Neither/Nor there is any cause ...*)              news • a piece of news
  (inversion after negative adverbs; formal and           - I have a piece of news that will interest you.
  emphatic. Compare normal word order with a                  (Not *a new* *a news*)
  negative verb: There isn't (any) cause for              - The news on TV is always depressing.
  concern, either.)                                           (Not *The news are*)
- Neither my parents nor my sister is red-                  {news is plural in form + singular verb)
  haired. (Not *neither ... or*; the verb                 - Who gave you the news ?
  generally agrees with the nearest noun)                   {give someone the news = fixed phrase)
                                                          - Who's going to break the news to her?
nerves • nerve • annoyed                                    {break the news = 'give bad news')
- You've got a nerve asking for a loan when
  you still owe me £20!                                   next • the next • nearest
  (Not *have nerves* *have nerve*)                        - I'll see you next Monday.
- Loud rock music really gets on my nerves.                 (Not *the next Monday*)
  (= irritates me)                                           (no the in front of next in ordinary time
                                                          - The next Monday is a holiday.
                                                            'i.e. that particular one)

- On the next morning, we decided to check            (= a show, e.g. comedy, singing, dancing, for a
  out of our hotel. (Not *0n next morning*)           nightclub audience)
  {the next after prepositions)                     - Only a fool would expect to make easy
- Who's next in the queue ?                           money at a casino.
  (next without a noun following it: not a            (= a place where people play games of
  particular reference)                               chance for money)
- Who's the next (person) in the queue?             nightmare
  (the next (+ noun): particular reference)         - / had a terrible nightmare last night. (Not */
- Where's our nearest library? (Not *next*)
                                                      saw a nightmare* *I dreamed a nightmare*)
  (= closest)
                                                    no • not
next to • next door (to)                            - Who's going to clear up the table? - Not me!
- Who lives next door? (Not *next*)                   (Not *No me!Me no!* *No I!/I no!*)
  (when buildings are beside each other they          (Not me is standard and Not I is low frequency,
  are said to be next door to each other)             and/or used by people who think it's 'more
- The Blairs are our next-door neighbours.            correct')
  (i.e. the people who live next door)
                                                    - See you on Monday. - (No), not Monday,
- There's a field next to our house. (Not *next
                                                        Tuesday. (Not *no Monday/Monday no*)
  door to our house* *next our house*)                  (not cancels what has just been said)
  (= immediately beside)                            - / have not seen her lately. (Not *no*)
- There's a shop next to our house/next door        - I don't like broccoli.
  to our house.                                       (Not */ no like* *I like not* *I not like*)
nice (to)                                           no • not any
- Try to be nice to them. (Not *nice with*)         - / can't get any news. (Not * can't get no*)
night: last night                                   - I can get no news. (Not *can get any*)
- They arrived last night. (preferably not              (only one negative in any one clause)
  yesterday night which is old-fashioned/           no • not any • none
  regional; compare tonight, tomorrow night)        - Is there any milk? - No, there's none./There
night: the night • by night/at night/during the         isn't any. (Not *There's no.* *There's not
night                                                   any* *There's no any*)
- We travelled at night/during the night to         - Are there any sweets? - No, there are
  avoid the traffic. (Not *travelled the night*)        none./There aren't any. (Not *No, there are
- We travelled by night to avoid the blistering         no/no any.* *There are not any.*)
  heat of the day.                                    (none is a pronoun, so it stands on its own; any
  (by night is literary)                              can also be used as a pronoun and stand on its
- I'm not sure when it happened: it must have         own; no is followed by a noun)
  been the night you came to dinner.                - There's no milk./There isn't any milk.
  (i.e. that particular one)                          (Not *There's none milk.*)

night • evening • tonight                           no one • none
                                                    - She kept none of his letters. (Not *no one*)
- They've invited us to drinks in the evening
                                                        (= not one)
  on Monday/tonight. (Not *at night*)               - It's no one you know. (Not *none*)
- New York looks wonderful at night.                    (= not any one, not any person)
  (= during the night)                              - None of my friends has/have been invited to
- Good evening! How nice to see you!                    the party.
- Good night! Thank you for a lovely evening!         (a plural verb is usual after a plural noun in
  (Good evening is a greeting on arrival; Good        everyday speech, though a singular verb is
  night is a greeting on departure)                   formally correct after none)
nightclub • cabaret • casino                        no one/nobody • not anyone/anybody
- After dinner, we spent a few hours at a           - There was no one/nobody at the party whom
  nightclub.                                            I knew. (Not *There wasn't no one/nobody*)
  (= a place where people go for night-time music   - There wasn't anyone/anybody at the party
  and dancing)                                          whom I knew.
- A nightclub can make a lot of money if it           (only one negative in any one clause)
  provides a decent cabaret.

                                                      nonsense • a piece of/a bit of nonsense
 no sooner... than • hardly/scarcely ... when         - The article wasn't meant to be taken
 - Liz had no sooner left the room than they            seriously. It was just a piece of/a bit of
   began to gossip about her. (Not *when*)              nonsense. (Not *a nonsense*)
   (no sooner... than)                                  (= something of no importance, a trifle)
 - Mr Lee had hardly/scarcely begun his talk          - The whole idea is just a lot of nonsense/a
   when he was interrupted. (Not *than*)                nonsense. (Not *a lot of nonsenses*)
   (hardly/scarcely... when)                            (a nonsense = a stupidity)
 noble (of) • polite                                  - I've had enough of Pauline's nonsenses.
 - It always pays to be polite. (Not *noble*)           (nonsense is nearly always uncountable, but
   (= having/showing good manners; the                  does have countable uses which are very
   opposite is impolite, not *unpolite*)                condemnatory)
 - A lot of nonentities claim noble birth.            nostalgic • homesick • miss • long for • long to
   (i.e. descent from the aristocracy, or nobility)   - / had to come home because I was feeling
 - It was very noble of you to stand in for me          homesick. (Not *nostalgic*)
   when 1 was away. (Not *noble from*)                - I missed/longed for my home town when I
   (= self-sacrificing)                                 lived abroad. (Not */ was nostalgic for*)
                                                      - 1 long to visit the place I was born in.
                                                        (Not *am nostalgic to see* *long for
                                                        (long = want very much, have a strong
                                                        desire, feel longing for)
                                                      - There are so many sights and sounds that
                                                        evoke in us nostalgic memories.
                                                        (= affectionate feelings about the past)
 nod • shake • wink
- / asked him if he wanted to join us and he          not • do nol/does not/did not
  nodded/he shook his head.                           - / don't speak Basque. He doesn't speak
   (nod = say yes, head movement down and up;           Basque. She didn't speak Basque. (Not */
   shake your head = say no, head movement from         speak not* *I not speak* * don't speaks*
   side to side)                                        *doesn't speaks* * didn't spoke*, etc.)
- You winked, so I knew you were joking.              - He asked me why I didn't like it.
  (= shut one eye to give a signal)                     (Not *why I not liked it* *why I no liked it*)
                                                        (we use do/does/did to form the negative with
 noise • noises                                         verbs other than be, can, etc.)
- Don't make a/so much noise. The baby's
                                                      not a • no
  asleep. (Not *do a noise* *make noises*)
  (= create a disturbance)                            - He's not a lawyer./He isn't a lawyer. (Not
                                                        *He's not no lawyer./He isn't no lawyer.*)
- Noise is a kind of pollution.
                                                      - He's no lawyer.
  (Not *The noise*)
                                                        (He's not a lawyer is a statement of fact; He's
  (noise used as an abstract noun: no article in
                                                        no lawyer = he lacks the qualities that would
  general statements)
                                                        make him one. Compare: He's no genius =
- Jimmy put his hand over his mouth and
                                                        He's not at all clever)
  started making funny noises. (Not *doing*)
  (= making sounds; noise = 'disturbance' may         not any more • no longer/not any longer
  be countable or uncountable; noises can be          - Hurry up! I can't wait any more/any longer.
  used to mean separate sounds)                         (Not * can't wait no more/no longer*
                                                        *anymore* *nomore*)
nominate • name                                         (only one negative in any one clause)
- We named her Sylvia after my wife's mother.         - It's a situation we can't ignore any longer.
  (Not *nominated*)                                     It's a situation we can no longer ignore.
  (= gave her a name)                                   It's a situation we can ignore no longer.
- Who's been nominated as the next president            (any longer is normal in the end-position; no
  of the United Nations? (Not * named*)                 longer is normal in mid-position, but is very
  (= named for an official position)                    emphatic or formal in the end-position)

                                                               notice • observe • remark
 not many/not much • no                                        - 'You're looking very well!' she remarked/
- How many people will be coming to your                         observed. (Not *noticed*)
     party? - Not many. (Not *No many.*)                         (= said; both words are formal and often used as
- How much water does this pot plant need? -                     reporting verbs)
     Not much. (Not *No much. *)                               - I've noticed/observed that there are more
 not to/not -ing • Don't...                                      butterflies this year. (Not *remarked*)
- We soon learnt not to ask too many                             (= seen; notice is casual/involuntary; observe is
   questions. (Not *to not ask* *to don't ask*)                  formal/deliberate; remark = see is archaic)
- Tell them not to make a noise.                               notice • placard • sign • cartel
   (Not *to not make* *to don't make*)                         - A man appeared with a placard that said
   (not goes before a to-infinitive)                             'Repent!'. (Not *notice* *cartel*)
- / must apologize for not having written.                        (= a large notice which may be carried)
   (Not *for having not written*)                              - I know there's a meeting, because someone
    (not goes before the -ing form)                              pinned a notice about it on our notice
- Don't eat that! (Not *No eat* *Not eat*)                       board. (Not *placard* *sign* *cartel*)
   (Don't introduces a negative imperative)                       (= a written announcement)
notable • remarkable                                           - We can't turn left. There's a No Entry sign.
- Meeting you again was a remarkable                             (Not *notice* *placard* *cartel*)
    coincidence. (Not *notable*)                                 (= a notice providing directions, especially road
- Owen was a notable/remarkable athlete,                         signs and street signs)
    (notable = excellent; remarkable = unusual;                - The major oil companies constantly deny
    both can mean 'worth noting')                                they operate as a cartel.
                                                                 (= an association of companies working
note (down) • mark                                               together to control prices)
- Has he marked our work yet? (Not * noted*)
    (= corrected)                                              novel • short story • set book
- Her absence was noted. (Not *marked*)                        - 'Jane Eyre' is our set book for next year's
    (= seen and remembered)                                      English exam. (Not *novel*)
- The policeman carefully noted (down) what                      (= a book that is required reading for an
    the witness told him. (Not *marked*)                         examination)
    (noted = 'made a mental note'; noted down =                - James Joyce's 'The Dead' is the best short
    wrote)                                                       story in this collection. (Not *novel*)
- Who made these marks on the desk?                              (= a work of fiction of any length, but not as long as
  (Not *notes*)                                                  a novel; the term novella = a 'long short story' exists
  (= e.g. scratches)                                             but is little used)
- Josephine always gets high marks for her                     - Kingsley Amis's 'Lucky Jim' is one of the
  essays. (Not *notes*)                                          most successful first novels ever written.
  (= grades)                                                     (= a full-length work of fiction)
- / can lend you my notes. (Not *marks*)                       nowhere • not anywhere
  (= written records of e.g. lectures)                         - I've looked everywhere for my glasses but I
nothing • not anything                                           can't find them anywhere.
- They didn't teach me anything at school.                       (Not * can't find them nowhere*)
                                                               - I've looked everywhere for my glasses and
  (Not * didn't teach me nothing*)
                                                                 can find them nowhere.
- They taught me nothing at school.
                                                                 (emphasis on nowhere)
  (only one negative in any one clause)                          (only one negative in any one clause)
                                                               nuisance • pest • trouble
- You never notice what's going on around
  you. (Not *aren't ever noticing*)                            - People who take things from my desk and
  (stative use)                                                  never return them are a real nuisance/pest.
- Did you notice him leave/leaving ?                             (Not *a trouble*)
  (Not *notice him to leave*)                                    (referring to people who annoy; pest is even less
  (bare infinitive = the whole action, or -ing = part of the     complimentary than nuisance; both words describe
  action after notice someone)                                   people: note They are a nuisance; nuisances usually
                                                                 refers to

   specific individuals: I hope these two young             (to functions as a preposition + -ing here, not
   nuisances haven't tired you out.)                        as part of the infinitive)
- Constant roadworks everywhere are a
  nuisance. (Not *pest*)                                  observe
   (nuisance can also describe things, events)            - A good novelist observes everything and
- Restaurants should be visited regularly by                  misses nothing. (Not *is observing*)
  pest control officers. (Not *nuisance*)                     (stative use describing someone who is
  (pests are animals like mice, insects like                  always observant)
  cockroaches, that can e.g. carry disease)               - The police have been observing the building
- This letter from the tax inspector means one                for some time now.
  thing only: trouble!                                      (dynamic use = actively watching; keeping
   (= a source of worry, anxiety)                           under observation)
                                                          - 1 observed him climb/climbing the wall and
 number                                                     enter/entering the garden.
- Our village only numbers about 150 people.                (bare infinitive = the whole action, or -ing =
  (Not *is numbering*)                                      part of the action after observe someone)
   (stative use = that is the total)
- I'm numbering the pages of my manuscript.                occasion • bargain/good buy • second-hand •
  (dynamic use = giving a number to)                       opportunity
                                                          - I bought this suit in the sales. It was a real
 nurse • nanny                                                bargain/a good buy. (Not *an occasion*)
- As they both work, they employ a nanny to                   (i.e. it cost less than its true value)
  look after the baby. (Not *nurse*)                      - / didn't buy this new. It was second-hand.
  (nurse, as in children's nurse = nanny, is                  (Not *an occasion*)
  old-fashioned)                                             (= previously owned by someone else)
   My sister has just qualified as a nurse and got a      - You mustn't miss 'The Wizard of Oz' on TV
   job at our local hospital. (= a person, usually a          tonight. It's a wonderful opportunity to see it
   woman, who takes care of the sick; and note male           again. (Not *occasion*)
   nurse)                                                 - Our son's wedding was a really memorable
 nursery • kindergarten/nursery school • day nursery         (= an event)
- How old should children be before they can
  go to kindergarten/(a) nursery school?                  occasionally • very occasionally
  (Not *nursery* *baby school*)                           - We go to the theatre occasionally.
   (= a school for children aged 3-6)                     - We only go to the theatre very occasionally.
- Many working mothers need the services of                   (occasionally = sometimes; very
  a day nursery. (Not * kindergarten*)                        occasionally = rarely)
   (= a place for children of pre-school age; compare a   occupation • profession • job
   creche which is for babies)                            - I'm applying for a job in a bank.
- Good manners should be learnt/taught in                     (Not *an occupation* *a profession*)
  the nursery.                                                (job is the normal word to describe what
  (= when you are very young) (nursery is mainly              someone does for a living; it cannot always
  used metaphorically; the meaning a 'special room            be replaced by occupation)
  for young children in a private house' is old-          - This form asks for details about your age,
  fashioned)                                                  occupation/job, etc. (Not *profession*)
nylon • carrier bag                                           (occupation is the formal word for job and is
- Is that carrier bag strong enough for all                   used in limited contexts like form-filling)
  those things? (Not * nylon*)                            - After studying law, I entered the legal
- Nobody wears nylon shirts these days.                       profession. (Not *job* *occupation*)
  (= made of nylon)                                           (high-status work that requires special
                                                              training and education: law and medicine are
                   O                                          professions; lawyers and doctors are
                                                              professional people)
object to
- A lot of people object to smoking in public
  places. (Not *object to/against smoke*)

of • by                                                    - The cost of living is too high.
- It's a piece by Mozart. (Not *of*)                         (Not *The living's cost* *The living cost*,
  (= composed by)                                            though we can use the plural living costs) (if
   (compare written by, painted by, made by)                 we cannot form a compound, we use of)
- The event is described in a letter of                    - John is a friend of my father's/of yours.
  Mozart's. (Not *a letter of Mozart* *a letter              (Not *a friend of my father/of you*, but we
  of Mozarts'* *a letter by Mozart*)                         can say my father's friend, your friend)
   (= one of Mozart's letters: double genitive)              (of and 's together in 'double genitives')
of • off                                                   of course/indeed/naturally
- My car is off the road just now. (Not *of*)              - Is it hot outside? - Yes, it is, etc.
    (i.e. not on the road, not being used)                    (Not *Of course!* *Indeed!*)
- Turn the light off. (Not *of*)                              (we normally use a verb in short answers. Of
- London is north of Paris. (Not *off*)                       course!, Naturally! and Indeed! are so
    (direction)                                               emphatic that they can sound rude) Naturally,
                                                              I found it difficult at first. (preferable to Of
of • 's/s' (apostrophe s, s apostrophe)                       course, which is often over-used to introduce a
 's and s' normally only for people and some                  remark)
time references                                            - You will be home this evening, won't you? -
- Where's my mother's handbag ?                               Of course.
    (Not *the handbag of my mother*)                          (i.e. it goes without saying)
    ('s: possession by a person in the singular)
- We have redesigned the girls' uniforms.                  offer: on offer • offered
      (Not *the uniforms of the girls*)                    - No alcohol was offered at the party.
      (apostrophe (') added to the plural of                  (Not *on offer*)
      personal nouns)                                         (i.e. for people to accept)
- Amy fancies an actress's career/the career               - They've got 22-inch colour TVs on offer for
      of an actress. (Not *actress' career*)                  £250 at Randall's. (Not * offered*)
    ('s added to singular nouns ending in s)                  (= for sale, especially cheaply)
- Where shall I put the children's toys ?
      (Not *childrens'* *the toys of the children*)        office • agency
      ('s added to irregular plurals like men,             - Our company can't afford the services of a
      women and children)                                     big advertising agency. (Not *office*)
- Have you seen John's new car?                               (an agency provides a service, e.g. a travel
      (Not *the new car of John*)                             agency, an employment agency)
    (add 's to a name to show possession)                  - Reuters is a big news agency with offices all
- Have you seen Doris's new car?                              over the world.
    (Not *the new car of Doris* *Dori's car*) (add            (= rooms/buildings where work is done)
    's to a name to show possession, even if the name
    already ends in s: first names like Charles and
    Doris; surnames like Jones and Watts)                          officer
- It was a week's work.
(rather than 'the work of a week') ('s/s' for some
time references and fixed phrases like the earth's
surface) compound nouns or of for non-living
- Have you seen the car key? (Not *the car's
      key*; preferable to the key of the car)                                   office worker
- We land at Luton Airport. (Not *Luton's
      Airport* *the Airport of Luton*)                                officer • office worker
    (we don't normally use 's and s' for non-living        - Since we computerized our firm, we employ
    things; where possible, we prefer to use a               fewer office workers. (Not *officers*)
    compound noun rather than a construction with             (= people who work in offices)
    of: the table-leg, rather than the leg of the table)   - An army officer expects to be saluted.
                                                              (= a person in the armed forces, police force,
                                                              etc., in a position of authority)

 officious • obliging • unofficial                        - What do you think of this cake ? -I like it.
- They say he's retiring, but the news is still             (Not */ like* *I like one.*)
  unofficial. (Not *officious* *obliging*)                  (like is transitive and must have an object:
  (= not formally announced, not official)                  specific reference here, therefore it)
- The waiters in that restaurant are always so            - Would you like a biscuit? - Yes, I'd like one.
  helpful and obliging. (Not * officious*)                  (Not *I'd like.* *l'dlike it.*)
   (= willing to help)                                      (like is transitive and must have an object: non-
- I'm sure my visa renewal is being held up by              specific reference here, therefore one)
  some officious clerk.
   (= over-zealous in applying the rules;                 one • ones
   officious suggests the abuse of power by               - Which packet do you want? - The large one.
   minor officials; very uncomplimentary)                   (preferable to The large./The large packet.)
                                                            (one replaces a singular countable noun that
 offspring                                                  has just been mentioned)
- Her one offspring isn't like her at all.                - Which soap packets did you buy?- The large
- Her offspring are all terribly like her.                  ones. (Not *The larges.*; preferable to The
   (Not *offsprings*)                                       large./The large packets.)
    (offspring is followed by a singular verb to refer      (ones replaces a plural countable that has just
    to one and a plural verb to refer to more than one,     been mentioned: we never use an adjective as a
    but we cannot say *an offspring*; however,              noun form, so we have to say / want the red
    child/son/daughter/children are nearly always           ones, not *the reds*, etc.)
    preferable to refer to humans)                        - Don't use powdered milk. Use this fresh
                                                            (milk). (Not *this fresh one*)
 often • several times                                      (one/ones cannot replace an uncountable)
- She rang several times today. (Not * often*)
- We often sleep late on Sundays.                          one/ones: the one • that which • the ones •
   {several times for repeated actions; often for          those which
   habit)                                                 - Have you seen this dictionary ? - Is it the
                                                             one that has just been published?
 old • olden                                                 (preferable to Is it that which ... ?)
- In the old days/In olden times this was a               - Have you seen these dictionaries ? - Are
   prosperous town. (Not *In old time*)                      they the ones that have just been published?
   (in the old days and in olden times are fixed             (preferable to Are they those which ... ?; that
   phrases; olden refers to a remote time in the past,       which and those which are very formal)
   and is not much used these days)
 once • one time • at once                                - One's confidence is easily shaken.
- One time in a million, someone will praise                (possessive of one, formal for 'everyone's'
   your work. (Not *Once*)                                  and answering the question Whose ?)
~ The phone rang just once. (Not *one time*)              - When one's young, one's always being
- I wish you'd do as I tell you for once.                   asked to parties.
   (Not *for one time*)                                     (one is = a person is, answering the question
   (= on this one occasion, 'for a change')                 Who's/Who is?)
- The postman calls once a day.
   (Not *one time a day*)                                 only
   (once, twice, three times, etc.)                       - It's the only one (that) I like.
- Let's try once more/one time more/one                     (Not *It's the only (that) I like.*)
   more time.
                                                          only then
- Please answer the phone at once.
                                                          - / heard an ambulance in the distance. Only
   (= immediately)
                                                            then did I realize there 'd been an accident.
one • it                                                    (Not *Only then I realized*)
- Did that letter from America arrive? - Yes, it            (= it was not until that moment that...)
  came this morning. (Not *one*)                            (inversion after negative adverbs; formal and
  (specific reference: that letter -> it)                   emphatic. Compare normal word order: /
- Did a letter arrive for me ? - Yes, one arrived           realized only then there 'd been an accident;
  this morning. (Not *it*)                                  other combinations with only work in the
  (non-specific reference: a letter -> one)

   same way: Only after, Only if, Only by, Only            (Not *We are opppose(d) the plan* *We
   later, Only when, Only with, etc.)                      oppose to the plan*)
open: in the open • out of doors • outside               opposite (of/to)
- A large crowd had gathered outside the                 - They're building a supermarket opposite.
  building. (Not *out of doors the building*               (opposite as an adverb)
  * outside of the building*)                            - We have opposite points of view.
   (outside is a preposition here)                         (opposite as an adjective before a noun)
- It's a fine day. Let's sit in the open/out of          - He's the opposite of/to what I'd imagined,
  doors/outside.                                           (opposite as a noun, or in place of a noun,
  (adverbs = outside a building: the opposites are         followed by of or to)
  inside, indoors)                                       - The house opposite is up for sale.
                                                           (Not *the opposite house*)
open • on • alight                                          (opposite as an adjective after a noun for
- Is the tap on/the light on ?                              physical position)
  (Not *open* *alight*)                                  - There's a bank opposite my office.
  (taps, lights, the gas, the electricity can be on or     (Not * opposite from* *opposite of*)
  off)                                                     (opposite as a preposition; to is possible
- Are all the doors and windows open ?                     after opposite, but unnecessary)
  (Not *on*)
  (doors/windows are open or closed/shut)                 organism • body • the system • constitution •
- By the time the firefighters arrived, the               organization
  building was well and truly alight.                    - There's a limit to the amount of abuse the
  (= burning)                                              human body can take. (Not *organism*)
                                                         - Too much sugar is simply bad for the
open • turn on                                             system. (Not *the organism*)
- Turn on the tap/the light. (Not *Open*)                   (= the way the body works)
  (turn on for taps and switches)                        - You need a terrific constitution to be able to
- Please open the window/the door.                         walk 40 miles in a day.
  (open for windows and doors; note                         (Not *body* *system* *organism*)
  open/draw the curtains, not *turn on*)                    (= the condition of the body; we can refer to
opened • open                                               a weak/strong constitution)
- When we got home, we found that all the                - Plankton is made up of billions of tiny
  windows were open. (Not *opened*)                        organisms. (Not * organizations*)
  (= not closed: that's how we found them) (opened          (= living creatures)
  is not the adjectival equivalent of closed or shut:    - As one of the biggest Japanese companies,
  All the windows were closed/shut.)                       Toyota is a huge organization.
- When we got home, we found that all the                   (= a group of people with a shared purpose)
  windows had been opened.                               organize * arrange
  (= someone had opened them; opened here is a           - We've arranged to meet next Friday.
  past participle)                                         (Not *organized to meet*)
opportunity of/to • chance of/to                            (= planned and agreed)
- Book now, or you won't have a chance of                - We've arranged/organized a surprise party
  getting seats. (Not *an opportunity of*)                 for Uncle Matthew's eightieth birthday.
  (= 'a hope')                                              (= done everything that is necessary to ensure
- A holiday in the Alps would give us the                   that it is a success: arrange/organize + direct
  chance/opportunity to get fit.                            object)
- Our holiday gave us a chance/an                        orientate/orient (towards) • adapt (to)
  opportunity of getting fit.                            - Since we were taken over, we have had to
  (to or of+ -ing after chance/opportunity)                adapt (ourselves) to a new style of
- You never miss an opportunity to miss an                 management. (preferable to orientate to)
  opportunity. (Not *lose an opportunity*)                 (= learn how to deal with)
oppose • be opposed to                                   - A lot of our business is orientated (BrE)/
- We are opposed to/We oppose the plan to                  oriented (AmE) towards the US market.
  build a motorway in this beautiful area.                 (= directed towards)

 original • model                                             (over, opposite under = covering and
 - Swedish welfare systems are a model of                     sometimes touching)
   social concern. (Not *an original*)                    -   There was no room in the locker above my
   (= a perfect example)                                      seat. (preferable to over; not *on top of*)
 - The design of the Pompidou building in                     (above, opposite below = at a higher level,
   Paris is completely original. (Not *model*)                not touching)
   (= unlike anything else)                               -   My bedroom is over/above the kitchen.
 - The original of Botticelli's 'Primavera' is in             (Not *on top of the kitchen*)
   the Uffizi Gallery. (Not *model*)                          (both prepositions can be used to mean
   (i.e. it's not a copy)                                     'vertically at a higher level')
                                                          -   Details are given in the paragraph
  other • next                                                above/the above paragraph. (Not *over*)
- It was too wet to go climbing last weekend,                 (a convention in writing)
  so we've put it off till next weekend.                  -   Details are given over. See over.
    (Not *the next* *the other*)                              (= on the next page; formal written style)
- We went climbing the other day, but the                 -   Don't put anything on top of the TV please.
  weather was awful.                                          (Not *over the TV* *above the TV*)
    (= a few days ago)                                        (on top of, preposition = touching; compare /
 other • others • another                                     was standing on/at the top of the mountain,
- We're a long way ahead; let's wait for the                  where top is a noun)
  other people/the others to catch up with us.            overdone
  (Not *the others people* * others*)                     - The meat is overdone. (Not *too cooked*)
   (= the rest of the people)                               (i.e. it has been cooked too much; we often
- There must be another way of solving the                  use over as a prefix to suggest 'too much':
  problem. (Not *other way*)                                The pear is overripe. The bill is overdue.
   {= a different way)                                      Some native speakers, especially AmE, are
- There must be other ways of solving the                   using overly as an intensifier in e.g. We
  problem. (Not *others ways*)                              shouldn't be overly concerned instead of We
   (= some different ways)                                  shouldn't be over-concerned/too concerned;
                                                            overly should be avoided)
 out of • outside • out
- We ran out of the burning building and into             overhear • misunderstand • fail to hear
   the courtyard.                                         - It's important not to misunderstand what
   (Not *out the building* *out from the                    I'm telling you. (Not *overhear*)
  building*; out the building is heard,                     (= understand wrongly, which could lead to a
  especially in AmE, but is not universally                 misunderstanding = a cause for disagreement,
   acceptable)                                              complaint)
  (i.e. we were in/inside it and we went out of           - / couldn 't help overhearing what you just
  it; out of is the opposite of into and we use it          said. (Not * misunderstanding*)
  with movement verbs like go and walk)                     (= hearing by accident, or without the
- Mr Rayne is out of the office at the moment.              speaker's knowledge)
  He is out. (Not *out the office*)                       - I'm sorry. I failed to hear what you said.
  (i.e. he is not here; the opposite is in; out of is a     (= didn't hear)
  preposition and out is an adverb)
- Wait outside my office. Wait outside. (Not              overlook • look over • oversee
  *out of my office* *outside of my office*)              - Would you like to look over the house ?
  (i.e. be immediately outside: outside can be a            (Not *overlook* *oversee*)
  preposition or an adverb; as a preposition it             (= look round, have a view of)
  shows location, not direction)                          - I've been through your list carefully and I
- When are we going to paint the outside of                 hope I haven't overlooked anything.
  the house/paint the outside ?                             (Not *looked over* *overseen*)
  (outside can be a noun)                                   (= failed to notice)
                                                          - All his work needs to be overseen.
over • above • on top of                                    (= watched to make sure it's done properly)
- Keep the blankets over you.                             - My room overlooks/looks over the garden.
  (Not *above you* *on top of you*)                         (= has a view of)

  overtake • take over                                  painful • difficult
  - When does the new management take over?             - I find it difficult to understand that kind of
    (Not *overtake*)                                      behaviour. (Not *painful* *I have pain to*)
    (= take charge; when one company buys another         (= not easy)
    it makes a takeover)                                - My leg is still pretty painful after the
  - Allow plenty of room if you want to overtake          accident. (Not * difficult*)
    a cyclist. (Not *take over* *surpass*)                 (i.e. it causes me to feel pain)
    (= pass e.g. in a vehicle)                          - It was a difficult/painful decision.
                                                           (both possible with words like decision and
  packet • parcel • bundle                                 situation)
  - / know this parcel is large, but can I send it      panties/pants
                                                        - How much is this pair of panties/pants ?
                                                        - How much are these panties/pants ?
                                                          (Not *is this panty/is this pant*)
                                                          (panties ox pants: underwear for women;
                                                          pants: underwear for men; pants, not
                                                          *panties*, is also informal for trousers for
                                                          both sexes; plural form only)
    airmail please? (Not * packet* * bundle*)
    (parcel, BrE, package, AmE = a wrapped              papa • the Pope
    item or items to be posted; but note that a         - The Pope received a big welcome in Mexico
    packet can mean 'a small parcel')                     City. (Not *The Papa*)
  - Is a large packet of biscuits cheaper than          - Do you think your papa will be prepared to
    two small ones? (Not *parcel*)                        lend us his car for the evening?
     (= a container: a packet of cigarettes, etc.)         (= father, old-fashioned or precious)
  - We put out a bundle of papers for collection        paper • a piece/sheet of paper
    every week. (Not *packet* *parcel*)                 - Do you need a piece/sheet of paper/some
     (= papers, clothes, etc., tied or held together)     pieces/sheets of paper/some paper?
                                                          (Not *a paper* *some papers*) (paper in this sense
  pacify • calm (someone) down                            is uncountable; sheet is more precise than piece;
  - I'm in such a state, I just can't calm down.          compare a paper = a newspaper; a paper is also a
    (Not */ can't pacify* *I can't calm*)                 piece of writing such as an essay; the papers = the
     (= become less tense, relax)                         newspapers; papers = documents)
  - / had to pick up the baby to pacify him/calm
    him down/help him calm down.                        parents • relatives/relations • relationship (with) •
     (= cause to become quiet)                          relevant
  - The shareholders are so angry, there's              - / have a few relatives/relations in Australia.
    nothing the chairman can say to pacify                 (Not *parents*)
    them. (Not *calm them down*)                           (= members of my family who are related, but not
     (= 'meet their complaints')                           usually my mother or father)
                                                        - Eric's relationship with his boss has always
                                                           been difficult. (Not *relations* *relatives*
  - / need to see the dentist at once. I'm in awful        *relationship to*)
    pain. (Not *I pain.*)                                   (referring to how they get on together)
  - She's sleeping better now that she's out of         - Eric has good relations with everyone.
    pain. (Not * doesn't pain*)                            (= understanding and communication)
     (= feels/doesn't feel physical pain)               - / don't know what their relationship is.
  - / had such a pain (in the stomach) after               (e.g. of a couple: referring to how they feel
    eating oysters! (Not *made a pain* *had an             about each other)
    ache* *had a hurt*)                                 - My parents are over eighty but still in
     (= felt physical pain)                                excellent health.
                                                           (= mother and father)
                                                        - These statistics are out of date, so they're
                                                        not relevant. (Not *have no relationship*)
   136                                                  (= related to the subject)
 parking * parking space • car park                      - / have a particular reason for asking you for
- It was ages before I found a parking                     your telephone number.
  space/any parking. (Not *a parking*)                      (= special)
   (= a place or some space to leave a vehicle;
   parking is uncountable)                               party
- There's a large carpark attached to the                - We 're giving/having a party on Friday.
  supermarket. (Not *parking*)                             (Not * doing/making a party*)
   (= an open space or building in which many            pass (by/from) • cross
   vehicles may be left)                                 - Cross the road carefully. (Not *Pass*)
- Parking is expensive in central London.                  (= go across)
  (Not *The parking*)                                    - Would you mind posting this? You'll pass a
 part • depart                                             letterbox on your way to the station.
- The train departs at 4.15. (Not * parts*)                 (= go past)
  (depart is more formal than leave)                     - I pass (by) your house every morning on my
- I'm afraid the time has come for us to part!             way to work. (Not *passfrom*)
  (= be separated, not be together)                         (by = close to)
                                                         - Many traditions are passed from one
 part • place                                              generation to another.
- Florence - that's the place where I'd like to             (= transferred)
  live! (Not *part*)                                     - A month has passed/It's a month since I left
- That part of Italy round Siena is out of this            home. (Not *lt's passed a month*)
  world. (Not *place*)                                   pass • happen
   (= an area: part of a country)                        - / can't remember what happened just before
- Which part of/place in the brain controls                the crash. (Not *passed*)
  speech? (Not * place of* *part in*)                       (pass and come to pass = 'happen' are
 part • share                                               archaic)
- / think you've had more than your fair share           - Your sister passed me in her sports car,
  of this champagne. (Not *part*)                          driving at great speed.
- The design department is in a different part              (= overtook or went past)
  of the building. (Not *share*)
   (= an area lying within a larger area)                pass (through) • sieve • filter
                                                         - The flour's a bit lumpy. I think you should
 part • side                                                  sieve it before using it. (Not *pass* *filter*)
- Are you on my side or his? (Not *part*)                     (= put through a sieve, i.e. a fine net on a
  (to be on someone's side = to support)                      frame for use in the kitchen)
- You're always taking his side/part.                    - / think you should pass the flour through a
   (to take someone's side/part = to support)                 sieve before using it.
- For my part, I agree with everything you                 (pass something through something, also pass
  say. (Not *For my side/From my side*)                    a thread through a needle)
  (= speaking for myself)                                - We always filter our water before drinking
                                                           it. (Not *pass* *sieve*)
participate (in)/take part (in) • share                    (pass through a filter, i.e. pass through a
- We share your sorrow. (Not *participate                  device that removes solids or impurities from
  (in)* *take part (in)*, though share in your             liquids; note pass water, which is often
  sorrow would be possible)                                euphemistic for the formal verb urinate)
  (i.e. we join with you; partake of not *in*, is old-
  fashioned and should be avoided)                       pass the time • spend the time
- We all participated in/took part in raising            - / won't be in touch with you while I'm in
  money for children in need. (Not *shared*)               Berlin. I have to spend the time visiting
  (= co-operated with others)                              customers. (Not *pass the time*)
                                                           (spend time = use time constructively)
particular • private                                     - It was a very long flight, but we
- I'd like to learn English, but I can't afford            passed/spent the time playing pocket chess,
  private lessons. (Not *particular lessons*)              (pass time = make pleasurable use of time)
  (= lessons given to one person)

 passion (for) • affection (for)                                charge of a business, but isn't necessarily the owner;
- My affection for my old friends has not                       boss = a person with overall responsibility who may
   lessened over the years. (Not *passionfor*)                  employ a manager or managers)
   (= a liking for, a lasting love for)                      - He will always be remembered as a
- King Edward VIII gave up the throne                          philanthropist and patron of the arts.
   because of his passion for the woman he                     (= a supporter, especially with money)
   loved. (Not *affection for*)
   (= a very strong sexual attraction to)                    patron • pattern
                                                             - If you can read a paper pattern, you can
past • last                                                    make your own clothes. (Not *patron*)
- The first iron ships were built in the last                   (a dress pattern is usually made from paper and
  century. (Not *past*)                                         shows the shape of a garment)
  (= previous)                                               - Patrons are requested to park at the rear.
- We have seen unbelievable advances in                        (= customers at pubs and hotels; formal)
  technology in the past century.
  (= the one we are in now)                                  pause • stop
                                                             - The rain has stopped. (Not *paused*)
past • passed                                                  (= finally ended)
- You walked past me/You passed me without                   - / think it's time we paused for a break.
  even noticing me!                                            (= stopped for a short period)
  (both words are pronounced in the same way: /pa st/, but
  passed is the past tense of the verb pass; past is a       pay • pay for
  preposition: He walked past me or an adverb: He            - How much did you pay for that dress ? What
  walked past.)                                                 did you pay for it?
                                                             (Not *pay that dress* *pay it*) (pay for a product or a
pathetic • passive • operating loss                          service) -How much did you pay the plumber ? (Not
- Railways have suffered a huge operating                    *pay for the plumber*, though pay to the plumber
  loss recently. (Not Apathetic* *passive*)                  would be possible)
  (= a failure to break even or make a profit)               - How much did you pay for the repair?
- The accounting procedures of this company                       (Not *pay the repair*)
  are pathetic. (Not * passive*)                             - Let me pay you for the repair.
  (= hopeless, pitiable: for things or people)                    (Not *pay you the repair*)
- The chairman was forced to resign because                     (pay someone for something, but pay for an item or
  of his passive style of management.                           a service; pay money to someone)
  (= not active, allowing things to happen)                  - I paid the bill. (Not *paid for* *payed*)
                                                                  (pay a bill; pay - paid - paid; compare
pathos • passion • suffering                                      normal spelling of vowel + -y: played)
- Millions of pounds are needed to relieve the
                                                             - I paid more for this dress than I intended.
  suffering of people in famine areas.
                                                                  (Not * I paid more expensive*, though we
  (Not *pathos* *passion*) (= pain and                            can say pay dear(ly) = suffer for a mistake.
  distress)                                                       Compare: He paid a lot for that car and He
- There are many moments in Shakespeare's
                                                                  paid dear(ly)for his mistake.)
    play 'King Lear' which are full of pathos.
    (= a quality that makes us feel grief/pity)              peasant • country
- There's no end to my passion for travelling.               - We find country life rather quiet after living
    (Not *pathos*)                                             in town. (Not *peasant life*)
  (= a strong attraction to)                                    (country, noun modifier = not in the town)
                                                             - Peasant life must have been hard in the
patience                                                       fourteenth century.
- You have such patience!                                       (peasant, noun modifier = the life of
  (Not *such a patience*) (patience                            peasants)
  is uncountable)                                               (peasants live by growing food in traditional
patron • owner • manager • boss                                 ways for themselves and local markets:
- The owner/manager/boss of a company is                        Peasant farmers find it hard to compete
  responsible for the welfare of all the                        with big, industrialized farms.)
  employees. (Not *patron*)
- I want to see the manager. (Not *patron*)
  (manager = the person who manages/\s in

pensioner • boarder                                       (= official written permission; licence
- Both their children are boarders.                       combines with other words, e.g. a driving
  (= at a boarding school, where they receive             licence, a dog licence)
  accommodation and meals)                             - Andrew drove his mother's car without her
- Both my parents are pensioners.                        permission. (Not *permit* *licence*)
  (i.e. they no longer work, but receive a regular        (= agreement, consent; permission is always
  payment of money: a pension)                            uncountable)
                                                       - How much annual leave do you get when
people • peoples                                            you're in the army? (Not * permission*)
- People are having a difficult time in some of             (= holidays, especially in the army, etc.)
  the new democracies.                                 - / wish you wouldn't borrow my things
   (Not *The people is* *The peoples are*)                  without permission. (preferable to leave)
   (collective noun + plural verb)                          (= my letting you)
- The English-speaking people/peoples share
  a common language.                                   person • character
  {people = all the men, women and children;           - How many characters are there in the play?
  peoples = nations)                                     (Not *persons*)
                                                          (= the people in a play or story; the Latin
people • person • persons                                 phrase dramatis personae is archaic)
- Vera seems a nice person. (Not *people*)             - Are you the person who left a message on
  (= an individual, a human being)                       the answerphone? (Not * character*)
- Our neighbours are very nice people.                    (= someone)
  (Not *persons* *peoples*)
   (people is the plural of person to refer to human   personal • personnel
   beings in general)                                  - Who's the personnel manager in this
- The police keep a list of missing persons.                company? (Not * personal*)
  (we use persons in legal references)                      {personnel = all the people who work for a
                                                            company, hence personnel manager)
per • for                                              - My letter was answered by her personal
- / slept for hours. (Not *per hours*)                      assistant. (Not *personnel*)
- The rate is calculated on a per hour basis.               (personal refers to one person)
  (formal, official for 'by the hour'; hotel           - It's a personal matter which I don't want to
  tariffs quote per person per night)                       discuss. (Not *personnel*)
                                                          (= private)
- I don't perceive any improvement in the              personally • in person
  economy. (Not *I'm not perceiving*)                  - The President didn't attend the funeral in
   (= notice, formal; stative use only; no                 person/personally but was represented by
   progressive form)                                       the Vice-President.
- I could just perceive the outline of someone         - I wasn't personally involved in the row.
  approaching. (Not *to approach*)                         (Not *in person*)
   (= begin to see, become aware of)                     (= directly; in person and personally are
                                                         generally interchangeable: we use personally
permanent • perm                                         before an adjective or after e.g. be, and in
- She's just had a perm. (Not * done/made a              person after an ordinary verb)
  perm* *done/made a permanent*)
  {a perm = putting curls into straight hair has       perspective • prospect • view
  replaced permanent wave)                             - It's a job with very good prospects.
- This is now my permanent address.                      (Not * perspectives* *views*)
  (adjective = lasting a long time)                       (= outlook, future possibilities)
                                                       - There's an excellent view from my window.
permission • permit • licence • leave                       (Not *perspective*; prospect is old-
- You can't fish wherever you like. You need a              fashioned)
  permit. (Not *licence*)                              - It took centuries for artists to master
  (= official written permission; permit combines           perspective.
  with other words, e.g. a building permit, a             (= the technique in drawing which shows
  residence permit)                                       distance and depth)
- You can't get a driving licence till you're 17.
  (Not *permit* *permission*)

persuasion • conviction                                    - Who took the wedding photo(graph)s ?
- His religious convictions don't allow him to               (a photographer takes a photo(graph) with a
  eat meat. (Not *persuasions*)                              camera; photography is the art of taking and
- Persuasion by argument is the basis of                     producing photographs)
  democracy. (Not * Conviction*)
   (= making others accept your arguments)                 physician • physicist • doctor • medicine
- People of your persuasions/with your                     - Albert Einstein is the physicist who gave us
  convictions usually vote conservative,                     the Theory of Relativity. (Not *physician*)
  (persuasion(s) = belief(s) is very formal)               - Albert Schweitzer worked in Africa for years
                                                             as a physician/doctor. (Not * medicine*)
pest • plague                                                (physician is old-fashioned for doctor, we
- The plague wiped out millions of people in                 say a doctor practises medicine; compare
  the Middle Ages. (Not *The pest*)                          medicine man = tribal doctor)
   {= the infectious disease bubonic plague)               - It's hard to keep up with the advances that
- A plague of locusts is sweeping across                     have been made in modern medicine.
  central Africa. (Not *A pest of*)                           (= the study of disease and its treatment)
   (= an uncontrollable mass of e.g. insects)
- Restaurants should be visited regularly by               physics
  pest control officers. (Not *plague*)                    - You could argue that physics is more
  {pests = animals like mice, insects like                   important than any other subject.
  cockroaches, that can e.g. carry disease)                   (Not *(the) physics are* *(the) physic is*) (plural
                                                              form + singular verb to refer to the academic
phenomenon • phenomena                                        subject)
- You can see extraordinary natural
  phenomena in Iceland like hot springs and                pick • peck • sting • bite • prick • pinch
  lava flows. (Not *phenomenons*)                          - / offered the parrot something to eat and it
- A solar flare is a phenomenon which can be                 pecked my hand. (Not *picked* *stung*
  seen during an eclipse of the sun.                         *pricked* *pinched*, preferably not bit)
   (Not *a phenomena*)                                        (a bird pecks food, etc.)
   (= an unusual event, etc.; (a) phenomenon is            - / was stung by a wasp while I was down at
   singular; phenomena is plural)                            the beach. (Not *picked* *pecked*
                                                              * pricked* *pinched*, preferably not bitten) (wasps
philology • literature                                        and bees sting)
- If you're fond of poetry and drama, it's                 - Ow! I've been bitten by a mosquito! (Not
  hardly surprising you want to study                        *picked* *pecked* *pricked* *pinched*)
  literature at university. (Not *philology*)                (insects, etc., bite to draw blood, or sting to
- The brothers Grimm made important                          defend themselves)
  contributions to the study of philology in the           - I've pricked myself with a needle. (Not
  nineteenth century.                                        *pecked* *stung* *pinched* *picked*)
  (= the development of language, old-fashioned and          (= punctured the skin with a sharp point)
  now replaced by linguistics)
                                                           - Stop pinching me or I'll hit you!
phonetics                                                    (Not *pecking* *stinging* *pricking*)
- I'm sure the phonetics are wrong here.                     (= holding flesh between thumb and
  (Not *phonetics is* *phonetic is*)                         forefinger)
  (plural form + plural verb for phonetics,                - / wish you 'd stop picking your nose.
  colloquial for 'phonetic symbols')                         (= putting a (fore)finger up a nostril)
- Phonetics is an important part of our
  linguistics course. (Not *(the) phonetics                pick • pick up • pick out • cut
  are* *(the) phonetic is*)                                - I've picked up a bad cold. (Not * picked*)
   (plural form + singular verb to refer to the academic     (= caught)
   subject)                                                - The children are out in the field picking wild
                                                             flowers. (Not *picking up* *cutting*)
photograph • photographer • photography                       (= gathering; we pick flowers and fruit; but
- I'd love to work as a photographer.                         flowers from a florist are cut flowers)
  (Not *photograph*)                                       - She peeled an apple and cut it in two.
- I'm very interested in photography.                      - All these ties are so nice, I don't know which
  (Not *photograph*)                                         one to pick. (Not *pick up*)
                                                              (= choose)

- Look at these photos and see if you can pick
out my mother. (Not *pick* *pick up*)
   (= distinguish from the rest)
 pick-up • record player • gramophone                                                                    needle
- We hardly ever use our record player now
   that we've got a CD player. (Not *pick-up*;
   gramophone is now old-fashioned)
- My record player has a pick-up with a
  sapphire stylus.
   (= the 'arm' and the 'needle' (stylus) of a          pin • safety pin • needle
   record player)                                       - Babies' nappies that need safety pins are
                                                          now old-fashioned. (Not *pins* *needles*)
 picnic                                                   (= a pin bent so that it closes on itself,
- We're going on/for a picnic tomorrow.                   covering the sharp point)
  (go on = join an organized event; go for =            - I've marked the line of the hem with pins.
  for that purpose)                                       (Not *needles*)
- This is a good place to have a picnic.                  (= long thin needles with a rounded head)
  (Not *do/make a picnic*)                              - You need a special needle to sew through
   (also note the -ing form: / enjoy picnicking, not      leather. (Not *pin*)
   *picnicing*; and the regular past form: They           (= a thin metal pin with a hole at one end to
   picnicked by the side of the road.)                    take thread; used for sewing)
 piece/bit                                              pipe • tube • inner tube
- I ate a piece of/a bit of chocolate.                  - Water passes through this glass tube and
   (Not *a piece chocolate* *a bit chocolate*)            into the flask below. (Not *pipe*)
- This cake is nice. Have a piece/a bit.                  (a tube, generally made of metal, glass,
   (a piece of/a bit of a whole; a piece or a bit as      rubber or plastic, is short enough for an
   nouns on their own; a bit (of) is informal)            observer to see both ends)
- I feel a bit tired today.                             - Hot water is distributed through the house
   (a bit as an adverb of degree)                         by these copper pipes. (Not *tubes*)
 piece • each                                             (a pipe is a long tube through which water or
- The lemons are 20p each. (Not *the piece*)              gas can flow)
- I cut the cake and gave her a piece.                  - Most tyres are tubeless these days, but they
                                                          can be fitted with inner tubes if you require
 piece • work                                             them. (Not *pipes*)
- He collects works of art. (Not *pieces*)                (= rubber 'pipes' containing air and used
- This Moore sculpture is a late work/piece.              inside tyres on bicycles, cars, etc.)
   (we can use a piece on its own to mean a
   work of art, but we cannot say *a piece of           piquant • hot
   art*)                                                - You'll spoil the natural flavour of this dish if
- This is a fine piece of music/a fine work/a             you put hot sauce on it. (Not *piquant*)
   fine piece. (Not *a work of music*)                    (hot is more usual than piquant to refer to
   (we can use work on its own to describe a piece of     spicy sauce, etc.)
   music)                                               - It was a piquant situation when I
                                                          interviewed my former boss for a job.
pig • pork • hog                                          (= interesting, intriguing, amusing)
- We're having roast pork for Sunday lunch.
  (Not *pig* *hog*)                                     pistol • gun
  (= meat from a pig, uncountable)                      - You don't argue with someone who's armed
- Pigs (AmE Hogs) are intelligent animals.                with a pistol/gun.
  (Not *Porks*)                                            (pistol specifically refers to a revolver; gun is
  (pig is a general name for the male and female           the general word for all kinds of guns)
  animal; more precise terms are boar for a
  breeding male; hog for a castrated male for the       pity • sorrow • pain
  table; and sow for a female; we use pig in            - One always feels (a) particular sorrow at
  compound nouns to refer to leather: e.g. pigskin        the death of a child. (Not *pity* *pain*)
  gloves)                                                 (= a feeling of great sadness)

- Pity is not enough. What the refugees need is                - Someone's sitting in my place/seat.
  food and medicine. (Not *Sorrow*)                              (my place = where I should be sitting, e.g. on a plane,
   (= sympathy for someone's misfortune)                         in a theatre, at a table)
- Pain and suffering are part of the human
  condition. (Not *Pity*)                                      place * square
   (= physical or mental distress)                             - Which is the biggest square in London? -
                                                                  Trafalgar Square, I think. (Not * Place*)
pity • take pity on                                               (= an open space in a town or village; the
- / took pity on the poor beggar and gave him                     word circus = 'large, round open area' is
     some money. (Not * took pity for/with*)                      sometimes used with a similar meaning:
     (take pity on = feel sorry and try to help;                  Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Circus)
     have pity on = be merciful is only used in                - London is a very large place.
     old stories)                                                 (= a particular area, e.g. a town, a part of the country,
- You say you pity the homeless, but what are                     etc.)
     you doing about them ?                                    plane
   (pity refers to feeling and is not necessarily followed     - / don't really enjoy travelling by plane.
   by action)                                                    (Not *with the plane*)
place • job • position/post                                    plaque • plate • record • number plate
- It isn't easy to get a job these days.                       - Do you have any of the original Beatles
   (Not * place*, preferable to position, which
                                                                 records ? (Not *plaques* *plates*)
   is old-fashioned in this sense)
                                                                  (i.e. which can be played on a record player)
   (a job can mean employment in general)                      - My car needs new number plates.
- We're looking for someone with the right                       (Not *plaques*)
  experience for the position of general                          (= the plates, front and rear, on a vehicle which show
  manager. (Not *place*, preferable to job)                       its registration number)
  (one applies for a post; an employer fills a position or a   - A blue plaque on a London house means
   post: both words apply to 'white-collar' appointments)        that someone famous once lived there.
- Nick got a place at university when he was                      (= a plate, often decorative/commemorative)
  seventeen. (Not *position*)                                  - Plaque is the major cause of gum disease.
   (i.e. one place out of a number of places; a position is      (= a substance that forms on the teeth)
   the only one)                                               - Could you bring me a clean plate please ?
- I've just finished getting all the seats in                    (= a flat dish on which food is served)
  place/position for this afternoon's meeting.
  (= where they should be)                                     play • game • match
                                                               - Thousands of people packed the stadium to
place • room/space
                                                                  see the game/match. (Not *play*)
- There's not enough room/space in my office
                                                                  (= a contest between competing teams, e.g. football,
     for a two-metre desk. (Not *place*)
     (room and space refer to physical area here;                 or individuals, e.g. tennis)
     but note make room for somebody or                        - We've just had a very good game of chess/a
     something, not *make space*)                                 very good chess game/chess match.
- I think this is the best place for this picture.                (Not *a play* *a match of*)
     (= location, position)                                    - Which is your favourite Shakespeare play ?
- My room is only just large enough for a bed.                    (= a drama written for the stage or TV)
     (Not *place* *space*)                                     play with • play for
   (= e.g. a bedroom)                                          - Which team did Lineker play for?
- How long will Voyager be travelling in                          (Not *play with*)
  space? (Not *place* *room*)                                     (= 'belong to')
   (= beyond the earth's atmosphere)                           - / have to make time to play with my
place • seat • ticket                                             children.
- / managed to get a seat/ticket for                              (i.e. together with)
    tomorrow's match. (Not * place*)                           please • ask • beg
- Have a seat. (Not *place*)                                   - / begged/asked the traffic-cop not to book
                                                                 me for speeding and he just laughed. (Not
                                                                 *begged to/asked to + object* *pleased*)
                                                                 (beg = make a strong plea; ask is neutral)

- 'Oh, Joy! Andrew asked me to tell you he'd               police • policeman
   be late.' (Not *pleased me*)                            - A policeman waved us down just as we
- Vincent begged me to consider the matter                   came off the motorway. (Not *A police*)
   carefully. (Not *begged that I should*)                 - The police are getting a big pay rise.
 - It pleases me to say you've got the job. (= gives         (Not *The police is* *The polices are*)
    me pleasure; formal; the verb please never means         (collective noun + plural verb)
                                                           policy • politics
 please • thank you/thanks                                 - Harry's politics are slightly left of centre.
- - Let me hold the door open for you!                       (Not *politics is* *politic is*)
    - Thank you/Thanks.                                      (= political opinions; plural form + plural
    - (That's OK.)                                           verb for specific references)
   (in normal exchanges there is often no response         - Politics is one of the most important aspects
   to Thank you: not *Please*; a response only               of the study of history.
   needs to be given where the favour has been               (Not *(the) politics are* *(the) politic is*)
   something important. Informal responses are e.g.          (plural form + singular verb to refer to the
   That's OK, That's all right; more formal                  academic subject)
   responses are e.g. Not at all, Don't mention it, It's   - This sort of thing won't do. It's a matter of
   a pleasure. Not *lt's nothing.*)                          policy. (Not *politics*)
- 'Please tell Joy I'll be late.' Andrew said.               (= the official line, organizing principle)
   (please for polite requests)
                                                           polish • shine
 pleased with                                              - Your shoes have a nice shine. (Not *polish*)
- We're very pleased with the quality of his                 (i.e. they reflect light)
   work. (Not * pleased from/of*)                          - I'm going to give my shoes a good polish.
 plenty (of) • a lot (of)                                    (= clean, using shoe polish or shoe cream)
- We've got plenty of time before the train                - How often do you polish/shine your shoes?
   leaves. (Not *plenty time*)                             pollution
- How much time have we got before the train               - Pollution is killing many of Europe's lakes
   leaves? - Plenty/A lot.                                   and rivers. (Not *Pollutions are*)
   (Not * Plenty of* *A lot of.*)                            (pollution is uncountable)
- We've got plenty of time/a lot of time before
   the train leaves.                                       pool • pond • lake
   (plenty or a lot on their own, or plenty of/a lot of+   - He's sailing on the lake. (Not *pool/pond*)
   countable or uncountable noun)                            (= a large area of water with land all round)
- We haven't got a lot of time before the train            - There are some lovely ponds with swans in
   leaves. (Not * haven't got plenty of*)                    the middle of the park. (Not * pools*)
   (the use of plenty of in negative statements is           (a pond is a small, usually man-made area of
   uncommon)                                                 water for the use of animals or as a garden
poetry • poem                                              - Come for a swim in the pool.
- Let me read you a poem from this                           (a pool is a natural occurrence, e.g. a rock
  anthology. (Not *a poetry*)                                pool, unless it is a swimming pool)
- Let me read you some poetry/poems from                   - Your wet coat has made a pool of water on
  this anthology. (Not *some poetries*)                      the kitchen floor. (Not *pond* *lake*)
  (poetry is uncountable)                                    (= a small amount of liquid, a puddle)
point: there's no point                                    poor
- There's no point (in) trying to mend this                - She was rich when she was young, but she
  shirt. It's too old. (Not *to try*)                        died poor/a poor woman. (Not * a poor*)
point • stitch                                             - The Robinsons are poor/poor people.
- Bother! I've dropped a stitch. (Not *point*)               (Not *poors*)
  (stitches for sewing and knitting)                       - You poor thing! The poor girl!
- Who won ? -I did by two points.                            (Not * You poor!* *The poor!*)
  (points for scoring in ball games)                         (= unfortunate; we do not use poor on its
                                                             own to mean 'a poor person')

- The poor need help. (Not *The poors*)                - This lovely pot was a wedding present.
  (the + adjective for the group as a whole; the         (= a clay or ceramic dish, bowl, teapot, etc.)
  noun is poverty, not *poorness*)                     - That plant needs a bigger pot.
- The rich got richer and the poor got poorer.           (= a flowerpot, clay, plastic or ceramic)
  (Not *they poored*)
                                                       practicable * practical • practised
                                                       - Anne is so calm and practical. She does
                                                         everything well.
                                                          (Not *practicable* *practised*) (=
                                                          sensible, competent)
                                                       - I'm not at all practical. I can't even use a
                                                            hammer. (Not *practicable* *practised*)
portfolio                                                   (= good at making or repairing things)
                                                       - It's an excellent teaching course with plenty
                          handbag                           of opportunity for practical experience.
                                                            (Not *practicable* *practised*)
                                                          (i.e. actually doing things)
                                                       - It just isn't practicable/practical to go back
                                                         to work as soon as you've had a baby.
                                                         (Not *practised*)
                             purse                        (= capable of being done/sensible)
portfolio • wallet • purse • handbag                   - You'll be OK. Mrs Wilbur is an extremely
- I ' m sure I put the note in my wallet (AmE            practised (AmE practiced) osteopath.
    pocketbook). (Not *portfolio*)                       (i.e. she has had a lot of practice)
- My purse is bulging with pennies.                    practise • practice
      (Not *portfolio*)                                - Your tennis will improve with practice.
- Don't forget your handbag (AmE purse).               - I practise (AmE also practice) yoga daily.
- / need a portfolio for all these drawings.           - I practise (AmE also practice) lifting
      (= a large flat case for storing/carrying e.g.       weights every day. (Not *practise to lift*)
      drawings; an investment portfolio is a               (practice is the noun; practise is the verb:
      collection of business shares)                       especially in BrE)
positive • favourable                                  prayer(s)
- Reviews of Anita Brookner's latest novel             - Say a prayer for me. (Not *Tell* *Make*)
    have been extremely favourable/positive.             (say one's prayers)
    (favourable = expressing approval; positive
    = not negative)                                    precious • valuable • invaluable
- I'm positive I posted those letters.                 - His help was most valuable./His help was
    (= sure)                                             invaluable. (Not *precious*)
                                                         (= e.g. practical and useful)
possibility (of)                                       - / lost some precious/valuable jewellery,
- There's no possibility of arriving on time.            (precious = special or loved; valuable =
  (Not *possibility to arrive*)                          worth a lot of money or useful: valuable
  (only of+ -ing after possibility)                      advice. Invaluable is not the opposite of
possibly • perhaps                                       valuable, but means 'extremely useful')
- Don't worry. Perhaps you'll get a letter             precise • accurate • punctual • exact
    tomorrow. (preferable to possibly)                 - / haven't yet found a tyre pressure gauge
- / could possibly have put the letter in the            that is wholly accurate.
    rubbish bin by mistake.                              (Not *precise* *exact* *punctual*; the opposite is
- Possibly you're right, but I hate to think so.         inaccurate) (accurate = telling the truth, for watches,
    (perhaps = 'I'm not sure', especially when           instruments, etc., especially after a verb)
    we're offering an explanation; possibly = 'it's    - The witness gave us an accurate/precise
    possible', 'it might be so')                         account of what she had seen.
post: by post • in the post                              (accurate = true; precise = careful/exact)
- How long will this parcel take to get there
    by post? (Not *with the post* *in the post*)
- Your cheque's in the post/been sent by post.
    (in the post = on its way by post)
- There's some stew in the pot.
  (i.e. cooking pot = a saucepan)

- Your interview is at 4.30 and make sure                            *receipt*, which is archaic)
  you're punctual. (Not * exact* *accurate*)                        (= a set of instructions for cooking)
  (= on time; opposite: unpunctual)                               - You need a prescription from a doctor for
- I can't think of the exact/precise word to                        antibiotics. (Not *recipe* *receipt*)
  describe my feelings.                                             (= a written order for medicine by a doctor)
   (Not *accurate* *punctual*)                                    - We can't accept returned goods without a
   (the opposites are inexact, imprecise)                           receipt. (Not * prescription* *recipe*)
- This is an accurate/exact copy of the                              (= a written proof of purchase)
  original painting.
   (= true and precise)                                           present • presents
                                                                  - Roy, please make a list of those present at
 prefer                                                             the meeting. (Not *the presents*)
- Which one do you prefer?                                           (= the people who were there)
   (Not *are you preferring* *do you like*) (stative use          - They've got some lovely wedding presents.
   only; no progressive form)                                       (= gifts; singular: present)
- 1 prefer waiting/to wait here.
   (very little difference in meaning: I prefer waiting =         presently • at present/just now • soon
   I'm waiting: I prefer doing that; / prefer to wait = so I'll   - We have no news about it at present/just
   wait)                                                               now. (presently = 'now' in AmE only)
- I prefer swimming to cycling./I prefer                          - Just give me a moment. I'll be with you
  swimming rather than cycling.                                        presently. (Not *at present/just now*)
                                                                       (= soon, in a moment; becoming dated)
   (Not *l prefer ... than* *I prefer ...from*)
- I prefer to swim rather than (to) cycle.                        - /'// soon know the result of my test.
  (Not *1 prefer to swim to cycle.*)                                (= in the near future, but not necessarily in the
  {rather than after prefer + to)                                   immediate future, tike presently)
- Would you prefer fish? - Yes, I'd prefer                        - At present we're staying with our son.
  that. (Not * I'd prefer.*)                                        (= currently)
   (prefer is transitive)                                          preservative • condom • prophylactic •
- Would you prefer to wait? - Yes, I'd prefer                      contraceptive
  to. (Not*I'd prefer.*)                                          - People can limit the spread of AIDS if they
 premium • prize/award                                               use condoms.
- John has won lots of prizes/awards for his                         (Not *preservatives* * prophylactics*; note the
   film. (Not *premiums*)                                            brand name durex = a condom/condoms is in
   (prize and award are often used in the same way; a                common use in BrE and does not mean sellotape, as
   prize is often an object; an award is recognition and             it does in Australian English, or AmE scotch tape =
   often money as well; note to award a prize, not *                 clear sticky tape)
   award with*)                                                   - If you want to avoid flu this winter, a flu jab
- Insurance premiums go up every year.                               is the only prophylactic.
   (= charges)                                                       (= something that prevents disease; the terms
- Good managers are at a premium.                                    prophylactic and protective to mean condom are old-
   (= hard to obtain)                                                fashioned or affected)
                                                                  - Food manufacturers are required by law to
preoccupied • worried • upset                                        state which preservatives they use.
- We were very worried/upset when you didn't                         (= substances that make food last)
  telephone us. (Not * preoccupied*)                              - The condom is one of many forms of
  (if you are worried, you keep thinking about a                     contraceptive. (Not * prophylactic*)
  problem; if you are upset you are unhappy because                  (contraceptives = birth control devices)
  something bad has happened)
                                                                  press • squeeze
- I've been so preoccupied with moving house,
  I've neglected nearly everything else.                          - Squeeze this lemon please. (Not * Press*)
  (= absorbed, busy with one thing; a person who is               - This is the time of the year when the wine-
  preoccupied may also be worried, but not necessarily)               growers press their grapes.
                                                                    (squeeze by hand; press by machine as in a wine-
prescription • recipe • receipt                                     press)
- There's a very nice recipe for moussaka in                      - She pressed/squeezed my hand warmly.
  today's paper. (Not * prescription*                               (= 'grasped my hand firmly when we shook hands')

  press/push • ring                                   - She'll probably arrive any day now.
- I'll ring the bell/the front door bell again.
  (Not *press*)                                       problem
- Can you press/push that button for me               - My son's having a problem (in) finding
  please ? It will ring a bell upstairs.                   work. (Not * having a problem to find*)
  (ring a bell; but press/push a button)              - It's a problem to find/finding work.
- Why don't you ring them ? (Not * press*)                 (the to-infinitive is possible after be + a
  (= phone)                                                problem)
pretty • prettily                                     proceed • advance • precede
- Reg is sitting pretty now his aunt's died.          - Advance two squares. (Not *Proceed*)
  (be sitting pretty = be well off)                       (= move forward in a board game)
- The little girl smiled prettily at the camera.      - We were proceeding towards Rome when
  (-ly to describe an action)                             the accident happened. (Not *advancing*)
                                                          (= going forward; formal/legal)
prevent (from) • avoid                                - We had to cut down the undergrowth before
- Avoid travelling during the rush hour. (Not             we could advance/proceed any further.
  * Prevent/Avoid from travelling/to travel*)             (similar meanings here)
- 1 can't prevent you (from)/prevent your             - The contents list in a book should precede
  going if you want to. (Not *avoid*)                     the preface. (Not *proceed* *advance*)
priceless • valueless • worthless                         (= go before)
- This isn't a Rembrandt. It's valueless/             process • trial
  worthless. (Not *priceless*)                        - The trial lasted a week. (Not *process*)
  (= without any value)                                    (= a trial in a court of law)
- Rembrandt's 'Night Watch' is priceless.             - The process of the law is slow and painful.
  (= 'beyond price', too valuable to be                    (Not * trial*)
  measured)                                              (= all the stages, the procedure)
principle • principal                                 - Learning Japanese was a slow process.
- The first violin is the principal musician in         (= a sequence of actions)
  an orchestra. (Not *principle*)                     product • products • produce • production
  (adjective = chief, leading)                        - We grow most of our own produce in the
- Miss Hargreaves has just been appointed                 garden. (Not *product* *products*)
  principal of the college. (Not * principle*)            (uncountable noun = fruit, vegetables, etc.)
  (noun = Head)                                       - This Olivetti computer is an Italian product.
- A good principle is not to borrow money you             (Not * produce*)
  can't repay. (Not * principal*)                       (countable noun = an item made for sale)
   (= a basic rule; principle is never an             - There is no end to the demand for consumer
   adjective)                                           products. (Not * produce*)
print • type • stamp                                    (= usually things that are made for sale)
- I'll print those letters for you.                   - We export all we produce. (Not * product*)
  (i.e. on a printer)                                     (verb = grow or make; product is a noun)
- /'// type those letters for you.                    - We'll earn more if we increase production.
  (i.e. on a keyboard)                                    (Not * produce*)
- Have they stamped your passport?                      (= the amount we produce)
  (= marked it with a rubber stamp)                   professor • teacher
probable (that) • probably • likely (to)              - Mr Jones was a teacher of History before he
- It's likely to rain/It's likely that it will rain     became a headmaster. (Not *professor*)
  tomorrow. (Not *It's probable to*)                    (a teacher teaches in a school)
- It's probable that it will rain tomorrow.           - He was Professor of Physics and head of his
  (probable + that, not to)                             university department at the age of 26.
- It will probably rain soon. (Not *likely*)            (a professor, BrE, has the highest position in a
- She's likely to arrive any day now.                   university department, or AmE, teaches at a
                                                        university; we do not address a teacher as *Mr
   (Not *She's probable/likely that she will*) (Not
   probable with a personal subject)                    Teacher*: we address a man as Mr + surname or as
                                                        Sir, and a woman as Miss/Mrs

  + surname; we address a professor, male or                (progressive = continuous, steady; gradual =
  female, as Professor + surname, not *Mr/Mrs               little by little)
  Professor*)                                             - Some people say that reading standards
                                                            have declined because of progressive
 profile • tread                                            teaching methods. (Not * gradual*)
- What's the minimum tread which the law                    (= 'modern', reflecting new thinking)
  allows on tyres? (Not *profile*)
   (= the depth of pattern on a tyre; but we can say      promise
   low/high profile tyres to refer to the general         - If you've made a promise you should keep it.
   shape of tyres viewed from the side)                     (Not *done a promise*)
- I've got a photo of you here in profile.                - Promise to be back before midnight.
  (= seen from the side)                                  - Promise me to be back before midnight.
- There's a profile of the new Minister of                  (Not *Promise to me*)
  Education in today's paper.                             - Promise (me) (that) you will be back before
   (= an account, outline description)                      midnight.
 profit                                                     (promise (me) + to or that)
- Stores haven't made as much profit as usual             pronounce • say • call
  this year. (Not *done ... profit*)                      - What do you call this in English ?
- We sold our car at a profit.                              (Not * What do you say* *How do you say*)
  (Not *with a profit*)                                     (naming things)
 programme • channel                                      - How do you say 'Merci' in English?
- Which channel is it on? - It's on Channel 2.              (= 'What is the correct equivalent?')
  (Not *2nd Programme*, etc.)                             - How do you pronounce/say' cough'?
   (= a TV channel)                                         (= 'What is the correct pronunciation!')
- Which TV programme do you like best? -I                 pronunciation • accent
  like 'Neighbours'. (Not * channel*)                     - He spoke fluent English with a strong
 programme • syllabus • curriculum •                        German accent. (Not * pronunciation*)
 program                                                    (accent refers to the way we speak a
- There's a new syllabus for next year's                    language, which can show our origin)
  Certificate in Advanced English.                        - The pronunciation of the word 'ship' is quite
  (Not *programme* *curriculum*)                            different from 'sheep'. (Not * accent*; note
   (a syllabus is set in one subject either by a school     spelling: not * pronunciation*)
   or by an examination board)                              (= the way we say particular words)
- Art isn't on our school curriculum.                     proof (of) • receipt
  (a school curriculum is the general                     - We can't accept returned goods without a
  programme in all subjects)                                receipt. (Not *proof*)
- What's your programme for today?                          (= the written statement you receive when you
  (= a sequence of planned activities)                      pay a bill)
- This concert programme (BrE)/program                    - Do you have proof of purchase? (Not *for*)
  (AmE) is very expensive.                                - We suspect he's been stealing, but we
   (= information booklet)                                  haven't enough proof.
- Have you seen Microsoft's new                             (= something that shows what is true)
  wordprocessing program? (AmE and BrE)
  (= computer program)                                    proper • own
                                                          - I'd love to have my own room/a room of my
progress                                                    own. (Not *my proper room* *mine own
- Kevin has made great progress since he                    room* *an own room*)
  joined our class. (Not *a progress*                       (= solely for my use; own after my, your, etc.,
  *progresses* *done progress*)                             emphasizes the idea of possession)
  (progress is uncountable)                               - Don't use my comb. Use your own.
progressive • gradual                                       (Not *your own one* *your proper one*)
- Some people say there's been a gradual/                 - I translated the poem into Italian on my
  progressive decline in reading standards in               own/by myself. (Not *by my own*)
  the past ten years.                                       (= alone, unaided)

- What matters is who you are, not what you                   paper' in e.g. a volume, but it is not used in English
  own. (Not *are owning*)                                     to refer to official or legal paperwork, exams, etc.)
   (stative use only)
- It took me ages to learn the proper way to               proud of • (take) pride in
  use chopsticks.                                          - He's so proud of his sons. (Not *for/with*)
   (= correct)                                             - He takes pride in his sons. (Not * for/of*)

propose • suggest • offer                                  prove
- / suggest (that) this is the right time.                 - This receipt proves that I bought these
  (Not *propose*)                                            goods here. (Not *is proving*)
   (suggest = put forward an idea)                           (stative use = shows)
- I propose/suggest (that) we act immediately.             - We've been trying to sell our house, but it's
  (Not */ propose/suggest us to act*)                        proving very difficult.
  (propose = put forward a plan; suggest = put               (dynamic use = showing itself to be)
  forward an idea)                                         - Am I expected to prove my ability to you ?
- / suggested/proposed a figure of £5,000.                   (Not *prove you my ability* *prove to you
  (= put it up as an idea/a plan)                            my ability*)
- I offered a sum of £5,000.                               prove • test • try • try on • experiment
   (= named it as a sum for acceptance or refusal)         - We test aerodynamic vehicles in these
prospect • prospectus • brochure                             tunnels. (Not *prove* *try (on)*)
- I've sent for a prospectus about language                   (= give tests to measure performance)
  courses. (Not *prospect* *brochure*)                     - Try this jam I've just made. (Not * Prove*
   (= a document published by schools and                    *Test* *Try on* * Experiment*)
   companies describing their activities)                    (= taste)
- I've sent for a brochure about skiing                    - This coat's too tight. Can I try on the larger
  holidays. (Not *prospectus* *prospect*)                    size please? (Not * experiment* *prove*)
  (= a document that advertises and provides                 (= put it on to see if it fits, etc.)
  information about holidays, hotels, etc.)                - Many people object on moral grounds to
- Is there any prospect they'll ever find a cure             experimenting on live animals.
  for the common cold?                                       (= conducting tests)
   (= future possibility)                                  - This video film proves he was a thief.
                                                             (= shows, is evidence that)
protest • complain • object
                                                           prune • plum • damask • damson
- We all complained/protested/objected when
                                                           - Don't those fresh ripe plums look gorgeous!
  the boss suggested we should work Sundays.
  (complain = express dissatisfaction; protest               (Not *prunes* *damasks*)
  = express dissatisfaction very strongly;                   (plums are fresh fruit)
                                                           - You will need to soak those prunes in water
  object = be against)
                                                             before you cook them.
- Whenever we go on holiday, Eric complains
                                                             (prunes are dried plums)
  about the food. (Not * complains for/of*)
  (complain about something, but complain of               - You don't see damask tablecloths on dining
                                                             tables very often these days.
  pain/illness: He's complaining of earache.)
                                                             (= thick cloth, usually white, with a woven pattern of
- No one believed me when I protested I was
                                                             the same colour)
  innocent. (Not *complained* *objected*)
                                                           - Do you like damson jam ?
  (= claimed loudly)
                                                             (= a small dark purple plum for cooking)
protocol • application • sheet of (exam) paper
- You have to send three copies of this                    public: the public • audience
  application to the council. (Not *protocol*)             - Two unknown comedians told jokes to warm
- Can I have another sheet of paper please ?                 up the audience before the star of the show
  (Not *protocol*)                                           appeared. (Not * the public* * the publics*)
   (e.g. while taking an exam)                               (= the people watching a show, e.g. a play, a
- What's the protocol for registering                        film; or attending a concert)
  complaints between governments?                          - The new art gallery has generally pleased
  (= the rules of correct diplomatic procedure; protocol     the public. (Not *the publics*)
  literally means 'the first sheet of

- The public is/are flocking to the show.              an adult studying under someone famous:
  (Not *The publics is* *The publics are*)             Beethoven had been Haydn's pupil.)
  {the public = people in general is followed        - Scholars are still trying to interpret the
  by a singular or plural verb)                        Dead Sea Scrolls.
                                                       (= people who have made a special study or a
 publicity • advertising • propaganda                  subject; scholar to describe a child at school is
- There's a lot of clever advertising on TV.           now old-fashioned)
  (Not * publicity* * propaganda*)
   (= making something known in order to sell it)    puree • mashed potato(es)/mash
- The royal divorce received a lot of publicity.     - We 're having sausages and mashed
  (Not *advertising* *propaganda*)                     potato(es)/mash for supper. (Not *puree*)
   (= making something known to the public)            (mash: informal BrE for mashed potato(es))
- Propaganda against the enemy is an                 - The baby loves apple puree./'pjusrei/
  important weapon in time of war.                      (= mashed fruit, or vegetables other than
   (= information, usually political and often          potatoes)
   false)                                            purpose: on purpose * purposely
 publicly • in public                                - / had avoided going by car on purpose.
- / hate changing into my bathing costume in         - I had purposely avoided going by car.
  public. (Not *publicly*)                             (both on purpose and purposely mean
   (i.e. where other people can see me)                'deliberately'; the difference is one of
- The date of the wedding hasn't yet been              position. We also use purpose in front of a
  announced publicly. (Not *in public*)                past participle to mean 'for that purpose':
   (= for everyone to know; note the spelling: not     purpose-built, purpose-designed)
   *publically*)                                     put • keep
 pudding • caramel custard • flan •                  - Most people believe that the safest place to
 blancmange                                            keep/put their money is in a bank.
- Caramel custard made with fresh eggs is            - I never put money on horses. (Not *keep*)
  lovely. (Not *Pudding*)                              (keep = hold; put = place, used here in the
   (= a baked dessert made with eggs, cream and        sense of 'bet')
   burnt sugar)                                      put • prepare • lay
- Can you give me the recipe for this (fruit)        - Please lay (or set) the table.
  flan? (Not * pudding*)                               (Not *put* *prepare*)
   (= an open case of cake or pastry                    (lay the table is a fixed phrase)
   filled/topped with e.g. fruit)                    - Please put/lay these things on the table.
- / used to hate blancmange when I was a               (= place)
  child. (Not *pudding*)
                                                     - I'll prepare the vegetables.
  (= a dessert made from cornflour, sugar and
                                                        (i.e. get them ready for cooking or eating)
- What's for pudding?                                put • put in/add
  (the general term for any kind of dessert)         - Put in/Add the salt. (Not *Put the salt.*)
- Treacle pudding is a rare luxury!                  - Where did I put my glasses ?
  (pudding is also used to describe any dish,          (= place)
  sweet or savoury, that is steamed in a basin,
  e.g. Christmas pudding, steak and kidney            put on • wear • dressed in • have on •
  pudding, steamed pudding)                           get dressed • dress
                                                     - He left home dressed in/wearing his best
pupil • student • scholar                              suit. (Not *putting on* *getting dressed*)
- You expect university students to have             - John had his best suit on this morning,
  radical political views. (Not *pupils*)              (wear/be dressed in/have on = actually have
- Do the pupils in this school have to wear            the clothes on your body)
  uniforms? (preferable to students)                 - Wait a minute! I'm just putting on my coat/
  (a student has left school and studies at an         putting my coat on. (Not *wearing*
  institution of higher learning; a pupil is at        *dressing in/getting dressed in/having on*)
  school; but we can also use pupil to describe        (= in the act of getting into clothes)

- Hang on a minute! I'm just getting dressed.             - We must move quickly. (Not *move quick*)
   (get dressed is the general phrase to describe           (only -ly to mean 'rapidly/in a quick way')
   the act of putting on your clothes)
- How do people dress in Saudi Arabia ?                   quiet • peaceful • calm
   (Not *wear*)                                           - The sea was very calm/quiet this morning.
                                                            (Not *peaceful*)
puzzle • game • riddle                                      (calm = not moving; quiet = not noisy)
- Some children hate parties where they have              - Nobody panicked; everyone stayed calm and
     to play competitive games. (Not *puzzles*)             obeyed the police. (Not * quiet* *peaceful*)
- The airline provides toys and books of                    (= steady, not alarmed)
     puzzles to keep children happy.                      - The house is very quiet/peaceful now that
   (Not * games* * riddles*)                                the school holidays are over. (Not *calm*)
- What's the answer to this riddle ?                        (quiet = not noisy; peaceful = untroubled,
  (Not *puzzle*)                                            not used for someone's state of mind)
   (= a difficult or amusing question)
   (you play a game, solve a puzzle or answer a           quiet • quietly
   riddle)                                                - The children went very quiet when the show
                                                            began. (Not *went quietly*)
                           Q                                (quiet is an adjective; we often use go meaning
                                                            become + adjective; compare Sit quiet for a moment
quarrel • argue • fight                                     = be quiet)
- Let's not argue about who's going to pay the            - Now children, go quietly to your classes. No
    bill. (preferable to quarrel/fight)                     talking on the way. (Not *go quiet*)
- Some families seem to spend a lot of time                 (quietly is an adverb of manner)
  (you can argue without feeling angry; quarrelling       quiet • quite
  always implies anger; fighting suggests anger: verbal   - I'm quite happy at my new school.
  and/or physical)                                          (Not *quiet*)
- They had a terrible quarrel/fight/argument.             - Please be quiet. (Not * quite*)
  (Not *did a quarrel*, etc.)                               (commonly confused pronunciation and
                                                            spelling for quiet and quite)
- Can I ask a question ? (Not *do/make*)                  quietly • gradually • slowly
- Can I put a question to the panel?                      - Go upstairs quietly.
    (put a question to someone, not *put                    (Not * slowly* or *slowly slowly*) (=
    someone a question*)                                    without making a noise)
- The exam paper was very difficult. I couldn't           - We introduced the changes gradually.
    answer/couldn't do all the questions.                   (Not * slowly* or * slowly slowly*)
  (Not *make the questions*)                                (= little by little)
                                                          - I'm walking slowly because I'm tired.
question • matter • affair • problem                        (= not fast)
- The quarrel was over, and the whole affair/
    matter was soon forgotten. (Not * question*)          quite
    (i.e. the whole business/what had happened)           - Professor Hogg's lecture was quite good,
- How we make this decision is a crucial                    but not up to his usual standard.
    matter/question. (Not *affair*)                         (quite = less than the highest degree) (quite +
  (= something that needs to be decided)                    gradable words like good, pretty, etc.; the meaning
- What's the matter? Is something the matter?               depends on stress: a falling tone on the word after
    (Not *Do you have a problem?*)                          quite means 'less than the highest degree'; a rising
- Is something the matter? - Yes, the problem               tone means 'more than expected')
    is I'm away next week. (Not *the matter is*)          - This sauce is quite perfect.
                                                          - Your stamina is quite amazing!
quick • quickly                                             (quite + ungradable words like dead, unique, lost,
- Come quick/quickly. There's been an                       etc., or 'strong' words like amazing, astonishing =
  accident.                                                 completely)
  (quick for sudden actions that are over in a
  flash: jump in quick, shut it quick)

                                                    - When the management raised ticket prices,
                           R                          attendance dropped. (Not *rised* *rose*)
 race • breed                                         (raise - raised - raised is transitive)
- The chihuahua is a very unusual breed of          raisins/currants/sultanas • grapes
  dog. (Not *race*)                                 - When I was a student, I worked picking
   (breed for animals and plants = type)              grapes in the south of France.
- Who can say what the future will be for the         (Not * raisins/currants/sultanas*)
  whole of the human race? (Not * breed*)           - A Christmas cake is full of nuts, raisins,
  (the human race for the whole of humanity)          currants and sultanas.
- Good race relations are essential in mixed          (= dried grapes; raisins is the general word for
  societies. (Not *breed*)                            dried grapes, currants are small dried grapes
   (= relating to different human races)              and sultanas are larger than currants)
 raise • rise (nouns)                               rang/rung • ring/ringed
- There's been a big rise in car thefts in our      - I've rung the bell. (Not *I've rang*)
  area. (Not *raise*)                               - The bell rang a moment ago. (Not *rung*)
- I've put in for a rise (BrE)/raise (AmE).             (ring - rang - rung; irregular verb)
  (= an increase in salary)                         - I've ringed some advertisements that might
- I've had a pay rise. (Not *pay raise*)                interest you. (Not *l've rung*)
 raise • rise • rouse • arouse (present)              (ring - ringed - ringed, regular verb, = put a
- What time does the sun rise ?                       circle round)
  (Not *raise* *rouse*)                             rare • scarce • unusual
   (= come up)                                      - Fresh vegetables are scarce because of the
- We rise at 6 a.m. (Not *raise* *rouse*)             drought. (Not *rare*)
  (rise = get up is unusual and rather formal)        (= hard to obtain)
  (rise - rose - have risen is intransitive)        - The preservation of rare species of birds
- Will those who agree with me please raise            and animals concerns us all. (Not * scarce*)
  their hands? (Not *rise* * rouse*)                   (= extremely uncommon)
   (= put them up)                                  - Snow is extremely unusual/rare at this time
- Increased Sales Tax will raise prices.               of the year. (Not * scarce*)
  (Not *rise* * rouse*)                               (= uncommon)
   (= make them go up)
   (raise - raised - raised is transitive)          rate • instalment
- If we're going to set out so early, you'll have   - We bought the car on instalments.
  to rouse us all at 6 in the morning.                (Not *by rate*)
   (Not *raise* *rise* *arouse*)                      (= by separate payments over a period;
   (= thoroughly disturb, make us get up)             alternative spelling: installments)
- We don't want to arouse their suspicions          - What's the rate of interest if I pay by
  that we might be interested in buying their         instalments?
  business. (Not * rouse* * raise* *rise*)            (= charge on a scale)
  (arouse means 'waken', 'excite'; it often         rather/sooner
  combines with abstract nouns: arouse              - I'd rather/sooner work on the land than
  concern, interest, suspicion, etc.)                 work in a factory. (Not * rather/sooner to
raised • risen (past participles)                     work ... than to work*)
- You're still in bed and the sun has already         (bare infinitive after would rather/sooner and
  risen! (Not * raised*)                              than)
  (rise - rose - have risen is intransitive)        reach • arrive at/in • come
- Increased Sales Tax has raised prices all         - What time did you arrive in London ?
  round. (Not *risen*)                              - What time did you reach London ? (Not
  (raise - raised - raised is transitive)              *reach to/in London* *arrive to* *rich*)
raised • rose (past tense)                             (reach, which is not followed by a
- We stood on the cliff and watched as the sun         preposition, = arrive after a journey; arrive
  rose in all its glory. (Not * raised*)               + at a point or in an area, depending on your
  (rise - rose - have risen is intransitive)           viewpoint: I arrived at/in Rome; arrive may
                                                       be used on its own: When did you arrive?)
- When you reach my age, you 'II be an expert.            - Our journey across the desert was a real
  (Not * reach to*; preferable to arrive at)                nightmare. (preferable to true)
  (reach for contexts other than journeys)                  (real as an intensifier = complete)
- Can you get that book down for me please ? I
  can't reach it/reach. (Not *arrive at it*)              realize • understand • bring about
  (= succeed in touching it)                              - / don't think I understand the meaning of the
- Waiter! - I'm coming! (Not *I'm arriving!*)               sentence. (Not * realize*)
                                                             (= comprehend)
read (about)                                              - / wandered into the wrong cloakroom
- Your essay reads well. (Not *is reading*)                 without realizing it. (Not * understanding*)
    (stative use: i.e. it is good to read)                  (= becoming aware of)
- I'm reading your essay. (dynamic use)                   - Everybody realizes/understands how vital it
- Have you read about the floods in Texas?                  is to have clean drinking water.
    (Not *read for*)                                        (sometimes interchangeable)
- I read /ri:d/ the papers every day.                     - A long cold winter could bring about a rise
- Have you read /red/ this morning's paper? (Not            in energy prices. (Not * realize*)
    */ri:d/*) (pronunciation of present and past forms)     (= cause)
                                                          - / hope you realize that you're making a big
read • study                                                mistake. (Not *are realizing*)
- I'm reading/studying History at university.               (stative use = understand)
  (specialized use of read - study a subject for          - After years of experience and training, Chris
  a degree; we can also do a subject: i.e.                  is now realizing his potential.
  formally study it, e.g. do Art, do English, do            (dynamic use = getting the value of)
  History, etc.)
- I'm studying Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'.                    recall
  (= reading carefully, e.g. to prepare for an exam)      - / don't expect you recall meeting me in
- I'm reading Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'.                       Vienna some years ago, (Not *to meet*)
  (but not necessarily studying it)
                                                          receive • admit
ready • get ready                                         - Normally, universities won't admit students
- I'm getting ready for tonight's party.                    aged under 18. (Not * receive*)
  (Not *I'm readying* *I'm readying myself*)              - You need a large room if you're going to
- While the equipment was loaded, the team                  receive so many guests.
  readied themselves for departure.                         (receive = have as visitors; admit = let in) Paul will
  (= made preparations for something difficult; get         never admit it, but he's been keen on you for years.
  ready is more usual than ready oneself)                   (Not * receive*) (= acknowledge)
ready • ready-to-wear                                     receive • take • get • obtain
- There's a huge choice of ready-to-wear                  - He told me to take/get the keys from his
  clothing in this store.                                   pocket. (Not * receive* * obtain*)
  (Not *ready clothing* *ready clothes*)                    (= remove)
- Dinner is ready.                                        - Nick took the kids to school this morning.
                                                            (Not * received* *got* * obtained*)
real • genuine • true                                     - When did you receive/get that letter?
- Is this Rembrandt genuine? (Not *real*)                   (Not *take* *obtain*)
  (= not a fake)                                            (i.e. which has been sent to you)
- Are ghosts real? (Not * genuine* *true*)                - Where did they get/obtain this information?
  (= actually existing, not imaginary)                      (i.e. they took active steps to get hold of it;
- It's a real/genuine Rembrandt. (Not *true*)               receive would suggest it was sent to them;
  (real and genuine are interchangeable in                  take (from) would suggest 'remove')
  front of a noun)
- She told me a true story. Her story proved to           reckoning • bill • account
  be true/genuine. (Not *real*)                           - The bill/account for car repairs came to
   (= not false, not made up)                               over £500. (Not * reckoning*: archaic)
                                                            (= a formal application for payment)

 - You can pay by credit card if you have an                     - Keep the tomatoes in a warm place until
   account with us. (Not *reckoning*)                              they redden/go red/turn red.
    (= a credit account e.g. held in a store)
 - On my reckoning, the bill for repairs will                    reduced to
   run to more than £500. (Not *account*)                        - Many pensioners are reduced to spending
   (= calculation)                                                 their savings. (Not *reduced to spend*) (to
- Do you believe there'll be a day of                              functions as a preposition + -ing here, not as part of
  reckoning?                                                       the infinitive)
   (a/the day of reckoning: Biblical fixed phrase = a/the        refinery • distillery
   day when everybody gets what he/she deserves)                 - Would you like to look round a whisky
 reclaim • claim • advertise • complain                             distillery in Scotland? (Not * refinery*)
- The new product has been widely advertised                        (= a place where alcohol is made pure,
  on TV. (Not *reclaimed*)                                          distilled)
   (= made known in order to be sold; the noun is an            - There's a huge oil refinery in the Thames
   advertisement, not *a reclaim*)                                 Estuary. (Not *distillery*)
- Don't complain to the waiter when it's the                        (= a place where e.g. petroleum is refined)
  cook's fault. (Not *reclaim*)                                  refuse • deny
- You can reclaim/claim expenses from the                       - The secretary denies all knowledge of the
  company if you have to go by taxi.                               missing letter. (Not * refuses knowledge*)
   (= ask for the return of; the noun is reclaim as in Put in      (= does not accept as a fact: deny an
   a reclaim/a claim for expenses. The noun reclamation            accusation, an allegation, knowledge, etc.)
   is often associated with land, as in land reclamation -      - I offered to pay him for his help but he
   making waste land fit for use)                                  refused (payment). (Not * denied*)
 recommend • introduce • advise                                     (= didn't accept an offer; refused to accept)
- Let me introduce you to our guests.                           - All those not holding valid tickets will be
   (= present, enable you to meet)                                 refused/denied entry.
- Who introduced you to this club?                                  (= not be given entry, permission, etc.)
    (= made you aware of it/made it aware of you, brought       - The accused strongly denies stealing food
    you in as a member)                                            from supermarkets. (Not *denies to steal*)
- Who recommended this club to you ?                            regard • look at/on
   (i.e. praised, suggesting you join it)                       - Just look at those children picking apples!
- Who recommended you for admission to this                       (Not *regard* *look on*)
   club?                                                           (i.e. use your eyes actively)
    (= suggested you, said you were suitable)                   - / don't regard a degree/look on a degree as
- Who recommended/advised you to see an                           a meal ticket for life. (preferable to look at)
   eye specialist?                                                (= consider)
- Who recommended/advised that you
   {should) see an eye specialist?                              regard as
   (Not * recommended/advised you that*)                        - / regard her as the best person for the job.
   (recommend someone = speak well of; recommend                  (Not *am regarding*)
   someone to do something -advise)                                (= consider)
                                                                - The management regard/are regarding the
recommend • register                                              strike as a challenge to their authority.
- Is the letter registered?                                        (= consider/are considering) (stative or dynamic
  (Not * recommended*)                                             depending on the speaker's viewpoint)
  (= sent by registered post)
- A long holiday is recommended.                                regime • system • diet
  (= advised)                                                   - We've just introduced a completely new
                                                                  filing system in our office. (Not *regime*)
redden • go/turn red                                              (= a way of doing things)
- She went red/turned red with                                  - / keep to a strict regime by going to bed
  embarrassment when I spoke to her.                              early and getting up early. (Not *system*)
  (preferable to She reddened)                                    (= a disciplined routine)
                                                                - It was economic factors that brought an end
                                                                  to the Communist regime/system.

   (regime = a style of government; system = a way of     (rest, noun, is usually physical though it can also
   doing things)                                          refer to the mind)
- I'm watching what I eat because I'm on a              - You must try to relax and enjoy yourself.
  diet. (Not * doing/making a diet/a regime*              (Not *relax yourself*)
  *I'm in diet*)                                          (= allow yourself not to worry; we use relax only as
- My doctor advised me to go on a diet.                   a verb: the noun, relaxation, can be physical and/or
  (Not *do/make a diet/a regime*)                         mental)
register (of) • index (to) • address book               relief • rendering
- This cookery book would be more use with a            - The rendering on the front of the house is
  proper index at the back. (Not *register*)              cracked. (Not *relief*)
  (= an alphabetical list of topics showing                (= cement-based paint for outside walls)
  which pages they are on; plural: indexes)             - This design looks very effective in relief.
- Is the Dow Jones the best index to US share             (= with parts of it sticking up/out from the
  prices? (Not * register of*)                            surface)
   (= an indicator; plural indices)                     - It was a relief to land safely after such a
- We keep a register of everyone who has                  rough journey.
  stayed at our hotel. (Not *an index of)                  (= a feeling of comfort following anxiety)
  (= an official list, especially of names)
- My address book contains names of people              rely on
  who've moved. (Not *index* *register*)                - We're relying on you to get us out of this
                                                          mess. (Not * relying from/to*)
- We regret to inform you that your account is          remarks • observations • notes
  overdrawn. (Not *regret informing*)                   - The standing stones at Carnac were
                                                          probably used for astronomical
  (regret + to = feel sorry can refer to the
                                                          observations. (Not *remarks* *notes*)
  present or the future)
                                                          (= what is seen in a scientific context)
- / now regret leaving my job and becoming
                                                        - The designer's observations on our plan
  self-employed. (Not *regret to leave*)                  deserve careful consideration.
  (regret + -ing refers to finished actions in            (= comments based on an objective view)
  the present or past)                                  - Rita has a reputation for making rude
reign (over) • govern                                     remarks about people.
- The same party has governed this country                (= spoken comments)
  for nearly 14 years. (Not *reigned*)                  - Did you take any notes during the lecture ?
   (= directed the affairs of)                            (= information or comments in writing)
- Queen Victoria reigned over Britain for               remember
  most of the nineteenth century.                       - Remember to post the letters.
   (reign = 'wear the crown': only kings and queens       (= don't forget to post)
   reign; governments rule or govern)                   - / remembered to post the letters.
rejuvenate • restore                                      (= I didn't forget to post)
- A nice cold beer will restore us.                     - / remember(ed) posting the letters.
  (Not *rejuvenate*)                                      (= I posted them and I remember the action)
   (= bring back to a state of well-being)              - Remember me to your parents.
- She looks quite rejuvenated since she left              (Not * Remember me your parents.*)
  that awful job.                                         (or it would be more usual to say: Give my regards
   (= made young again; formal)                           to your parents.)
related to                                               remembrance • memory • souvenir •
- His name's Presley, but I don't think he's             memento
  related to Elvis. (Not *related with*)                - My memory is unreliable now I'm older.
   (= has family connexions with)                          (Not *remembrance* *souvenir*)
                                                           (= the ability to call to mind)
relax • rest                                            - The only memory I have of my grandmother
- / had a nice long rest during my holiday and             is of a smiling old lady in a rocking chair.
  feel quite refreshed. (Not * relax*)                     (Not * souvenir*)
- You look tired. Why don't you have/take a                (= what I remember")
  little rest? (Not *make/do a rest*)

- This ring is the only remembrance I have of          (= saying the same thing again; repeat is
  my grandmother.                                      transitive or reflexive)
  (Not *memory*, preferable to souvenir) (now old-
  fashioned = a token which makes me remember a      repeat • rehearse
  person)                                            - We're rehearsing our play all next week.
- I bought this souvenir of the Colosseum              (Not * repeating*)
  when I was in Rome. (Not *memento*)                   (= practising so as to get it right)
  (= an object which reminds you of an               - They're repeating that wonderful TV play.
  occasion or place, usually sold to tourists)         (= showing again: a repeat performance)
- I've kept this photo as a memento of the           repetition • revision
  house I used to live in. (Not * souvenir*)         - Have you done your revision for the exams?
  (= a small object which reminds you of an            (Not * repetition*)
  experience or a person)                               (= studying the same material again to
- This monument was erected in remembrance/             prepare for an exam)
  memory of those who died in battle.                - Repetition is the only way to learn a poem
  (= to make people remember)                          by heart. (Not *Revision*)
remind • remember • reminisce                           (= doing, saying the same thing over and
- 1 remember my first day at school as if it            over again)
  were yesterday. (Not *remind* * reminisce*)        report
  (= can bring to mind)                              - Someone has reported seeing the car the
- The smell of cabbage reminds me of/makes               police are looking for. (Not *to see*)
  me remember school. (Not * remembers me            - I reported the accident to the police.
  school* *reminds me school*)                           (Not *reported the police the accident*
- Remind me to post that letter.                         *reported to the police the accident*)
  (Not *Remember me*)                                - Our correspondent has just sent in a report
- Old people like to reminisce about the past.           on events in Algeria. (Not *a report for*)
  (Not * remind*)                                    - I'd like you to check the accounts and
  (= remember and talk about)                            make/do a report for me.
rent • income                                        report • reference • certificate
- Most writers earn their real income from           - My former employer gave me a very good
  ordinary jobs. (Not *rent*)                          reference. (Not *report* * certificate*)
  (income = money earned or paid as a pension:          (= written information about character and
  'money coming in')                                    ability)
- The rent takes more than half of my income.        - Did your teacher give you a good report
  (= the money paid for a place to live)               (AmE report card) last term?
reparations * repairs                                   (Not *reference* *certificate*)
- The roof needed a lot of repairs after last           (= written information about progress in
  year's storms. (Not * reparations*)                   school)
  (= fixing, making good)                            - Please bring the top copy of your certificate
- The cost of war reparations can be a great           to the interview. (Not * diploma*)
  burden to a country.                                 (= an official document that records official
  (= money paid as compensation for damage or          recognition of something: exam success, birth,
  wrongdoing)                                          marriage, death, etc.)
repeat (oneself) • recur                             reportage • report
- We're going through a recession. It's the          - Our Tokyo correspondent has sent us the
  kind of situation that recurs from time to            following report. (Not *a reportage*)
  time. (Not * repeats*, though repeats itself          (countable noun = written or spoken
  would be possible)                                    account)
  (= comes back and happens again;                   - Good reportage/A good piece of reportage
  intransitive)                                         makes you feel as if you can see events as
- History often repeats itself.                         they happen. (Not *A reportage*)
  (Not *recurs* *repeats*)                              (uncountable noun = the 'product' of the act
- / wish you wouldn't keep repeating yourself.          of reporting)
  (Not *recurring*)

 republic • democracy                                  - Would you save this seat for me for ten
- A democracy is ruled by freely elected                 minutes please? (Not * reserve*)
   representatives. (Not *republic*)                      (= keep from being taken)
   (= a country with a freely elected government;      - We've reserved two seats for tomorrow's
   adjective: democratic)                                concert. (Not *saved*)
- Britain is a democracy, but not a republic.             (= booked in advance; made reservations)
   (= a country whose head of state isn't a king
   or a queen; adjective: republican)                  reserved/taken • occupied
                                                       - All the seats in the front row are occupied.
request                                                  (i.e. people are sitting in them)
- Learning to make a polite request is                 - All the seats in the front row are reserved/
    important in a foreign language. (Not *do*)          taken.
- Passengers are requested to remain seated               (reserved - booked; taken = not available)
    until the aircraft comes to a complete stop.
    (formal) (Not *It is requested the passengers      resign oneself (to)
    to remain seated*)                                 - We have to resign ourselves to accepting
                                                          traffic delays. (Not * resign ...to accept*) (to
require                                                   functions as a preposition + -ing here, not as part
- Universities require a lot more money for               of the infinitive)
    research. (Not *are requiring*)
    (stative use only = need; formal)                  resist
- Candidates are required to present                   - We've all resisted putting in longer hours
  themselves fifteen minutes before the examination      for less money. (Not * resisted to put*)
  begins. (formal) (Not *It is required the            resort to
  candidates to present themselves*)                   - We've resorted to walking to work to save
rescue (from) • save (from)                              money. (Not * resorted to walk*)
- There's no doubt that seat belts save lives in          (to functions as a preposition + -ing here, not as
  traffic accidents. (Not *rescue*)                       part of the infinitive)
   {save a life = keep from destruction)               respond to • reply to • answer
- The helicopter has now rescued most of the           - / answered her card/replied to her card.
     passengers. (preferable to saved)                   (Not *answered to/replied her card*)
     (rescue a person/people = remove from                (= provided an answer to; answer and reply to are
     danger)                                              neutral in meaning)
- He dived into the river and rescued/saved            - Have you decided how to respond to their
     the child from drowning.                            letter yet? (Not * respond their letter*)
research                                                 (respond suggests 'react suitably')
- Scientists are carrying out/doing a lot of           - My aunt has been in hospital for a week, but
  research into Carbon 60. (Not *making*)                she's responding to treatment.
  (research = serious study)                              (Not * answering/replying to treatment*) (=
                                                          reacting favourably)
- Paul resembles his father.                           rest • leftovers • remains (of) • remainder
   (Not *is resembling* *resembles to*) (stative use   - They make the leftovers into soup and call it
   only; no progressive form)                            minestrone. (Not * rests* * remainders*,
                                                         preferable to remains when we don't say
resent                                                   what is 'left over')
- I have a feeling Sandra resents taking                  (= food that hasn't been eaten at a meal)
  orders from me. (Not *resents to take*)              - What am I going to do with the remains of
reserve • save                                           last night's meal? (Not *rests*
- I've saved some of last night's supper for              * remainders*; preferable to leftovers) (remains =
  you. (Not * reserved*)                                  'what is left of a meal' is too general to be used
   (= kept from being thrown away or used by someone      without of+ noun: the remains of the meal)
   else)                                               - Bach's remains have been moved to Leipzig.
                                                         (Not *leftovers* *rests* *remainders*)
                                                          (= what is left of a dead body; but note also ancient
                                                          remains = ruins of old buildings)

- I only need half of thai pastry. What on             death of his father. (Not *avenge*) (both words
  earth can I do with the remainder/the                mean 'punish the person who has done you
  rest?                                                wrong'; you avenge an action or take revenge
  (uncountable = what is extra)                        on someone for an action)
rest • remain • stay                                 revise • review • audit • overhaul
- Nothing remains/stays the same for                 - The government is reviewing its policy on
  ever.                                                immigration.
  (Not * rests*)                                       (= reconsidering, looking again at)
  (= continues to be)                                - The government is revising its policy on
- My in-laws are staying with us for a few             immigration.
  days. (Not *resting* * remaining*)                   (= making changes to)
  Let's rest for a bit before finishing the climb.   - Our office is closed for a day while our
  (Not * remain* *stay*)                               accounts are being audited.
  (= pause for a break in order to recover)            (Not *revised* *reviewed* *overhauled*) (=
                                                       officially checked)
rest • (small/loose) change                          - My car's been overhauled and is in good
- Sorry to give you a £50 note. I haven't              working order. (Not *revised* *reviewed*)
  got                                                  (= examined and repaired)
  any change. (Not *rest* * rests*)
  (= notes of smaller value; coins)                  rhythm • rate • pace
- / want (small/loose) change for this note.           / don't know how you can work at such a
  (= coins)                                            rate/pace! (Not *with such a rhythm*)
- If you have to pay with a £50 note, make             (= at such a speed)
   sure you count your change. (Not *rest(s)*)         / don't know how you can walk at such a
   - (= the money you get back)                        pace/rate! (Not * rhythm*)
resume • summarize                                     (pace = length of step; rate - speed)
- Can you summarize the argument in a                  / wish you'd dance to the rhythm!
  couple of paragraphs? (Not *resume*)                 (= a regular beat, especially in music)
  (= give a brief account of; the noun is
                                                     ribbon • tape • strip
  summary: I'll write a summary of my                - The tape is rather worn and the sound
  lecture; the word resume exists, but tends to        quality is bad. (Not *ribbon*)
  be confined to contexts of academic or                (= magnetic tape used in a tape recorder)
  business jargon)                                   - You should put some insulating tape round
- We stopped in Tangiers for a couple of               those bare wires. (Not * ribbon*)
  nights before we resumed our journey.                 (= narrow material, often sticky on one side)
  (= continued after a break; the noun is            - I finished wrapping the gift and tied it up
  resumption: The peace-keeping force has              with a big red ribbon. (Not *tape*)
  prevented the resumption of hostilities.)            (= a strip of material for tying things and/or
retire (from) • withdraw (from)                        decorating them; in general, (a) ribbon is
- Sanchez withdrew from the race at the last           decorative and/or soft and floppy; tape is
  minute. (Not *retired*) (= did                       stronger/thicker: functional/non-decorative)
  not take part in)                                  - You really need to replace the ribbon on
- Sanchez retired/withdrew from the race               that printer of yours. (Not *tape*)
  after the fourth lap.                                 (= a strip of material soaked with ink)
  (= was taking part in, then left)                  - Don't throw away that strip of paper! I'm
- Sanchez has retired from rally driving.              using it as a bookmark.
  (Not *'withdrawn from*)                               (= a long thin piece of e.g. paper, material)
  (i.e. given it up completely)                      rich
- Father enjoys life now that he has retired.        - Frances came from a poor family, but died
  (= stopped working and taken his pension)              rich/a rich woman. (Not *a rich*)
revenge oneself on ... for • avenge                  - They may not be millionaires, but they're
- Hamlet had to avenge his father's murder.              very rich/rich people. (Not * they're riches*)
  (Not *revenge*)                                        (we cannot use rich on its own to mean 'a
- Hamlet had to revenge himself on his                   rich person'; riches used as a noun to mean
  father's murderer/revenge himself for the              'wealth' is now old-fashioned)

- It's hard to tax the rich without taxing the              rob • steal • burgle
  poor as well.                                             - The man who stole my handbag took my
   {the + adjective for the group as a whole)                 address book as well. (Not * robbed*)
- They got rich by buying cheap and selling                 - I lost my address book when that man
  dear. (Not *They riched*)                                   robbed me of my bag/stole my bag from
  (compare enrich (not *rich*) for 'add something             me.
  valuable': Children enrich your life, even if they make     (Not *stole me of my bag*)
  you poorer financially, not *rich your life*)               (steal something from someone or from
                                                              somewhere; rob someone of something)
ride                                                        - Gangs have been robbing passengers on
- Let's go for/go on a ride. (Not * do/make*)
                                                              overnight trains. (Not *stealing*)
- I've just had a long ride on my bike.                     - You paid far too much for this souvenir. I
  (Not *made/done a ride*)                                    think you were robbed. (Not *stolen*)
- I rode here on my bike. (Not *drove*)                       (i.e. 'overcharged')
  (ride e.g. a horse or a bicycle)                          - Robbing banks can hardly be described as a
right (about/for)                                             profession. (Not *Stealing* *Burgling*)
- You 're right! The museums are shut on                    - Our house was burgled while we were away
  Mondays. (Not *You have right/reason!*)                     on holiday. (Not *robbed* *stolen*)
- You were right about the increase in rail                   (people or banks/institutions are robbed;
  fares. (Not *right for*)                                    things are stolen (from people or places);
   (about = concerning)                                       property is burgled or broken into; people
- / don't think he's right for the job.                       may be kidnapped)
  (for = in relation to)                                    robber • burglar • thief/theft
- You did right to refuse any money for your                - The robbers went into the bank and
  advice. (Not *made right*)                                  demanded money at gunpoint.
   (= acted in a proper way)                                - Some burglars got into the house at night
right • rightly                                               and stole all our wedding presents.
- You 're not thinking right about this.                    - There's a thief in our office. There have
  (Not *thinking rightly*)                                    been thefts of money from people's bags.
   (a few verbs related to being, seeming and behaving        (thief is the general word for a person who
   combine with right, adjective, rather than rightly,        steals, i.e. takes things that belong to
   adverb: answer right, feel right, do right)                someone else and who is guilty of theft. A
- John informed us, rightly, that the 8.27 to                 robber is a thief who deals directly with
  Brighton had been cancelled. (Not *right*)                  his/her victim and is guilty of robbery. A
  (adverbial use = correctly)                                 burglar (also called a housebreaker) is a
- / don't think you acted right/rightly there.                thief who breaks into the victim's home in
  (both forms possible after act)                             order to steal and is guilty of burglary or
                                                              house breaking. Other specialist terms are
ring • telephone • phone/call                                 pickpocket and shoplifter. Someone who
- Please give me a ring/call.                                 'steals people' is a kidnapper)
   (Not * do/make me a ring/call* *give me a telephone/a
   phone*, but we can say make a (phone) call in e.g.       robe • dress • dressing gown • bathrobe
   Excuse me a moment. I've got to make a call/a phone      - / need a new dress for the dance tomorrow.
   call.)                                                     (Not *robe* *dressing gown*)
- Please ring (me)/call (me)/telephone                        (= a woman's garment made of a top like a blouse,
  (me)/phone (me) when you get home.                          with a skirt joined on)
  (telephone is more formal than phone; call is             - / think she goes round the house all day in a
  mainly AmE; ring is not used in AmE)                        dressing gown (AmE robe).
                                                              (= a long loose garment like a coat worn indoors
risk                                                          over pyjamas or a nightdress)
- We'd better take a taxi. We can't risk                    - / always like to dry out in a bathrobe after
   missing the plane. (Not *risk to miss*)                    taking a bath. (preferable to robe)
                                                              (= a coat-shaped garment, often made of towelling,
                                                              for wearing after a bath)
                                                            - The students had to wear robes at the
                                                              degree-giving ceremony.

  (= long loose coats worn on ceremonial,               rooms to let • bed and breakfast
  historical or theatrical occasions)                   - We 've already passed several bed and
                                                          breakfast signs. (Not *rooms to let*
rock • stone                                              *rooms* *rooms free*)
- The demonstrators threw stones at the                   (referring to rooms let for a single night or for
  police (AmE stones or rocks; countable =                short periods; signs displayed say Bed and
  small pieces of stone and rock)                         Breakfast, B&B or (No) Vacancies, especially
- The old church is full of beautiful stone               BrE)
  sculptures. (Not *rock*)                              - Try the house at the end of the street. I know
  (stone, uncountable: material for statues,              they have rooms to let/they let rooms.
  steps, walls, etc.)                                     (= rooms which are let for long periods)
- The flood water had left mud and stones all
  over the fields.                                      rough • roughly
  (= pieces of stone, small enough for someone          - We travelled light and slept rough.
  to move or handle)                                      (Not *slept roughly*)
- Rocks had fallen from above, making the                 (rough is an adjective and gives the verbs it is
  roads impassable. (preferable to stones)                used after the sense of be: look rough, play
  (= pieces of rock too big to move easily)               rough, talk rough)
- The tunnel goes through solid rock.                   - I've sketched it roughly. (Not *rough*)
  (uncountable = material the earth is made of)             (adverbial use = with bare essentials only)
                                                        - He spoke roughly to the child.
roll (up) • wrap (up)                                       (Not *rough*)
- Shall I wrap it (up) for you ? (Not *roll it*)          (= in a rough manner: -ly for a deliberate
  (= make a parcel)                                       action)
- This barrel is too heavy to lift. We'll have to
  roll it. (Not*rollitup*)                              round • around
  (= move by turning it over and over)                  The shop you're looking for is round/
- We'll have to roll up the carpet.                     around the corner.
  (i.e. so that it forms a tube)                        Quick! He's just disappeared round the
                                                        corner. (Not * round of/from*; preferable to
romance • roman • novel • fiction • soap                disappeared around)
opera                                                      (round and around = circular movement, can
- Kingsley Amis's 'Lucky Jim' is one of the                be used in the same way, but round is often
  most successful first novels ever written.               preferable with verbs of movement)
  (Not *romance* *roman*)
  (= a full-length work of fiction)                     route • road • way
- Georgette Heyer's historical romances are             - There was so much traffic, it was impossible
  read all over the world.                                  to cross the road. (Not *route* *way*)
  (= novels of love and adventure set in the past.          (a road is a flat surface that carries traffic)
  We use romance to mean novel when it is               Let's go this way. (Not*road* *route*)
  preceded by e.g. historical. We use romance           (= direction)
  mainly to describe a love affair: It was the end of   There's lots of traffic on the road(s) today.
  a beautiful romance.)                                 (literally, 'on the road')
- Penguin Books publish a lot of fiction.               We're late. I'll ring to say we're on the way.
  (fiction, uncountable, is the general term for        (Not *on the road* *in the way*)
  written works of the imagination; the                     (= heading in a particular direction)
  opposite is non-fiction = factual works)              Can you move this suitcase please ? It's in
- The commentary is set in roman and the                the way/in my way. (Not *on the/my way*)
  examples are set in italics.                          (= blocking my path)
  (= a style of print)                                  Which is the quickest way/route into the
- It's easy to become addicted to Brazilian             town centre ? (preferable to road; we can say
  soap operas/soaps. (Not *novellas*)                   This is a fast road, to mean that traffic
  (= television or radio programmes, in serial form,    moves along it at speed)
  about particular people and their daily lives: e.g.       (a route connects two points; we also use
  Neighbours, Dallas)                                       route when referring to maps; (the) way =
                                                            direction, or connecting series of directions)

routine • red tape                                                 There's the bus. We'll have to run! (=
- Getting a visa for some places involves a lot                    move quickly on foot)
  of red tape. (Not * routine*)
   (= official paper work; informal)                            run • run on
- William kept to the same routine all his life.                - Who runs this company?
  (= a habitual way of doing things)                              (= manages, is in charge of)
                                                                - This engine runs on diesel.
row • line/queue • tail • turn                                    (Not *runs with/runs by*)
- There's a long line/queue of people waiting                     (= functions using)
  for the bus. (Not *row* *tail*)
   (= people, cars, etc., waiting for their turn; we can                                     S
   speak of the tail-end of a queue)
- We'd better join the queue for tickets.                       sack • (school)bag
  (Not *row* *tail*; line is possible in AmE)                   You often see very small children carrying
  {a line is a physical description; a queue                    very large (school)bags. (Not *sacks*)
  includes the idea of turn-taking)                             (schoolbag = a bag made of e.g. leather,
- / wish that car would either pass me or get                   canvas, for carrying books and often worn
  off my tail. (Not *queue*)                                    over the shoulders; also called a satchel)
   (on my tail - too close behind me)                           Let me help you with that bag.
- You can see me in this old school photo,                          (e.g. a shopping bag, a handbag, etc.)
  standing in the back row. (Not *line*)                        - / couldn 't possibly lift that sack of potatoes.
   (= a neat line of people, buildings, etc.; in a row = side      (= a very large bag for coal, potatoes, etc.)
   by side)
- My neighbour and I collect our children                       sacred • holy • saint
  from school in turns and it's my turn                         - You pretend to be so holy, but you're as bad
  tomorrow. (Not *in rows* *my row*)                               as the rest of us. (Not * sacred*)
  (= 'alternately'... 'I'm next')                                   (= good according to the rules of religion)
- Stop pulling the cat's tail, Susie.                           These lands are considered sacred by the
                                                                Australian Aboriginals. (preferable to holy)
rubbish/garbage                                                 (= spiritually important, viewed with
- Where shall I throw this rubbish/garbage ?                    reverence: a sacred memory, etc.)
  (Not *these rubbishes/garbages*)                              St. (= Saint) Christopher is the patron saint
   (= waste material; usually rubbish in BrE and garbage        of travellers. (Not *Holy* * Sacred*)
   in AmE; both are uncountable)                                    (= a title formally given in some Christian churches
rude • rough                                                        to holy people of the past)
- When I phoned he answered me in a very                         sad (about) • sorry (for) • sorrowful •
  rough voice.                                                   unhappy
   (= either uneven in sound, or not gentle, but not            - We are very sad about your news and hope
   necessarily impolite)                                           things are going better for you. (Not *sad
- / shouldn't tangle with those boys. They're a                    for* *sorry for* *sorrowful about*)
  pretty rough lot.                                                 (= unhappy about)
   (= wild, perhaps violent)                                    - We were sad/sorry to hear that he had died.
- You can complain without being rude!                             (Not * sorrowful* * sorry for hearing*)
  (= impolite)                                                      (i.e. we felt sorrow)
rules                                                               (sad expresses a more personal regret; sorry
- Who makes the rules here? (Not *does*)                            expresses formal or proper sympathy)
- According to the rules of our club, each                      - I'm sorry for disturbing/I'm sorry to disturb
  member may bring one guest only.                                 you. (Not *I'm sad for/to*)
  (Not *With the rules*)                                            (= I apologize for)
                                                                - Why are you looking so sorrowful/sad?
run • drive so fast/too fast • walk so fast                        (Not *sorry*)
- I'm not surprised he's had an accident. He                        (i.e. with a sad expression on your face)
  always drives so fast/too fast. (Not *runs*)                  - Lizzie had an unhappy childhood because
- Don't walk so fast. I can't keep up.                             her parents died when she was a baby.
  (Not *Don't run so fast*)                                        (preferable to sad)

  (unhappiness is more long-lasting; sadness is more     - The cowboys were drinking in the
  temporary)                                               saloon.
                                                           (= a bar, especially in a 'Western')
safety • security • insurance                            - It's not much of a job, but it's a living.
- The cost of car insurance keeps going up                 (= a way of earning money)
  and up. (Not *safety* *security*)
  (= money you pay to a company so that you can be
  compensated after an accident)
- We've fitted window locks for our own
  safety/security. (Not *insurance*)
  (i.e. in order to feel safe, secure)
- Fasten your safety/seat belts.
  (Not *security* *insurance*)
- We have installed a security system in our
  house. (Not *safety* *insurance*)
  (safety = personal freedom from physical
  harm; security = prevention of loss or                                welcome         wave
                                                        salute • greet • welcome • wave (to)
salad • lettuce • greens                                - When we arrived, the whole family turned
- All the lettuces in my garden are going to              up to greet us/welcome us. (Not *salute*)
  seed. (Not *salads* *greens*)                           (greet = generally show pleasure at meeting
- You need lettuce to make a green salad.                 someone e.g. by shaking hands; welcome =
  (lettuce, countable or uncountable = a                  show pleasure e.g. by shaking hands, when
  vegetable with green leaves; salad = a                  someone arrives at a place)
  mixture of fresh, usually raw, vegetables)            - She waved to us from the boat.
- Small children often dislike greens.                    (Not *saluted*)
  (= boiled, green leafy vegetables of the cabbage        (= raised and moved her hand, as a greeting or
  family)                                                 to say goodbye, etc.)
sale: on sale • for sale • to sell                      - The sentry saluted the officer.
- Did you see the sign outside the house that             (= gave a military greeting)
  said for sale? (Not *on sale* *to sell*)              same
- Everything you can see in this shop is for            - Our TV is the same as yours.
  sale/on sale. (Not *to sell*)                             (Not *the same with* *the same like*)
  (for sale may refer to a single item or a number of   I've lost my job. It's the same with Alex.
  items; on sale refers to goods which are displayed)   (i.e. Alex has, too)
- We've got all these cars to sell by Friday.           This cup is cracked. What's that one like? -
  (Not *for sale* *on sale*)                            It's the same. (singular)
  (= which are to be sold)                              - Those two dresses are the same. (plural)
salmon                                                  sane • healthy
- I'll have that salmon/those salmon please.            - A sensible diet is essential for keeping
  (Not *those salmons*)                                   healthy. (Not *sane*)
  (salmon has the same singular and plural forms;         (= in good physical shape; not often ill)
  it can also be uncountable: I'd like some salmon      - / don't know how you've managed to bring
  please.)                                                up six children and still remain sane.
 salon • saloon • living room/drawing room • hall •       (= not mad; opposite insane)
 living                                                 satisfied with
- Let's go and sit in the living room/drawing           - Do you think they're satisfied with my work?
   room. (Not *salon* *saloon* *living*)                  (Not * satisfied from/of*)
- The meeting will be held in the main hall.
   (Not *salon* * saloon*)                              sauce • gravy • juice • (salad) dressing
- They've just opened a new hairdressing                - My mother used to make a rich gravy to
   salon in the High Street. (Not *saloon*)               serve with roast beef. (Not *sauce* * juice*)
   (= business; also beauty salon)                        (= a sauce made from the juices of roast
                                                        - The cauliflower was served with a nice white
                                                          sauce. (Not * gravy*)

   (= a sweet or savoury liquid that adds flavour to
   prepared food, e.g. bechamel sauce, tomato                 - He said that/told me that he's retiring.
   sauce, chocolate sauce)                                      (the same rules apply in indirect speech)
- Would you like any of the juice with your                   - It is said that there is plenty of oil off our
  fruit salad? (Not *sauce*)                                    coast. (Not *It is told that*)
   (= liquid that comes from fruit as a result of cutting,    - There is said to be plenty of oil off our
   cooking or pressing)                                         coast. (Not *There is told to be/to exist*)
- Would you like some of this dressing on                     - Mandy is said to be some kind of secret
  your salad? (Not *juice*)                                     agent. (Not *Mandy is told to be*)
   (= a liquid, often oil and vinegar, added to food, e.g.      {said = believed)
   salad, just before serving)                                - Who says so ? (Not *tells so/tells it*)
saucy • with sauce                                              (also say a few words, say goodnight, say no more,
- Do you want your fish plain or with sauce ?                   say nothing, say your prayers, say something)
                                                              - I told you so! (Not *said you so/said you it*)
  (Not *saucy*)
                                                                (also: tell the difference, tell a lie, tell a
- Don't be so saucy!
                                                                story, tell the time, tell the truth)
  (= cheeky, impolite)
- He told a lot of rather saucy jokes.                        scaffold • scaffolding
  (= amusingly full of sexual innuendo)                       - When are they going to take down that
                                                                 scaffold? (Not *those scaffolds*)
saw • sawed                                                   When are they going to take away all that
- / saw Meg yesterday. (Not * sawed*)                         scaffolding? (Not *all those scaffoldings*)
  {see - saw - seen)                                          {scaffolding and scaffold = poles round a
- / sawed the plank in two.                                   building during construction or repair)
  (= cut with a saw)
                                                              Public execution on the scaffold was
   {saw - sawed - sawed: especially AmE; sawn:                common until the last century.
   especially BrE)                                               (= a specially-built platform on which people
say                                                              were hanged or beheaded)
- What did you say ? /sei/                                    scald • burn
- / didn't hear what you said.                                - I've burnt the toast. (Not *scalded*)
  /sed/ not */seid/*                                          - I burnt myself on the toaster.
   (pronunciation of present and past forms)
                                                                 (Not * scalded myself*)
- It says here that the next bus is due at 11.18.
                                                              - He spilt some boiling milk and scalded
  (Not *It's saying*)
                                                                 himself. (Not *burnt himself*)
   (stative use)
                                                                 {burn = destroy or hurt by dry heat; scald = hurt by
- She's saying/She says that you can't book a                    hot liquid or steam)
  room in advance without paying a deposit.
  (dynamic or stative use depending on the                    scale • ladder
  viewpoint of the speaker)                                   I'll hold the ladder while you climb up.
- Who says so? -1 say so!                                     (Not *scale*)
   (Not * Who says it? -I say it!* *I say!*)                  What was the strength of the earthquake on
- Say what you like to the doctor.                            the Richter scale?
   (Not *Say the doctor what you like.* *Say to the               {= measure)
   doctor what you like.*)
- Please do this for my sake and don't say no                 scarf • shawl • veil
  (to me). (Not *don't say me no*)                            My wife covered her head with a
                                                              shawl/scarf before entering the church.
say • tell                                                    {shawl = a cloth worn by women over the
- 'You haven't got much time,' he said/he said                shoulders; scarf = a cloth worn round the
  to me. (Not *he told* *he said me*)                         head or neck by men or women)
   {say on its own, or followed directly by to me, etc.)      She attended the funeral dressed in black
- 'We must hurry,' he told me. (Not *he told*                 and with a heavy veil.
  *he told to me* *he said me*)                                  {= thin material covering the face, worn by women,
   (we always use a personal direct object after tell: tell      usually for religious reasons)
   somebody, not *tell to somebody*, not tell on its own)

 scene • scenery • view                                     (= what can be known, either through formal
- The scenery round Mistras is magnificent.                 learning or experience; uncountable)
  (Not *scene* *sceneries* *view*)                        - New developments in science have always
   (= view of the countryside; uncountable)                 depended on advances in the equipment for
- They don't use a lot of scenery in modern                 observation and measurement.
  productions of Shakespeare.                               (= pure knowledge based on observation and
   (Not *sceneries*)                                        testing)
   (= painted backgrounds, etc., used on stage)           scientist • man of letters
- The view from our window is lovely.
                                                          - T.S. Eliot was a great poet, and a famous
  (Not *spectacle* * scenery*)                              man of letters. (Not * scientist*)
   (= what can be seen from a particular place)              (= a person concerned with books and
- They had a terrific argument in public. It                 literature; formal)
  wasn't a pleasant scene.                                - Albert Einstein was not only a distinguished
   (= thing to see)                                         scientist, but a considerable violinist.
 scene • screen • stage                                      (= a person concerned with a branch of
- The nurse put a screen round my bed to give                science, such as physics or chemistry)
   me some privacy. (Not *scene*)
- There's nothing like watching a film on a               scratch • scrape
   large cinema screen.                                   - It might be better to soak that burnt pan
    (large flat area on which a film is projected)          than to scrape it. (Not *scratch*)
- The opening scene of the play is set in a                  (i.e. remove burnt-on food with a knife; scrape
   street in Venice. (Not *screen*)                          = draw one thing over the surface of another;
    (= a division in a play or film)                         its meaning is often extended with adverbs:
- At the end of the play the entire cast is on               scrape away, scrape out, etc.)
   the stage. (Not *scene*)                               - Some people can't resist scratching their
    (= the area where a play is performed)                  initials on monuments. (Not *scraping*)
                                                             (= marking; scratch = drag something sharp
 scheme • diagram                                            across a surface to make a mark or line)
- For homework, draw a diagram of the                     - The cat's scratched me! (Not *scraped*)
   human eye. (Not * scheme*)                               (= made marks in my skin with its claws)
    (= a detailed drawing)
- I've just started a new teaching scheme.                sea
   (= a plan, system)                                     —It's rather uncommon for young boys to run
                                                            away to sea these days. (Not *at (the) sea*)
scholastic • fussy/pedantic                               —Round-the-world yachtsmen expect to be at
- Lawyers have to be fussy/pedantic about the               sea for many months. (Not *to (the) sea*)
  small print in contracts. (Not *scholastic*)              (= sailing)
- The school is better known for its sporting
                                                          search • search for/seek
  excellence than its scholastic achievements.
                                                          - The whole village has been searching
  (= academic)
                                                            for/seeking the missing boy.
school                                                       (Not *searching the missing boy*)
- / was sent to school when I was five.                   - The security guards are searching each
  (Not *at (the) school* *to the school*)                   passenger. (Not *seaching for* *seeking*)
- I was at school for ten years.                            (search for/seek (formal) = look for someone
  (Not *to (the) school*)                                   or something that is lost: search for your
  (i.e. in order to learn; also: church, hospital,          wallet; search someone = carefully examine
  prison, university. We use an article when                clothes and possessions; seach something =
  referring to the 'building': There's a meeting at the     go through carefully: search your pockets)
  school this evening.)
                                                          secret • mystery • mystic
science • knowledge                                       —It's a mystery how the Nazca Lines in Peru
- Who would discourage the pursuit of                       were formed. (Not *secret* *mystic*)
  knowledge ? (Not *knowledges*)                          —Teresa of Avila, the Spanish saint and
- Here's apiece of knowledge that will                      mystic, died in 1582.
  interest you. (Not *a knowledge*)                          (= a person who seeks the truth through
                                                             prayer and meditation)

The secret files of former regimes have now                  sensuous • sensual
become public. (Not *mystic* *mysterious*)                   - Casanova devoted his life to the pursuit of
James Bond is a secret agent.                                  sensual pleasure. (Not * sensuous*)
(Not *mystic*)                                                 (= physical, especially sexual; the noun is sensuality)
   (= hidden, not revealed)                                  - No artist has matched Georgia O'Keeffe's
                                                               sensuous paintings of flowers.
see                                                             (Not *sensual*)
- / see very well without glasses.                              (= that generally gives pleasure to the
    (Not *I'm seeing*)                                          senses; the noun is sensuousness)
    (stative use: my ability is involuntary)
/ see what you mean. (Not *I'm seeing*)                      sentence • proposal • verdict
(stative use = understand)                                   They still haven't reacted to our proposal to
I'm seeing Meg on Thursday.                                  ban overtime. (Not *sentence* * verdict*)
(dynamic use = meeting)                                      The arms smugglers received a heavy
/ see Meg on Thursdays.                                      sentence. (Mot *verdict*)
    (stative use = meet, a regular arrangement)                 {= punishment by a court)
- Did you see him leave/leaving?                             - The verdict of the jury was 'Not Guilty'.
    (Not *see him to leave*)                                    (Not *sentence*)
    (bare infinitive = the whole action, or -ing = part of      (= a decision based on facts)
    the action after see someone)                            sentiment(s) • feeling(s)
- I saw him (being) taken away.
                                                             People often have strong feelings about
    (Not *saw him to be taken*)
                                                             capital punishment. (Not * sentiments*)
see • see about                                              {feelings come from the capacity to feel love,
We'll see that tomorrow.                                     hate, anger, etc.)
(i.e. with our eyes)                                         Public sentiment/feeling is against major
We 'II see about that tomorrow.                              changes in the Health Service.
(= consider, deal with)                                      {sentiment - attitude of mind)
                                                             Your views on 'political correctness' exactly
see again • look at again                                    echo my own sentiments/feelings.
/ think we should look at her application
again. (Not *see again her application*)                     sentimental • emotional • emotive
(= reconsider it)                                            - Some people get very emotional when they
/ want to see that film again.                                   listen to music and are moved to tears.
(= watch once more)                                              (Not * emotive*)
                                                                 (i.e. they have or show strong feelings)
sense (of)                                                   Some people get very sentimental when they
- Give up smoking. You know it makes sense.                  recall their childhood years. (Not * emotive*)
  (Not *does sense*)                                         (i.e. they indulge emotions that may not be
   (= it's the logical thing to do)                          very deep or sincere)
- / can't make sense of these figures.                       Abortion is an extremely emotive topic.
  (= understand)                                             (Not *emotional* * sentimental*)
sensible • sensitive • sore                                      {= arousing strong feelings)
- Amy is very sensitive. She wouldn't want to                series • in series • in order
    hurt anyone. (Not *sensible*)                            The series runs from 1 to 10. (Not *serie*)
    (= quick to feel distress for oneself or for others,     {series as a singular noun)
    opposite: insensitive = unfeeling)                       There are several series of books which help
- This seismograph is an extremely sensitive                 young children to develop reading skills.
    instrument. (Not *sensible*)                             (more than one series)
    (i.e. it can make exact measurements)                    Lottie arranged the pebbles in order of size.
I'm sure Amy will make the right decision.                   (Not *in series*)
She's a sensible woman. (Not * sensitive*)                   The coins have been arranged in series.
(i.e. she has good sense and judgement)                      (Not *in serie*)
The broken skin round my knee is still                          {in series = one following another in a
sensitive/sore. (Not *sensible*)                                numerical order or sequence)
    (= quick to feel pain/actively painful)

  The publications are a series.
  (i.e. they form a related whole)                       sewing
serious • trustworthy                                    - I've got a lot of sewing to do. (Not *make*)
                                                         - There's a lot of sewing to be done.
—Nursing is a job in which you have to be
  completely trustworthy. (Not *serious*)                  (Not *There are a lot of sewings*)
                                                           (sewing is uncountable)
  (= dependable, can be trusted, respectable)
—Tony is an ambitious young man, perhaps a               shade•shadow
  bit serious for his age.                               - / can see your shadow against the wall.
  (= without humour) (serious is more                      (Not *shade*)
  commonly applied to situations, etc., than to            (countable = a dark shape made by blocking the
  people: serious difficulties, a serious matter,          light)
  etc.)                                                  - It's very hot in the sun. Come and sit in the
                                                           shade. (Not *shadow*)
serve                                                       (uncountable = an area protected from
- Are you being served?                                    sunlight)
  (Not *Do they serve you ?)
                                                            (every object casts a shadow, not *shade*)
  (= receiving attention, e.g. in a shop; other
  fixed phrases: Yes, please? Can I help you?)           shampooing • shampoo
                                                         - I'm having a shampoo and cut. (Not
service • attention
                                                           *doing/making a shampoo/a shampooing*)
- Your case will receive attention as soon as              (i.e. at a hairdresser's; compare: I'm washing
  possible. (Not *service*)                                my hair, i.e. at home)
  (i.e. it will be dealt with)
                                                         - Who says constant shampooing is bad for
- The service on some airways has improved                 the hair? (Not * shampoo*)
  enormously. (Not *attention*)
                                                           (= the act of shampooing)
  (i.e. as received by customers)
                                                         shape • form
 service • tip                                           - With such a small majority, how are they
  - London taxi drivers always expect a tip. (Not          going to form a government? (Not *shape*)
    *service*)                                             (= put together)
    (= a small sum of money in addition to e.g. a fare     (we form a government, opinions, etc.)
    or a restaurant bill)                                - What are the issues which will shape our
- Does the bill include service/a service                  defence policy ?
    charge ? (preferable to a tip)                         (= e.g. influence our decisions; we shape our
    (a formal way of referring to a tip)
                                                           ideas, our attitudes, etc.)
 several • a lot of                                      sharp • sharply
- A lot of public money is spent on services.            - You'd better look sharp. The boss is coming.
   (Not *Several... money*)
                                                           (Not *look sharply*)
   (a lot of+ uncountable noun)
                                                           (usually a command = watch out, be careful)
- A lot of students/Several students are
   applying for grants.                                    (sharp, adjective = alert, exact, after the verbs
   (a lot of/several + plural countable) (a lot of=        be, seem, feel, etc.; also sound sharp/ sound
   much/many, an unspecified number; several               flat in music that is 'off pitch'; also directions:
   = a limited number of)                                  turn sharp right/turn sharp left, not *sharply*)
                                                         - I was woken sharply by the sound of
 sewed/sewn • sowed/sown                                   breaking glass. (Not *woken sharp*)
- Have you sowed/sown any lettuce this year?               (adverbial use = in a sharp manner)
   (Not *sewed/sewn*)
   (sow - sowed - sowed/sown = put seeds to grow)        shave
- I've sewed/sewn your button on.                        - I've just had a shave. (Not* done/made*)
   (Not *sowed/sown*)                                       I must get up and shave/get shaved.
   (sew - sewed - sewed/sewn = join with                     (it would not be 'wrong' to say shave myself, but
   needle and thread)                                        it would be unusual)
   (both pronounced in the same way)                     - Get shaved! (Not *Shave yourself!*)
                                                          You've actually managed to shave/shave
                                                          yourself without cutting your head off!
                                                          (the reflexive use shows conscious effort)
                                                              - What I saw gave me a shock.
 sheep                                                          (Not *did/made me a shock*)
- Can you see that sheep/those sheep just                        (= gave me an unpleasant surprise)
   beyond the trees? (Not * those sheeps*)                    - The violent crime shocked even the police.
   (same singular and plural form; also deer,                   (= gave them an unpleasant surprise;
   salmon)                                                      transitive verb)
 shelf • shelves • shelve                                      shocking • dirty stories
- I'm putting up a shelf/some shelves.                        - Lionel embarrassed everybody by telling a
   (noun: singular and plural forms)                             dirty story/several dirty stories.
- We'll have to shelve this idea for the time                     (Not *a shocking* *shockings*)
   being. (Not *shelf*)                                           (= rude anecdotes; shocking is not a noun)
    (verb = put on one side, 'put on the shelf)               - Parts of this film are quite shocking.
                                                                 (adjective = morally or socially offensive)
 sherry • cherry brandy
- This sherry/cherry brandy is rather sweet.                   shopping
   (sherry is a strong wine made in the region                - Did you go shopping this morning?
   of Jerez, Spain; cherry brandy is a strong                    (Not *go for shopping* *go for shop*, but go to the
   alcoholic drink made from cherries)                           shops is commonly used)
                                                              - Who does the shopping in this household?
she's                                                            (Not *makes shopping*)
- Sally says she's hungry.                                    - We did a lot of shopping this morning.
- Sally says she's done her homework,                            (Not *a lot of shoppings*)
  (she's is short for 'she is' or 'she has')                  - Shopping takes a lot of time.
shine • glow                                                     (Not *The shopping* *The shoppings*)
- We were welcomed into a warm room with a                    short
  glowing fire. (Not *shining*)                               - I'm too short to reach that shelf.
   (= giving out heat/light without flames)                     (= not tall)
- The beautiful parquet floors shone.                         - Are short skirts in fashion?
  (Not *glowed*)                                              - I'm often away for short periods.
   (= reflected light; also 'give out light', as in the sun   - The station is a short walk from here.
   shines)                                                      (= not long)
ship • boat • liner                                           short • brief
- / wouldn't go out in a small boat in rough                  - / won't give you a long speech. I promise
  weather. (Not *ship*)                                         you I will be brief. (Not *short*)
   (a boat can be large or small; only boats are used on        (= short in time or tedium; not long)
   rivers and are relatively small)                           - The Minister wasn't prepared to comment,
- How many ships are there in our merchant                      but she read a short/brief statement.
  fleet? (Not * liners*; preferable to boats)                   (short = in length; brief = in time; note: /'//
  (ships are large and carry people, etc., at sea)              be brief, not *I'll be short.*)
- It's fun to cross the Atlantic by ship/by
  boat/by (ocean) liner.                                      short • shortly
   (a liner is a large passenger ship)                        - He began to tell us the story and then
                                                                stopped short.
shock • crash                                                   (= suddenly)
- The passengers were thrown forward in the                     (we use short, not shortly, to mean 'just before the
  crash. (Not *shock*)                                          end': cut someone short = interrupt; run short of
  (= an accident, collision in a vehicle)                       something = come nearly to the end of a supply; stop
- A lot of passengers who were in the crash                     short = stop before the intended place or moment)
  are still suffering from shock.                             - I'll be with you shortly. (Not *short*)
   (= emotional and physical stress)                            (adverbial use = soon, in a short time)
shock * get/have a shock/give someone a shock                 shortly • in brief • in short
- I got/had a real shock when I entered the                   - This is the news in brief.
  house. (Not */ shocked* *I shocked myself*)                   (Not *shortly* *in short*)
  (= experienced stress because of something                    (= in a few words)

- It will take them years to recover from this                 shy (of) • embarrassed • ashamed (of/about) •
  defeat in the elections. In short, it's a                    shameful
  catastrophe. (Not *Shortly* *In brief*)                     - Doris spent two years in gaol and feels
   (= 'without going into details')                              ashamed of/about her past.
- Mr Perkins will be with you shortly.                           (Not * embarrassed/shy/shameful of/about*) (=
  (= in a short time, soon)                                      unhappy about having done something
 should • ought to                                            - / think he must be ashamed of his brother
- She should leave early tomorrow.                               because he always avoids mentioning him.
    (Not *should to leave* *shoulds to leave* *shoulds           (Not * shy/embarrassed/shameful of*)
    leave*)                                                      (= not proud of)
    (no to-infinitive or third person -(e)s ending after      - / can't excuse such shameful behaviour.
    should and other modal verbs)                                (Not *ashamed* *shy* * embarrassed*)
- She ought to leave early tomorrow.                             (= disgraceful, making one lose the respect of
   (should and ought to have the same                            others)
   meaning; should is never followed by to,                   - Katy feels shy at parties/is shy of strangers.
   while ought is always followed by to)                         (Not * ashamed/shameful (of)*)
 show (up) • appear                                              (shy = lacking in confidence)
- John didn't show up/appear till the party                   - I felt so embarrassed when I spilt coffee on
   was over.                                                     their beautiful carpet.
   (= arrive)                                                    (Not *shy* *ashamed* *shameful*) (= very
- I've been crying, but I hope it doesn't show.                  uncomfortable)
   (Not *show up* *appear*) (= isn't visible)                 sickly • poorly
 show • point to • point at • point out                       - / think I'll go home. I'm feeling poorly.
- All these coats look the same to me. Point to                  (Not * sickly*)
  the one that belongs to you. (Not *Show (to)                   (= unwell; poorly can be used after be, etc., to
  the one*, but we can say Show me the one)                      refer to people)
- It's rude to point at people.                               - Amanda is a sickly child. (Not *poorly*)
  (Not *point to* *show (to)*)                                   (= prone to sickness; often becoming ill;
  (pointing involves the use of the index                        sickly can be used before a noun or after be)
  finger: at after a verb often suggests                      - That plant looks sickly. (Not *poorly*)
  aggression: aim at, stare at, throw at, etc.)                  (= not very healthy)
- You'll pass a signpost pointing to Sutton.                  side • hand
  (Not *pointing at* *showing (to)*)                          - / know working in London is expensive. On
  (point to for direction)                                       the other hand, you do get a London
- Point out the road we're looking for on the                    allowance. (Not *On the other side* *From
  map. (preferable to point at/to)                               the other end*)
   (point out (to) = identify: Point her out to me please.)      (= from another point of view)
- I'll show you my car. (Not *point you to*)                  - On the one side we have Ray James, and on
  (= let you see it in detail, take you over it)                 the other side we have Joe Molloy.
shrink • gather                                                  (= opposing, e.g. in a contest, match)
- The sleeves have been gathered at the wrist.                sideways • at the side
  (Not *shrunk*)                                              - There's an entrance to the building at the
  (= made narrower with a row of stitches drawn up to            side. (Not *sideways*)
  make little pleats)                                            (i.e. at the side of the building'*
- My pullover has shrunk in the wash.                         - The corridor was so narrow, we had to
  (Not * gathered*)                                              move along it sideways.
  (= become smaller through washing; shrink is not               (= facing the wall, not facing forwards)
  reflexive: not *It has shrunk itself.*)
                                                              sight • view • spectacle • uproar • vision
shut • lock                                                   - There's an excellent view from our bedroom
- Please make sure the door is shut/locked.                      window. (Not *sight* *spectacle*)
  (shut = closed; locked = secured with a key)                   (= what can be seen from a particular place)
                                                              - Thousands of tulips all flowering at the
                                                                 same time are a wonderful sight.

   (Not *view* and preferably not spectacle) (=                - / wish you wouldn't speak in a silly way.
   something specific that is or can be seen: an event, an        (Not *speak silly/sillily*)
   activity, a notable item)                                     (silly is an adjective and the adverb must be
There was (an) uproar in Parliament when                         expressed by a phrase)
the Minister resigned. (Not *a spectacle*)
(= (a) loud noise made by a lot of excited                     silvery • silver
people)                                                        - A Georgian silver teapot would be very
The parade on the Queen's birthday was a                          valuable these days. (Not * silvery*)
magnificent spectacle/sight. (Not *view*)                          (= made of silver, silver can be a noun
(spectacle = a public display)                                     modifier: a silver bracelet, a silver pen)
You're lucky you have excellent vision/sight.                  - We danced by the silvery light of the moon.
(= the ability to see)                                            (= 'like silver')
sign • signal                                                  simple • plain • ordinary (people)
I'll wait by the Exit sign. (Not * signal*)                    - / was rather plain as a child.
(= a notice)                                                      (= not good looking, not attractive)
She's taking a little food. It must be a sign                  - Jane is an ordinary girl. (Not *simple*)
that she's getting better. (Not *signal*)                        (plain describes facial appearance and is
(= something that shows)                                         usually applied to females; it is not applied
I signalled/gave a signal before overtaking.                     to people in the sense of ordinary = not
(= an action to warn or show intentions)                         exceptional, approachable. Compare: Let me
                                                                 make myself plain = clear)
signify • mean                                                 - John is rather simple. (Not * plain*)
'Meagre' doesn't mean 'thin' in English.                         (= a bit retarded, simple-minded: not
(Not *isn't meaning* *doesn't signify*)                          condemnatory)
(stative use = have the meaning of)                            - Mrs Tibbs is a simple soul. (Not *plain*)
He shouldn't phone her. I mean it wouldn't                       (= uncomplicated, innocent)
be right. (Not *I'm meaning*)
    (i.e. that's what I imply)                                 simple • plain • ordinary (things)
- She hasn't phoned him yet, but I know she's                  - / like plain cooking best.
   meaning to.                                                    (Not *simple* *ordinary*)
    (dynamic use = intending to)                                  (= not fancy)
- / overslept, which meant taking a taxi.                      - I've prepared a simple meal for this evening.
   (Not *meant to take*)                                          (Not *plain* *ordinary*)
    (i.e. that was the consequence)                               (= not elaborate)
- What does a ring round the moon signify ?                    - The solution is quite simple/plain.
   (= 'what is it a sign of?'; mean is also                       (simple = easy; plain = obvious)
   possible)                                                   - We live in an ordinary house.
                                                                  (Not *simple* *plain*)
silken • silky • silk                                             (= not grand, not exceptional)
- / bought this lovely silk scarf in the airport
   shop. (Not *silken* * silky*)                               simple • stupid • dull • dim
   (= made of silk; silk can be a noun modifier: a silk tie,   - Sometimes I think you're really stupid/a
   a silk handkerchief)                                           really stupid boy. (Not * simple*)
- This is the conditioner that leaves your hair                   (= boneheaded, foolish; stupid is very
   soft and silky. (Not *silk* *silken*)                          uncomplimentary and offensive)
   (= 'feeling like silk')                                     - All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
- She addressed us in a silken/silky voice.                       (Not *simple* *stupid*)
   (= 'as smooth as silk')                                        (= boring)
                                                               - Jack's good at games, but a bit dim at
silly                                                             schoolwork. (Not *simple* *stupid*)
Don't be silly/a silly fool!                                      (= slow to learn)
Those two are just silly/silly fools.                          - Mrs Tibbs is a simple soul.
(exceptionally, we can use a silly/sillies, = a                   (Not * stupid* *dull*)
silly fool/silly fools, as nouns in a familiar or                 (= uncomplicated, innocent)
affectionate way: He's such a silly! They're
just a couple of sillies!)

since                                                   sister • nurse
- Tom hasn't been home since he was a boy.              - I'm a nurse at the local hospital. (Not sister,
  (= from the time; since as a conjunction in             unless referring to particular status as a
  time clauses)                                           senior nurse in charge of a hospital ward)
- Since there was very little support, the strike       - Can you help me get out of bed please,
  was not successful.                                     Sister/Sister Jones/Nurse ?
   (= because; since as a conjunction in clauses of        (the use of nurse or sister sometimes depends
   reason)                                                 on seniority; nurse is always used on its own;
- / saw Fiona in May and I haven't seen her                Sister or Sister + surname in hospitals: Sister
  since.                                                   Jones; Sister + first name in religious orders:
   (= from that time; since as an adverb of                Sister Mary)
   duration)                                            sit (down) • take a seat
- / haven't seen Tim since January.                     - Please sit down/take a seat.
   (= from that time; since as a preposition)              (Not *sit yourself* *sit you* *sit*) (sit is not
since • for                                                normally reflexive. We would only say e.g. Sit
- / haven't seen Tim for six months.                       yourself down and tell me about it if we
  (Not *since six months*) (for +                          wanted to be emphatic)
  period of time)                                       - My dog instantly obeys the command 'Sit!'
- / haven't seen Tim since January.                       (Not *Sit down.'*)
  (Not *for/from January*)                                 (The command Sit! is given to animals)
  {since + time reference)                              sit on • sit at
since • from                                            - When I went into the classroom, all the
- The tourist season runs from June to/till                pupils were sitting at/sitting on their desks,
  October. (Not *since ... to/till*)                       (sitting at their desks and ready for work;
- We're open from 9 o'clock. (Not * since*)                sitting on their desks = on top of them;
  (i.e. from 9 onwards)                                    compare Who sits on the committee ?)
- We've been open since/from 9 o'clock.                 situation • condition(s) • position • state
  (i.e. from that time up till now)                     - / phoned to ask how she was and they told
- I've been interested in flying since I was a             me her condition is unchanged.
  boy. (Not *from* as a conjunction)                        (Not *situation* *position* *state*) (=
  (= from the time when)                                    state of health)
single • only • own                                     - My bicycle's in a terrible condition/state.
- This is the only phone in the village.                   (Not *situation* *position*)
  (Not *the single*)                                        (= state of repair)
  (= the only one)                                      - Tina is attending an interview this morning
- There is a single phone in the village.                  and she's in a real state. (Not * condition*)
  (Not *an only* *an own*)                                 (to be in a state = be very anxious, upset)
  (= only one)                                          - / didn't have enough money to pay my
                                                           restaurant bill. I've never been in such a
- I'd like a single room please.
                                                           situation/position before. (Not *condition*)
  (Not *an only room* *an own room*) (= a                  (i.e. faced with a problem)
  room for one person)                                  - What's our exact position on the map?
- / have my own room/a room of my own.                     (Not *situation* *condition*)
  (Not *an own room*)                                       (= location)
  (i.e. solely for my use)                              - Conditions for investment are/The situation
single • ordinary                                          for investment is very bad at present.
- I ' d like a single/an ordinary ticket please.           (conditions = matters which affect daily life;
   (single = one-way; ordinary = not first-class,          the situation: i.e. in general)
   or 'not special')                                    skin • complexion • flesh • leather • hide
sink to                                                 - I've such a bad skin/complexion, I'm always
- / hear you've sunk to borrowing money from              coming out in spots.
  strangers. (Not *sunk to borrow*)                       (skin and complexion are interchangeable as
   {to functions as a preposition + -ing here, not as     countable nouns when they refer to
   part of the infinitive)

   colouring and quality of facial skin: a             - My old car goes slow uphill and goes fast
   fair/dark/fresh, etc., skin/complexion)               downhill.
I got so sunburnt that my skin peeled.                   (i.e. that's how it travels)
(uncountable = the covering of the body;
skin can be countable as in e.g. an animal             slow • gradual
skin, animal skins; a hide can also refer to a         - He is showing slow/gradual improvement.
whole animal skin)                                        (slow = not fast; gradual = little by little)
I've cut myself, but it isn't serious. It's just a     slow • slowly
flesh wound. (Not *leather* *hide*)                    - This train's going terribly slow/slowly.
(flesh is below the skin, not part of it)                 (go slow = be slow; go slowly = travel in a
Shoes made of real leather have become so                 slow fashion)
expensive. (preferable to hide)                        - Eat your food slowly! (Not *slow*)
    (= treated animal skin used to make shoes,            (only -ly to describe a deliberate action)
    handbags, coats, etc.; compare fur = animal skin
    covered with hair)                                 small • narrow
- This sofa is made from real hide/leather.            - The road is too narrow for two cars to pass.
   (the standard term is leather; hide refers to         (Not *small*)
   large areas of leather from large animals, e.g.       (= not wide)
   cowhide, but note pigskin, not *pig hide*)          - Hay Court is a small street near St. Paul's.
                                                         (= not large)
skin • rind • peel • shell
- The rind of Parmesan cheese is like rock.            smell (of)
  (Not *skin* *peel*)                                  - This fish smells bad. (Not *is smelling*
  (= the inedible, often hard, outer layer of food       *smells badly*; smell functions like be, so
  such as cheese or a thick-skinned fruit)               we use an adjective after it: bad; not an
- It's not very funny to slip on a banana skin.          adverb: badly; this use is always stative)
  (Not *rind* *peel*)                                  - What are you doing ? - I'm smelling the fish
   (= the soft, often thin, outer layer of a fruit,      to see if it's all right. (Not *I smell*)
   which may be edible or inedible)                      (dynamic use)
- The top of the mountain is littered with             - You smell of soap. The desk smells of
  orange peel and rubbish. (Not *peels*)                 varnish. (Not *smell(s) from/with*)
  (= the outer layer removed - peeled - from a fruit     (i.e. you have/it has that smell)
  or vegetable before it is eaten; uncountable)        - / smell/can smell something burning.
- My hands are black because I've been                   (Not *smell (something) to burn*)
  shelling fresh walnuts. (Not *peeling*)              - I love to smell the trees give off that scent of
  (a shell is the outer covering of nuts and             resin. (Not *smell ...to give off*)
sleep • bed                                            - She gave me a big smile. (Not *made/did me
I'm going to bed. (Not *I'm going to sleep.*             a big smile* *gave to me a big smile*)
*I'm going for sleep* *I'll fall to sleep.*)           - She smiled at me. (Not *She smiled me. *)
(= e.g. in order to sleep)
It took me a long time to go to sleep.                 smoke
(Not *go asleep*)                                      - The kitchen is full of smoke. (Not * smokes*)
    (= fall asleep after you go to bed)                  (smoke is uncountable)
- I've just had a long sleep.                          smoking • dinner jacket
   (Not *done/made a sleep*)                           - I've been invited to a black-tie affair so I'll
sleep • get sleepy                                       have to borrow your dinner jacket (AmE
I get sleepy watching TV. (Not * I sleepy*)              tuxedo). (Not *smoking*)
I often sleep through long films.                        (smoking jacket, as worn by men in the
                                                         nineteenth century, is archaic)
slow/Fast                                              - Smoking among teenagers is increasing.
- This clock is slow/fast.                               (= the smoking of tobacco)
   (Not *goes slow/fast*)
   (i.e. it's behind/ahead of the right time)          snob/snobbish • elegant/smart/chic
                                                       - Princess Diana was wearing an extremely
                                                         elegant/smart/chic outfit. (Not *snob*)
                                                         (= beautiful/stylish)

- You have to be a real snob/really snobbish                - The new office manager is a real so-and-so.
  to believe that membership of this club                     ('something you cannot say because it's a
  makes you socially superior.                                rude word' = unpleasant)
  (i.e. you are claiming social superiority; a snob is a
  person who is snobbish and is affected by snobbery,       so as not to/in order not to • not to
  not *snobbism*)                                           - / went to France not to study French, but to
                                                               study architecture.
 so (have you) • so (you have)!                                (Not *so as not to/in order not to*) (not to ...
- I've got a rash on my arm. - So you have!                    but to to refer to alternatives)
   (Not *So have you!*, though So have I! = 1               - / shut the door quietly so as not to/in order
   have too' would be possible)                                not to wake the baby.
   (So you have! echoes the statement previously made,         (Not *to not wake* *for to not wake* *to don't
   confirming what is said; compare So it is!, So you          wake*; preferable to not to wake) (so as not to and
   were!, etc.)                                                in order not to refer to 'negative purpose')
- I've got a rash on my arm and so have you.                so that/in order that
   (Not *so you have*)                                      - We arrived early so that/in order that we
   (= you have too; so + inversion when one statement is       might get good seats. (Not *for to get*)
   'added' to another)
                                                            soap • a bar of soap
 so • such (a/an) • like this/like that                     - / bought some soap/a bar of soap/two bars
- Dance to the music like this/like that.                     of soap. (Not *a soap* *two soaps*)
   (Not Hike so*)                                             (soap is uncountable)
   (= in this way, in that way)
- I'd love to live in a house like this/that.               social • sociable
   (Not *such a house* *such kind of house*)                - Ron has always been a sociable sort of
- There was such a large choice! (Not *so                     person. (Not *social*)
   large choice* *a so/a such large choice*)                   (i.e. he enjoys the company of other people)
- We had such trouble/such difficulties!                    - Ron has always had an active social life.
   (Not *so trouble* *so difficulties* *such                  (Not *sociable*)
   kind of trouble* *such kind of difficulties*)               (i.e. in society, e.g. going out with friends)
   (such a/an + countable noun, or such +
   uncountable noun or plural countable)                    society • community
- The choice was so large!/There was so large               - Rising unemployment in the area is bad for
   a choice! (Not *such large (a choice)*)                    the whole community.
   (so + adjective, not noun)                                  (= the people who live in a particular area)
- We had so much trouble/so many                            - In a civilized society, everyone should have
   difficulties! (Not *such much/many*)                       access to health care and education.
                                                               (= the way people live together)
so • this • that
- It was about so/this/that big.                            soft • low
  (actually indicating with a gesture)                      - What a lovely soft pillow!
- Look at that hot air balloon! It's so big!                   (= not hard)
  (Not *this big*)                                          - Does the sound of soft/low music in the
  (= exclaiming that it is very big; It's that big! is an      background make people work better?
  informal alternative to It's so big!)                        (= not loud: low as the opposite of loud)
                                                            - The stool is too low for him and he can't
so • very                                                      reach the table.
- I'm afraid your essay wasn't very good.                      (= not high: low as the opposite of high)
   (a polite way of saying it was bad, with not very)
- Your work hasn't been so good lately.                     soft • soften • get/go soft
  (compared e.g. with earlier work)                         - Put the biscuits in a tin or they'll go/get soft.
                                                               (Not * they'll soft* * they'll soften*)
so-and-so • so-so                                           - Use some of this cream to soften your
- Our hotel was only so-so. (Not * so-and-so*)                 hands/to make your hands soft. (Not *to
  (= neither very good nor very bad)                           soft your hands* *to get soft your hands*)

soft • tender                                           - Some women are fighting for their rights.
/ hope the meat is tender. (Not *soft*)                   (and others aren't)
{tender is the word we apply to meat and the
opposite is tough, not *hard*)                           some time/sometime • some times •
This soft mattress is bad for my back.                   sometimes
(Not *tender*)                                          - My son calls in sometimes on his way to
   (opposite hard/firm)                                    work. (Not *sometime* *some times*)
                                                           (= now and again)
solicitors • prostitutes                                - There are some times when I feel very
- Is there a law against prostitutes soliciting            depressed. (Not *sometime* *sometimes*)
   passers-by?                                             (= particular occasions)
   (prostitutes might solicit = offer sex for money:    - You must visit us some time/sometime.
   soliciting, but they aren't solicitors)                 (Not *sometimes*)
- The matter is with our solicitors.                       (= on some occasion, not specified)
   (BrE lawyers, AmE lawyers or attorneys; solicitors
   advise, but don't solicit)                           someone/somebody • anyone/anybody
                                                        - Is there anyone/anybody in?
solid • massive • thick                                   (anyone/anybody is usual in questions, but
- The old dining room in the castle used to               someone/somebody is possible when we are
   contain a massive table which could seat               expecting the answer Yes, e.g. Is somebody meeting
   100 people. (Not * solid*)                             you at the station?)
   (- very large and solidly-built)                     - There isn't anyone/anybody in.
- This table is made of solid oak.                        (Not *There isn't someone/somebody*)
   (Not *massive*)                                        (anyone/anybody in negative statements)
   (i.e. it's all oak, right the way through)           - There's someone/somebody waiting to see
- The table top is a thick piece of solid wood.           you. (Not *There's anyone/anybody*)
   (thick refers to measurement)                          (someone/somebody in affirmative
solution to
- The ozone layer is depleting and there's no           something • anything
   easy solution to this problem. (Not *for*)           - Is there anything we can do ?
                                                          (anything is usual in questions, but something is
some • any                                                possible when we are expecting the answer Yes, e.g.
Are there any letters for me this morning?                Can I get you something to eat?)
(any is usual in questions, but some is                 - There isn't anything we can do.
possible when we are expecting the answer                 (Not *There isn't something*)
Yes, e.g. Have you got some news for me?)                 (anything in negative statements)
There aren't any letters for you this                   - There's something I want to tell you.
morning. (Not *There aren't some letters*)                (Not *There's anything*)
(any in negative statements)                              (something in affirmative statements)
There are some letters for you this morning.            - Don't just sit there. Do something. Haven't
(Not *There are any letters*)                             you got anything to do ? (Not *make*)
   (some in affirmative statements)                       (= occupy your time, take action)
some/any • one                                          - Emma made something for your birthday.
- Would you like some/any sandwiches/cake ?               (= created)
  - Yes, I'd like some please. (Not *I'd like.*)        - Alexander Calder, the sculptor, could make
  - No, I don't want any, thank you.                      anything out of bits of wire. (Not *do*)
  (some/any after a transitive verb to replace            (= create)
  any/some + noun)                                      somewhere • anywhere
- Would you like a sandwich ?                           - Is there anywhere we can park?
  - Yes, I'd like one please. (Not *l'd like.*)           (anywhere is usual in questions, but
  - No, I don't want one, thank you.                      somewhere is possible when we are
  (one replaces a/an + noun after a transitive verb)      expecting the answer Yes, e.g. Is there
some • (-)                                                somewhere I can leave my coat?)
- (-) Women are fighting for their rights.
  (= all women in general)

- There isn't anywhere we can park.                     - I've been corresponding with a Spaniard.
  (Not *There isn't somewhere*)                           (Not *a Spanish*)
  {anywhere in negative statements)                        (this is usually understood as 'a Spanish man';
- / know somewhere we can park.                            otherwise we have to say I've been corresponding
  (Not *I know anywhere*)                                  with a Spanish woman.)
  (somewhere in affirmative statements)                 —/ was just speaking to two Spaniards.
                                                          (this suggests 'two Spanish men'; otherwise
 sorry to/for                                             we have to say / was just speaking to two
- I'm sorry to interrupt you, but there's a               Spanish women.)
   telephone call for you.                              —The Spanish/(The) Spanish people are
    (i.e. but I'm going to interrupt you)                 increasingly successful and prosperous.
- I didn't mean to barge in. I'm sorry for                (Not *Spanish* and preferably not (The)
   interrupting you.                                      Spaniards)
    (i.e. I have interrupted you)                          (= the group as a whole) (also: Arabic/an Arab/(the)
 sorts/sort • goods • appliance                            Arabs, Danish/a Dane/(the) Danes or the Danish,
- We stock electrical goods and hi-fi.                     Finnish/a Finn/(the) Finns or the Finnish,
   (Not *sorts*)                                           Philippine/a Filipino/(the) Filipinos, Polish/a
   (= articles for sale; plural noun with no singular      PoleZ(the) Poles, Swedish/a Swede/(the) Swedes or
   form + plural verb)                                     the Swedish, Turkish/a Turk/(the) Turks)
- What sorts of radios/sort of radio do you             spare
   want to see?                                         —You can sleep in the spare room.
   (Not *sort of radios* * sorts of radio*) (= kinds,     (= not in use; compare spare tyre)
   varieties)                                           —Have you got a spare moment/a moment to
- I'm looking for an electrical appliance for             spare?
   crushing ice. (Not *sort*)                              (= free; compare spare time)
- John is a very good sort. (Not *type*)                - Where can I get spare parts for this engine ?
   (= type of person)                                     (= essential replacement parts to keep a
 sound                                                    machine in running order)
- A day in the country sounds (like) a nice             speak • talk
   idea. (Not *is sounding*)                            —We spent the whole night talking.
- That sounds interesting.                                (Not *speaking*)
   (Not * sounds interestingly*)                        —The lecturer took up the entire hour
   (stative use only = it is interesting)                 speaking and didn't answer any questions.
- You sound/You 're sounding more and more                (preferable to talking)
   like your father.
                                                           (talk suggests conversation; speak suggests a single
   (stative or dynamic use depending on the speaker's      person saying something: / want to talk to you =
   viewpoint)                                              have a conversation with you; / want to speak to you
sour                                                       = tell you something -perhaps serious or unpleasant;
- The milk has gone/turned sour.                           also: speak a language; you ask to speak to
  (Not *has soured*)                                       someone on the phone)
- I've added too much lemon juice to the soup           - / wish you wouldn't speak/talk like that in
  and made it sour. (Not * soured it*)                    front of your mother!
- Their relationship soured/turned sour/went              (interchangeable)
  sour long before they split up.                       speak of/on/about
  (sour as a verb = become acid)                        - She spoke of/about her childhood at some
Spanish                                                   length. (Not * spoke for* * spoke on*)
- I'm learning/doing Spanish.                              (= told us about)
  (Not *making Spanish* *spanish*)                      - She spoke on/about childhood and the
  (= the language: proper noun, capital letter)           problems of growing up. (Not *spoke for*)
- He's/She's Spanish. (Not *a Spanish*)                   (= gave a lecture about: speak, lecture, write
  (adjectival form)                                       on or about a topic)
- They're Spanish. (Not *Spanishes*)
  (adjectival form)

speak to                                                   spirit/soul • ghost
- I'll speak to (AmE speak with) my lawyer                 - What's the matter? You look as if you've
  about this. (Not *speak my lawyer'*)                       seen a ghost! (Not *spirit* *soul*)
                                                              (= the imagined form of a dead person)
species                                                    - God rest his spirit/soul!
- This species of butterfly is very rare.                     (= that part of a human being which is thought by
  (Not *specie*)                                              many to survive death; no 'form' is imagined)
   (species as a singular noun)
- Seven species of poisonous snake are to be               spirit • spirits • alcohol
  found on the peninsula.                                  Slivovitz is a fiery spirit. (Not *alcohol*)
   (more than one species)                                 (= a strong alcoholic drink)
                                                           What steps can be taken to curb the
speck • spot • mark                                        consumption of spirits/alcohol?
- There's a spot/mark on your tie.                            (= strong alcoholic drinks; spirits generally means
  (Not *a speck* on its own)                                  distilled drinks like gin, whisky and vodka; alcohol
   (= a small stain)                                          can mean any alcoholic drink)
- I've got a spot on my nose.                              This beer contains only 2% alcohol.
  (Not *a speck* *a mark*)                                 (Not *spirit* *spirits*)
   (= a small infection in the skin)                       The champion defended her tennis title with
- There's a speck of dust in my eye.                       a lot of spirit. (Not *spirits*)
  (Not *a spot of dust* *a mark of dust*)                     (= determination)
  (= a tiny amount of; a speck is usually                  - Everyone at the party was in high spirits.
  followed by of: a speck of dust/dirt/soot)
                                                              (Not *spirit*)
spectator • audience • viewers                                (= mood: high or low spirits)
- The audience applauded the soloist.                      spiritual • intellectual • witty
  (Not *the spectators*)                                   Terry is an extremely witty speaker.
   (= people watching a show, e.g. a play, a film, or
   attending a concert)                                    He gave a witty answer to my question.
                                                           (Not *spiritual* * intellectual*)
- How many viewers watch the European
  contest? (Not *spectators*)                                 (= clever, funny, full of wit)
   (= people watching TV)                                  - People who consider themselves to be
- The spectators jumped back as the racing                    intellectuals often arouse a lot of suspicion.
  car hit the barrier. (Not * audience*)                      (Not *spiritual* *witty*)
                                                              (= thinkers)
  (= people watching an outdoor event, usually sporting;
  such events are often referred to as spectator sports)   - Can psychiatrists really attend to our
                                                              spiritual needs?
speech • talk • chat                                          (= of the spirit)
- The minister gave/made a speech about                    spit • kebab • grill • skewer • barbecue
  social welfare. (Not *did a speech*)
- I'm going to give a talk about wildlife at our           - / had a kebab and a salad. (Not *spit*)
  local museum. (Not *do/make a talk*)                        (= small pieces of meat grilled on a skewer)
   (a speech is formal and generally given on big          Meat has to be turned frequently on a spit/
   occasions; a talk is informal and generally given on    grill if you want it to be properly cooked.
   small occasions)                                        (a spit = a long metal rod; a grill = a metal
- Frank always speaks through his teeth, so                shelf on which food is cooked by heat from
  his speech isn't very clear. (Not *talk*)                above or below)
                                                           'Teriyake' is little pieces of meat cooked on a
  (= the way he speaks)
- We had a nice chat/talk.
   (Not * speech* *made/did a chat/talk*) (= an               (a skewer = a small metal or wooden stick pushed
   informal conversation)                                     through food to hold it while it is cooked)
                                                           Let's take the barbecue to the beach today.
spend • offer/buy                                          We're having a barbecue on Sunday.
- He offered/bought me a beer. (Not *spent*)                  (a barbecue is: 1) the apparatus for cooking food,
- I can't spend any more money on this car.                   especially meat, over an open fire;
  {spend time, money)

    2) the occasion when food is cooked in this manner: a stark • strong
    barbecue party)                                         You have to be really strong to work in the
                                                            furniture removals business. (Not *stark*)
  sport/sports                                              (= have physical strength)
- We do/play a lot of sport/sports at this                  / need some strong coffee. (Not * stark*)
   school. (Not *make sport/sports*)                        (i.e. made with a lot of coffee)
  sportive • sporting • sporty • fond of sport • sport      The waiting room was starkly furnished/
- Both my boys are extremely sporty/fond of                 cold and stark.
   sport. (Not *sportive* *sporting* *sports*)                  (= bare, severe; stark describes places and
- It's very sporting of you to give him another                 effects)
   chance to play in our team.                              start
    (Not *sportive* *sporty*) (= generous, decent)          It's time we made a start. (Not *did*)
- Sportive dolphins are wonderfully                         I started working/work when I was sixteen.
   entertaining.                                            {working is a participle; work is a noun)
    (= playful in the manner of animals or children;        The machine has to warm up before it starts
    sportive is fairly rare)                                to work.
- John/Jane is a really good sport.                             (start to work: i.e. begin to function on a
    (= a person who is fair-minded and has a generous           particular occasion; start working: i.e. in
    nature,      not       to     be      confused     with     general)
    sportsman/sportswoman = a person who plays or - How can we start him working?
    enjoys sporting activities)                                (Not *start him to work*)
 sprang • sprung                                            state • county • province • land
- The soldiers sprang/sprung to attention                   Some countries, like Britain, are divided into
   when their commanding officer appeared.                  counties; others, like America, are divided
   {sprang is the usual form, but sprung occurs)            into states; and others, like Spain, are
- / think we've sprung a leak.                              divided into provinces. (Not * lands*)
   (Not *have sprang*)                                      Once, in a land far away across the sea,
   (only sprung as a past participle: spring -              lived a beautiful princess.
   sprang/sprung - sprung)                                      (= country: literary; note that department in
 stadium • stage • floor                                        English refers only to parts of an organization,
- Both parties have now reached a delicate                      not a geographical area: / work in the design
   stage in their negotiations. (Not * stadium*)                department.)
   (= point)                                                - Most former colonies are now independent
- My flat is on the seventh floor. (Not *stage*)               states.
- At the end of the play the entire cast is on                  (= countries with their own political
   the stage. (Not *stadium*)                                   organizations)
   (= the area where a play is performed)
- Maracana is one of the biggest football                   stationary • stationery
   stadiums/stadia in the world.                            - Godwins are suppliers of office stationery.
   (= a sports field with seats round it)                      (Not * stationary*)
                                                                (= writing materials, especially paper)
stand (for)                                                 - The traffic was stationary because of a
- What do the initials IBM stand for?                          security alert. (Not * stationery*)
   (Not *are they standing for*)                                (= not moving)
   (stative use = represent)
- Don't tell me you 're standing for                        statistic • statistics
   Parliament!                                              - What are the statistics for school leavers
   (dynamic use = putting your name forward so as to be        looking for work?
   elected)                                                     (Not *is the statistic* *are the statistic*) (plural
- / can't stand hearing the same tune played                    form + plural verb for specific references)
   over and over. (Not * can't stand to hear*)              - Statistics is an inexact science.
   (= can't bear/tolerate, hate)                                (Not *(the) statistics are* *(the) statistic is*)
                                                                (plural form + singular verb to refer to the
                                                                academic subject)

- Here's a statistic that will interest you.            stockings • tights • socks
  (= a single figure in a set of statistics)            / bought my father a pair of socks for his
                                                        birthday. (Not *stockings* *tights*)
steely • steel                                          (socks are short; they are worn more by men
Steel cutlery will last for ever. (Not * steely*)       and children than by women)
(= made of steel; steel can be a noun                   / bought my mother a pair of stockings/
modifier: a steel pan, a steel drum)                    tights for her birthday.
I could see he was determined by the steely                (stockings and tights are worn by women; tights,
look in his eye.                                           AmE pantyhose, are made in one piece,
   (= hard, 'like steel')                                  combining pants and stockings)
steer • drive • pilot • fly                             stomach-ache
It's quite possible to drive from Geneva to             - / have/I've got (a) stomach-ache.
London in a day. (Not *steer* *pilot*)                     (Not */ have/I've got my stomach.*)
She steered the car skilfully into a tiny               - I had (a) stomach-ache last night.
parking space. (preferable to drove)                      (Not *did/made (a) stomach-ache*)
The captain steered his ship into the
harbour. (Not *drove*, though piloted                   stony • stone
would be possible)                                      - They don't build fine stone walls like this
    {drive = be in control of e.g. a vehicle; steer =      nowadays! (Not *stony*)
    make a vehicle go in a particular direction: you       (= made of stone; stone can be a noun
    steer a car while driving it by moving the             modifier: a stone step, a stone tablet)
    steering wheel)                                     The ground is too stony to grow crops.
- It's hard to imagine that anyone could pilot/         (= with a lot of stones)
   fly some of the old planes you see in                My jokes were met with stony silence!
   museums. (Not *drive* *steer*)                       (= 'like stone': i.e. hard, unfriendly)
    (pilot a plane; compare pilot = guide a ship e.g.   stop
    through a canal)                                    We made a couple of stops on our way here.
still • stile • style                                   (Not*did... stops*)
- He may not be very clever, but he has a lot           I've stopped buying newspapers.
   of style! (Not * still* *stile*)                     (Not * stopped to buy*)
    (= 'elegance', 'poise')                             On the way to the station, I stopped to buy a
- George Orwell is regarded as a master of              paper. (Not *stopped buying*)
   (prose) style. (Not *still* * stile*)                   (= stopped in order to buy)
    (= way of writing)                                  - How can we stop him complaining?
- Please help me over this stile.                          (Not *stop him to complain*)
   (= a specially-constructed step over a wall or       stop • hitch/hitchhike
   fence)                                               - We hitched lifts/hitchhiked right across
- A two-year-old can't keep still for long!               Europe.
   (= unmoving)                                            (Not *We did (auto)stop* *We stopped*)
stir • mix • beat • dissolve                            - Hitching/Hitchhiking is the only way to
- With the pan off the heat, add the beaten               travel if you're broke. (Not *The stop*)
   eggs to the milk and mix them well.                    (= getting a driver of a vehicle to stop and
   (= work them together till they combine)               take you the whole or part of your journey)
- Heat the mixture gently, and stir it
   occasionally. (Not *mix*)                            story • storey
   (= move it around with a spoon)                      - My office is on the tenth storey.
Beat the sugar and the egg-yolks together.                (story only in AmE)
(= mix vigorously with a fork or mechanical                (= a floor, or level in a building; plural:
beater)                                                    storeys)
Dissolve the sugar in a cup of water.                   - Read me a story, Mum. (Not *storey*)
   (= mix a solid into a liquid until they become one     (plural: stories)
   substance)                                           straight
                                                        - I've got such a bad headache, I can't see
                                                           straight. (Not *straightly*)
                                                           (= in a straight line; straight is both

    adjective and adverb: a straight line, think straight,    strengthen • strong • get/grow stronger
    etc.; there is no -ly form)                               - I got/grew stronger again after my illness by
                                                                taking regular exercise.
  strange • curious • foreign                                    (Not */ strengthened* *I stronged*)
 - I'm curious to know why they suddenly left                 - Exercise made me strong again after my
    the district. (Not * strange*)                              illness. (preferably not strengthened me)
    (= eager to know, having curiosity, curious about         - We'll have to put a beam in to strengthen
    something)                                                  that wall/make that wall strong.
 - We should try to cut down on foreign                          (Not *strong that wall*)
    imports. (Not *strange* *curious*)
    (= from abroad)                                           stretch • spread • extend
 - There are many curious/strange phenomena                   - Daphne emptied her handbag and spread
    in physics that still can't be explained.                    the contents on her desk.
    (= unusual, odd)                                             (= opened out horizontally)
                                                              - He spread his arms wide.
  strangeness • curiosity                                        (i.e. opened them out)
 - Curiosity killed the cat. (Not * Strangeness*)             - This butter is still too cold to spread.
    (= wanting to know)                                          (Not *stretch* *extend*)
- It took me a while to get used to the                          (= make into a flat layer: spread with butter)
   strangeness of my new school.                              - I'm going for a walk to stretch my legs.
    (= the unfamiliar quality)                                   (Not *extend*)
 stranger • foreigner • alien • guest                         - He extended his hand warmly.
- I've lived in France for years, but I still                    (Not *stretched*)
  speak French like a foreigner.                              - Stretch/Extend your arms as far as they will
   (Not *stranger* *guest* * alien*) (= one who is not           go. (Not *Spread*)
   a native)                                                     (stretch = pull out, making bigger/longer;
- Aliens have to apply for work permits, as                      extend = open out in a line)
  well as residence permits.                                  strike
   (preferable to Foreigners) (alien is formal for a          - The workers are striking/are on strike.
   foreigner living long-term in another country)                (Not *are doing/making strike*)
- We're expecting guests for supper.
  (Not *strangers* *foreigners* * aliens*)                    strong • heavy • hard
  (= people who have been invited)                            - Heavy smoking and hard/heavy drinking
- Given half the chance, she'd tell her life                     are the shortest route to an early grave. (Not
  story to a complete stranger.                                  *strong smoking/drinking*)
   (= a person who is unknown to her)                         - It's been a hard winter.
                                                                 (Not *a heavy/strong winter*)
 street • road                                                   (Compare: This case is heavy!/What a heavy
- Is this the road to Damascus? (Not * street*)                  case! = in weight)
- A water pipe had burst and there was a hole                 - Whisky is a strong drink.
   in the road. (Not * street*)                                  (note also weak/strong tea, mild/strong coffee,
- Our house is in this street.                                   weak/thin/strong beer)
   (a road is a flat surface that carries traffic; a street   - These mints are extra strong.
   is a place consisting of a road with buildings along          (i.e. in effect or flavour)
   the sides)
                                                              strong • strongly
streetwalker • pedestrian • walker                            - Grandma's over 90 and still going strong.
- You can't drive in this street: it's for                       (Not * going strongly*)
  pedestrians only.                                              (going strong is a fixed expression = be
  (Not * streetwalkers* *walkers*)                               healthy)
- On the way here, I was approached by a                      - / strongly support high taxes on tobacco.
  woman who must have been a streetwalker.                       (adverbial use = to a high degree)
  (euphemistic, old-fashioned for prostitute)
- The mountain paths are used by walkers.                     strophe • verse
  (= people who walk for pleasure, especially                 - How many verses are there in the national
  in the countryside)                                            anthem? (Not * strophes*)
                                                                 (a verse = a set of lines of poetry; a strophe

   = a verse is a technical term in descriptions of             (you move the tongue across a surface when you
   classical poetry)                                            lick: lick a stamp)
                                                             - I wish you wouldn't suck your ice lolly in
stuck • get stuck
                                                               such a noisy fashion!
- During the power-cut we got stuck in the lift                 (you draw something into the mouth when you suck,
  for over an hour. (Not *we stuck*)                            or you hold it in the mouth: suck a sweet)
   (= were unable to move)
- / stuck the broken pieces of that vase                     suds
  together with quick-drying glue.                           - You've used too much washing powder: the
                                                               machine is full of suds. (Not *sud*)
stuff • substance • fabric • material • matter                 (plural noun with no singular form + plural
- It took a lot of fabric/material to make these               verb)
  curtains. (Not *stuff* - archaic in this sense -
  or *substance* *matter*)                                   suffer • allow • bear • support
   (= cloth)                                                 - The hospital won't allow visitors during the
- I prefer natural fabrics/materials like cotton               morning. (Not *suffer* *support*)
  to synthetics like polyester.                              - Please turn that music down. I can't bear it.
   (Not *stuffs* *substances* *matters*) (= types of           (Not * suffer* *support*)
   cloth)                                                    - I can't bear to see children suffer.
- They use some awful waxy stuff/substance                      (= experience pain; suffer in the sense of 'allow' is
  on lemons to stop them going bad.                             now archaic)
  (preferable to matter)                                     - / can't afford to be out of work. I have a
- We had to sell so much of our stuff when we                  family to support.
  moved to a smaller house.                                     (= provide money for)
   (Not *matter* *material* *'substance*) (stuff is
   uncountable; we use it informally to refer to things in   sugar
   general, possessions, etc.)                               - One spoonful of sugar in your tea, or two ?
- Sub-atomic particles form the building                       (Not *a sugar*, though two sugars is often
  matter of the universe.                                      heard in informal speech)
   (= the material from which it is made)                       (sugar is uncountable)
stuffed (with) • filled (with) • filling                     suggest
- This cake is filled with lemon cream/has a                 - Who suggested that idea to you ?
  lemon cream filling. (Not * stuffed with*)                   (Not * suggested you that idea* *suggested to you
  (fabricated or man-made food e.g. chocolate                  that idea*)
  is filled or contains filling)                             - To save time, I suggest we meet/I suggest we
- The tomatoes have been stuffed with rice,                    should meet/I suggest meeting at the
  mince and parsley. (Not * filled with*)                       restaurant. (Not *suggest to meet* *suggest we to
- We're having stuffed tomatoes tonight.                        meet* *suggest we meeting*)
  (Not *filled*, which isn't used before a                    suggestive • inspiring • imaginative •
  noun)                                                       suggested
   (natural foods like meat, fish or vegetables are          - The orchestra gave us an inspiring/
   stuffed; the noun is stuffing)                               imaginative performance of Tchaikovsky's
stupidity                                                       6th. (Not * suggestive*)
- The environment is the constant victim of                      (inspiring = that raised our spirits, gave us
   our stupidity. (Not * stupidities*)                           inspiration; imaginative = that showed use of the
   (stupidity is generally uncountable)                          imagination)
                                                             - The suggested menu/the menu suggested
succeed in                                                      seemed too elaborate. (Not *suggestive*)
- Power in a democracy depends on how well                      (= which has been suggested)
  you succeed in persuading people to vote                   - Making suggestive comments is a kind of
  for you. (Not * succeed to persuade*; the                     sexual harassment.
  noun is success + in + -ing; the adjective is                  (= full of sexual innuendo)
  successful + in + -ing)
suck • lick
- / wish you wouldn't lick your ice cream in
  such a noisy fashion! (Not *suck*)

 suite • suit
- Why is grey always the favourite colour for      - He is supposed to be at work today.
  a business suit? /su:it/ (Not *suite*)             (Not *It is supposed him to be at work*)
   (= a suit of clothes)                             (= 'people think he is at work' or 'it is his
- We've just bought a new three-piece suite          duty to be at work')
  /swi:t/ for the living room. (Not *suit*)        - The train's supposed to arrive at 9.14.
   (= matching armchairs and settee)                 (Not *It is supposed the train to arrive*)
- / wonder what it costs to spend a night in the     (= 'but perhaps it won't arrive')
  Presidential Suite ? /swi:t/
   (= a set of rooms in a hotel)                   sure • safe • secure
                                                   - The survivors have been rescued and are all
 sunk • sunken                                       safe. (Not *sure* *secure*)
- The sunken wreck of a ship blocked the           - Do you think it's safe to keep cash in this
  entrance to the harbour. (Not *sunk*)              drawer? (Not *sure* *secure*)
  (adjective = which has sunk, lying under the       (= out of danger: Is it likely to be stolen?)
  surface)                                         - Lock up and make sure all the windows are
- How many ships have sunk in the Bermuda            secure. (Not *sure* *safe*)
  Triangle? (Not *have sunken* *have sank*)          (= protected from danger, so that no one can
  (sink - sank - sunk)                               break in)
 supplement • complete • complement                - We've fitted window locks because we want
- / never completed my degree course because         to feel safe/secure. (Not *sure*)
  I ran out of money.                              - I feel sure you'll recognize her when you see
   (Not * supplemented* * complemented*) (=          her. (Not *safe* *secure*)
   finished)                                         (= positive)
- 1 supplemented my student grant by doing         sure (of) • surely • certainly • certain
  part-time work.                                  - / sure (AmE)/certainly am late.
   (Not *completed* * complemented*) (= added        (Not *surely*)
   to)                                               (sure as an adverb in AmE)
- You should complement your study of              - Surely you can ride a bike!/You can surely
  language with the study of literature.             ride a bike! (Not *certainly*)
  (Not * supplement*)                                (i.e. Is it possible that you can't?)
   (= make complete by combining things that go    - / don't know how far it is to Edinburgh, but
   together)                                         it's certainly a long way.
 support • endure • put up with/stand                (= 'there's no doubt')
- We endured dreadful anxiety when one of          - I'm certainly not suggesting you did it on
   the plane's engines failed.                       purpose. (Not *surely*)
   (Not * supported* *put up with/stood*) (=         (= 'it is certain')
   suffered)                                       - Ask your father. He's sure/certain to know.
- However do you put up with/stand those           - Could I make a phone call? - Certainly.
   awful neighbours of yours? (Not * support*)       (BrE)/Certainly or Surely. (AmE)
- That stool won't support your weight.            - You should be sure of your facts before you
   (= hold up)                                       open your mouth. (Not* sure for/from*)
- You need a high income these days to             surgery • consulting room • office • operating
   support a large family.                         theatre
   (= provide for)                                 - I'm afraid the doctor can't take a call at the
suppose * supposed to be                             moment. He's busy in his surgery/
- I suppose/am supposing the journey won't           consulting room (BrE)/office (AmE).
  take more than a couple of hours.                  (= a place where patients visit doctors and
  (stative or dynamic depending on the               dentists for treatment)
  emphasis you wish to give)                       - Mrs Williams was rushed to the operating
- Will he phone when he arrives? -I suppose          theatre for immediate surgery.
  so. (Not *I suppose.* * I suppose it.*)            {surgery is cutting performed by a surgeon;
- It won't matter much if we're late. -I             the operating theatre is where this takes
  suppose not./I don't suppose so.                   place; not *the operations room*, which is
  (Not */ suppose no.*)                              the control room for the police, etc.)

 surprise/surprising • surprised at                           swim/swimming
We'll give her a nice surprise on her                         I've just had a lovely swim.
birthday. (Not *do/make her a nice surprise*                  (Not *done/made a swim*)
*give to her a nice surprise*)                                We went for a swim. We went swimming.
It surprises me that/It's a surprise to me                        (Not *went for swim* *went for swimming*)
that/It's surprising that they can't sell their
                                                              swim • float
flat. (Not *I surprise* *Is surprising me* *It                - First we teach you how to float and then we
does/makes me a surprise*)                                       teach you how to swim.
I was very surprised at the news.                                 (float = remain on the surface of water without
    (Not *surprised with* * surprised from*)                      sinking; swim = move through water using your
susceptible to * impressionable                                   arms and legs)
Seventeen is an extremely impressionable                      I swam ten lengths today. (Not *swum*)
age. (Not * susceptible*)                                     I've swum ten lengths. (Not *have swam*)
Teenagers are very impressionable and                         (swim - swam - swum)
susceptible to advertisements for smoking.                    sympathetic • nice/friendly/likeable
{impressionable = easily impressed;                           - What's your impression of Kitty's fiance? -
susceptible to something = easily influenced                    He's very nice/friendly/likeable.
by something)                                                    (Not * sympathetic*)
suspect of                                                    - The police aren't always sympathetic when
- They suspect him of fiddling his expense                      they are asked to sort out a family quarrel.
  accounts. (Not *suspect him for/to*)                          (= kind and understanding)
suspicious (of) • suspected (of) • suspicious-looking         sympathize (with) • like/love
- A lot of people are suspected of smuggling                  He likes/loves Lucy too much to criticize
   drugs. (Not *suspicious*)                                  her. (Not * sympathizes*)
   (i.e. someone suspects them, is suspicious)                I'm sorry you caught my cold. I really
- If travellers look nervous, customs officers                sympathize (with you)!
   get suspicious. (Not * suspected*)                            (= feel sorry)
   (= believe something might be wrong, etc.)
                                                              sympathy • love
Customs officers are suspicious of nervous-
looking travellers. (Not *suspected of*)                      It seemed like the love of a lifetime and that
You get a lot of suspicious-looking                           it would last forever! (Not *sympathy*)
characters in this bar.                                       Those children need a lot more than
   (i.e. they look as if they might be guilty of something,   sympathy now that they've lost their mother.
   up to no good)                                             (= feelings of sorrow)
- Don't leave your luggage unattended. It                     syndicate • co-operative • trade union
   looks suspicious. (Not *suspected*)                        The trade (AmE labor) unions are calling
   (i.e. so people suspect something is wrong)                for safety improvements. (Not * syndicates*)
sweep • wipe • brush                                          (= organizations which protect the interests
Wipe your nose/the table! (Not *Sweep*)                       of workers who are members)
(i.e. with a handkerchief, a cloth, etc.)                     The wine growers have now formed a
Sweep the floor/the room.                                     syndicate/co-operative to market their wine.
(i.e. with a broom)                                           (Not *trade union*)
Let me brush your coat. (Not *sweep*)                            (= an association concerned with business; only a
I'm going to brush my teeth.                                     syndicate is concerned with examinations, etc.)
    (i.e. with a brush)                                       synthesis • composition
sweet • fresh                                                 The concert began with an early
It's always more difficult to swim in fresh                   composition by Mozart. (Not *synthesis*)
water than in sea water. (Not *sweet*)                        (= a piece of music)
How do you like your Turkish coffee? -                        The extension to the National Gallery in
Sweet, please.                                                London is a synthesis of different
    (= with a lot of sugar)                                   architectural styles.
                                                                 (technical = bringing together)

                          T                               take from • take by
                                                          - You'd better take her by the hand when you
tableau • picture                                           cross the road. (Not *take her from*)
- I'll hang these pictures. (Not * tableaus*)             - Will that pigeon take food from your hand?
- This picture shows a tableau of the whole
  family, taken on Grandmother's birthday.                take it easy • go easy (on)
  (= a formally arranged scene)                           - I've decided to go easy on chocolate so I
                                                            don't get fat. (Not *take it easy with*)
 tachometer/rev-counter • speedometer •                     (= not have too much)
 mileometer/odometer                                      - I've been working too hard and I'll have to
- How fast are we going according to your                   go easy/take it easy for a while.
  speedometer? (Not * tachometer*)                          (= not make too great an effort)
   (= an instrument which shows how fast a vehicle is
   travelling; informally the speedo)                     take off • put off • take out • put out
- Only sporty vehicles are fitted with                    - Would you please put off/out all the lights
  tachometers/rev-counters.                                 before you go to bed? (Not *take off*)
   (= instruments that show how fast an engine turns by     (put off and put out are the opposite of put
   measuring 'revs' = revolutions)                          on; compare turn off and turn out which are
- How many miles does it show on the                        the opposite of turn on)
  mileometer (RvE)/odometer(AmE)/on the                   - Take off your coat. (Not *Put off/out*)
  clock? (informal)                                         (take off, opposite of put on - get into)
   (a mileometer/an odometer measures distance;
   compare a trip counter which is used in vehicles to    I've put off the meeting till next week.
   measure short distances)                               (= postponed)
                                                          I'll take the dog out today.
take • buy                                                (i.e. for a walk)
- Where did you buy that car? (Not *take*)                - Don't forget to put out the cat.
- Who took my umbrella ?                                      (= let out of the building)
  (= removed)
                                                          take place • take part (in) • sit down
take • catch                                              - How many of you are taking part in the
- I've caught an awful cold. (Not *taken*)                  play? (Not * taking place*) (= participating in)
  (catch a cold)                                          - All these events took place before you were
- The chimney caught fire. (Not *took fire*)                born. (Not *took part* *had place*)
  (catch fire)                                              (= happened)
- Which train did you take/catch?                         - Do sit down. (Not*take place*)
  (take or catch a train)
                                                          tail * high
take care (of/with) • pay attention • be careful • care   - New York is full of tall buildings.
for                                                          (Not *high*)
- / wish you'd pay attention when I'm                     The highest mountains in the world are in
  speaking to you! (Not *take care* *be                   the Himalayas. (preferable to tallest)
  careful* *care for/of me* *give attention*)             The redwood is a tall tree. (Not *high*)
  (= listen)                                              - The tree hasn't grown very tall yet.
- Do take care/be careful on the way home.                   (i.e. in relation to what one expects of it)
  (Not *pay attention* *care for* *be care*)              - That shelf is too high to reach. (Not *tall*)
  (= avoid danger)                                           (we use tall to describe things we can see
- Do be careful with/take care with that tray.               from top to bottom and that are big
  You nearly dropped it!                                     vertically, and often narrow, compared with
  (Not *pay attention* * care for/of*) (= be attentive)      others of the same type: a tall man, a tall
- Who takes care of/cares for this garden?                   tree, a tall building; we use high to mean
  (Not *pays attention to* *is careful of*)                  'reaching a point above the normal level': a
  (= looks after, attends to)                                high mountain, a high wall, a high fence)
- It's precisely because she cares for her                - It's hard to find suitable ready-made clothes
  family so much that she goes out to work.                  if you're very tall. (Not *high*)
  (= loves, is concerned about)                               (tall for people)

- These prices are too high. (Not *tall*)               - If you want a consultation with a medical
  (high prices, high rents, high costs, etc.)             specialist, you can expect to pay a high fee.
                                                          (Not *charge* * tariff*)
tall/height • high                                         (= the sum due for consulting a professional person)
- How tall is Roy? (Not *What height* *How
  much tall is* *How much height has*)                  tart • cream cake • gateau • flan • pastry
- Roy is six foot/feet tall. Roy is six foot/feet.       • pasta
  (Not *has (height) six foot/feet*)                    You'll get fat if you eat so many cream
- How tall/What height/How high is the                  cakes/pastries. (Not *pastas*)
  church steeple? (Not *How much tall/high              I'd like a slice of gateau with my coffee.
  is* *How much height has*)                            I've made a nice fruit tart for tea.
- It's 200 metres (high).                               - Would you like a slice of this flan ?
  (preferable to 200 metres tall)                           (a cream cake is a cake with a fresh cream filling; a
                                                            gateau is a large fancy cake served in slices;
tank • reservoir • cistern                                  pastries is a general term for small bakery items; a
- There's been so little rain that the reservoir            tart is an open pastry case filled with fruit or jam; a
  is very low. (Not *tank* *cistern*)                       flan is an open case of cooked pastry filled with
   (= an artificial lake which holds the public water       fruit, etc., and served in slices)
   supply)                                              - There's nothing to beat fresh pasta served
- We use this tank for storing rainwater.                  with tomato sauce. (Not *pastry*)
  (Not *reservoir* *cistern*)                              (pasta = any type of macaroni, spaghetti,
- What does it cost to fill your tank ?                    etc.; pastry, uncountable = flour-based
  (Not * reservoir*)
                                                           casing for other foods: I'm making some
   (= the petrol tank in a vehicle)                        pastry for this pie.)
- What's that noise? - It's just the cistern
  filling. (Not *tank* *reservoir*)                     taste (of/like)
   (= a closed container for water, especially for a    - This egg tastes bad. (Not *is tasting* * tastes
   lavatory)                                              badly*; taste functions like be, so we use an
tapestry • wallpaper • carpet • moquette                  adjective after it, e.g. bad; not an adverb,
                                                          e.g. *badly*; this use is always stative)
- The Smiths have had their house decorated
                                                        - What are you doing? - I'm tasting the soup.
  with very fancy wallpaper. (Not *tapestry*)
                                                          (Not */ taste*)
  (usually uncountable = decorative paper for
                                                           (dynamic use)
  covering, or papering, walls)
- The whole flat is fitted with (a) wall-to-wall        - This soup tastes of mushrooms.
                                                          (i.e. it has that flavour)
  carpet. (Not *tapestry*)
                                                        - / can't describe it. It tastes like mushrooms.
   (countable or uncountable = woven material for
                                                          (i.e. it has a flavour that is similar)
   covering, or carpeting, floors)
- It's a tapestry of a medieval hunting scene.          taste • try • probe
  (countable = a woven - or sometimes sewn -            - You really must try to overcome your
  picture for hanging on a wall)                          shyness. (Not *taste* *probe*)
- The sofa was upholstered in red moquette.             - You could at least taste/try my onion pie
  (= a kind of textured cloth; old-fashioned)             before making rude remarks. (Not *probe*)
                                                          (= eat a little to see if you like it)
tariff • charge(s) • tax • price-list • fee             - Reporters have been round here again today
- The hotel/bar/restaurant tariff is very high.           probing for information.
  (tariff = charges in catering)                           (= searching, trying to dig out)
- / had to pay a £10 tariff on this at Customs.
  (= a fixed charge per item)                           tasty/delicious • (in good) taste • tasteful
- Can you send me an up-to-date price-list?              • pretty
  (Not * tariff*)                                       - You have excellent taste.
- These charges include the cost of materials.             (Not *You are tasty/tasteful.*)
  (= the list of costs on a bill)                           (i.e. you have good judgement in matters of style,
- Imported goods carry a high tax/tariff.                   etc.)
  (tax is the general word for money collected
  by governments; a tariff is a tax on goods
  that are imported or exported)

- The whole flat is in very good taste.                         - You can't speak to him at the moment. He's
  (Not *is very tasty* *has very good taste*) (= shows good       in a temper/in a mood.
  judgement in matters of style)                                   (= angry/depressed)
- Diana turned up in a tasteful, high-necked
  gown with long sleeves. (Not *tasty*)                         temperament • liveliness/spirit
  (= in good taste, appropriate: usually before a noun; the     - Don't discourage him. The boy has such
  adverb is tastefully, as in tastefully furnished/decorated,     liveliness and spirit. (Not * temperament*)
  etc.)                                                           (= vivacity, 'he's full of life')
- They do tasty/delicious food at low prices.                   - How you speak and behave is a matter of
  (= appetizing, nice to eat)                                     temperament.
- Moira is a pretty woman. (Not * tasty*)                          (= a person's basic nature/character, which can be
  (= attractive to look at)                                        lively or quiet/withdrawn)
technique • technician/specialist * technology                  temple • church
- Our computers were installed by skilled                       - We got married in a registry office, not in a
  technicians/specialists. (Not *techniques*)                     church. (Not *temple*)
  {technicians install and maintain scientific                    (= a building for Christian worship)
  and electronic equipment; specialists is the                  - The temple was dedicated to Zeus.
  general word for people who do skilled and                      (= a place where the gods are worshipped: a pagan
  specialized work)                                               temple, though we can also speak of a Hindu temple
- Watch me. This is an excellent technique for                    or a Mormon temple)
  relaxing the neck muscles.                                    tempt • attempt
  (countable = a method)                                        - Do what you can. You don't have to attempt
- Tanya's violin teacher wants her to alter her                   the impossible. (Not *tempt*)
  bowing technique.                                                (= try to achieve)
  (uncountable = a way of doing something)                      - I've stopped smoking, so please don't tempt
- Modern technology has made it possible for                      me to have a cigarette. (Not *attempt*)
  astronomers to probe deep space.                                (= invite/encourage me to do something unwise)
  (Not *technique*; there is no word
  *technic(s)* in English)                                      tend
  (= the practical application of scientific                    - I'm afraid Maggie tends to lose her temper
  knowledge)                                                      rather easily. (Not *is tending*)
                                                                   (stative use = is inclined to)
teeth • teethe                                                  - George is tending his roses in the garden.
- Have you done your teeth ?                                      (dynamic use = looking after)
  (Not *tooths* *made your teeth*) (= cleaned; irregular
  plural of tooth)                                               term • end • terminus/terminal • bus stop • station
- Babies often suffer discomfort when they                      - / read this novel right to the end without
  teethe/are teething. (Not *teeth*)                               putting it down! (Not *term*)
  (verb = grow teeth)                                           - My insurance policy is near its term.
                                                                   (term - end, has specialized/limited uses and refers
temper • mood                                                      to a fixed or agreed period of time; note also that a
- You seem to be in a very good mood this                          pregnant woman may be near her term when her
  morning. (Not *temper*)                                          baby is due)
  (mood = a person's general state of mind, feelings, which     - I'd like to get off at the next (bus-)stop.
  can be good or bad)                                              (Not *term/terminus/terminal* or *station*
- Don't ask your father for money just now.                        for buses)
  He's in a very bad mood/temper.                               - I'd like to get off at the next stop/station.
  (a bad mood = not feeling cheerful; a bad temper = feeling       (Not *term* *terminus* *terminal*)
  angry; a bad-tempered person is one who is often angry)          (stop or station for trains)
- Sometimes I lose my temper/find it hard to                    - Is it easy to get a taxi from the railway
  keep my temper. (Not *mood*)                                     terminus/terminal? (Not *term*)
  (lose my temper = become angry; keep my temper = not let         (terminus/terminal are interchangeable to
  myself become angry)                                             describe the end of the line for railways and

   buses: Victoria Bus Terminal; we use only              thank • thanks
   terminal for planes: the air terminal)                 - I've changed the engine oil for you. - Thank
                                                            you./Thanks. (Not *Thank./Thanks you.*)
terrace • balcony • penthouse • roof                        (the plural form Thanks, in place of Thank
- The balconies for each flat have been fitted              you, is informal)
   with railings. (Not *terraces*)                        - Thank God we're home! (Not *Thanks God*
    (a balcony is a platform built on to the outside of     *Thanks to God* *Thank to God*)
    a building above ground level, acting as an             (= let us thank God)
    extension of the indoor space; compare
    veranda(h) = an open area with a floor and roof       thank you • no thank you/no thanks
    built on to a house at ground level)                  - Would you like some more potatoes? - No
- The penthouse is easily the most expensive                thank you/No thanks. I've had enough.
   flat in this block. (Not *terrace*)                      (Not *Thankyou.*)
    (= a flat or house on the top of a building,            (No thank you for polite refusals, or
    often with excellent views)                             informally, No thanks)
It's not easy to keep aflat roof free of leaks.           - Have some more potatoes. - Thank you. I'd
Our living room opens on to a wide terrace.                 love some.
(= a flat paved area, often at ground level)                (Thank you for polite acceptance)
 terrible • terrific • frightening/terrifying •           that • what • that which
 frightful                                                - I've forgotten what you told me.
- There's been a terrific demand for cheap                  (Not *that* *that which*)
   flights to the USA. (Not *terrible*)                   - I forgot that it was your birthday.
    (= very large)                                        - We'II only pay for what we've received.
We've had a terrific holiday.                               (preferable to that which)
(informal = wonderful)                                    that • who • whom • which
We've had a terrible/frightful holiday.
                                                          - He's the man who/that lives next door.
(informal = very bad)
                                                            (Not *who/that he lives* *whom lives*)
/ witnessed a terrible/frightful accident.
                                                            (who/that as subjects for people, male or
{terrible = very severe; frightful = 'shocking')            female)
Some of the videos young people watch these               - This is the photo which/that shows my
days are quite frightening/terrifying.                      house. (Not *which/that it shows*)
    (Not *terrific* *terrible*)                           - This is the cat which/that caught the mouse.
    (= causing fear, making people feel                     (Not * which/that it caught*)
   frightened or terrified)                                 (which/that as subjects for things and
testament • will                                            animals)
- A lot of people die without having made a               - He's the man who/whom/that I met in
  will. (Not * testament*)                                  Paris. (Not *He's the man that I met him*)
   (= a legal document showing how you want to              (who/whom/that as objects for people, male
   distribute your money and possessions after              or female; we often use who in place of
   death; note (my) last will and testament: a fixed        whom, but usually omit the relative: He's the
   legal phrase)                                            man I met in Paris.)
- This memorial is a testament to the courage             - This is the photo that/which I took. (Not
  of those who died for their country.                      *This is the photo that/which I took it.*)
   (i.e. it provides a public declaration)                  (that/which as objects for things and
                                                            animals; we usually omit the relative: This is
than                                                        the photo I took.)
- Come for a walk. It's better than staying at
  home. (Not *than to stay* *than stay*)                  the • on
                                                          - /'// see you (on) Friday. (Not *the Friday*)
than • from                                               - We had a card from her (on) the Friday
Gerda is from Berlin. (Not *than*)                          after she got back. (Not *(on) Friday*)
(from shows origin)                                         (on + days of the week, often omitted
Gerda knows better than you. (Not *from*)                   informally; the for specific reference)
(than in comparisons)
                                                          the • per • a/an
                                                          - It's £3 a kilo/per kilo. (preferable to the)

- We were doing 40km an/per hour.                      - In the 80s, Mrs Thatcher, the then Prime
  (Not *the hour*)                                       Minister, rejected a proposal to privatize the
- Take this twice a/per day. (Not *the day*)             Royal Mail.
  (a/an for one unit of measurement; per =               (the last = the previous; the then + noun =
  'each' is emphatic and formal)                         the one at that time)
- Eggs are sold by the dozen. (Not *a/per*)
- Our car does 30 miles to the gallon.                 there is/there are, etc. • it is • they are • it has •
  (preferable to a/per)                                there exists • it exists
   (the in prepositional phrases)                      - There's a letter for you. (Not *Has* *It has*
                                                         *It is* *Is a letter for you*)
the • (-)                                              - It's from Gerald. (Not *Is*)
- (-) Museums are closed on Mondays.                     (= the letter already referred to)
  (Not *The museums*)                                  - There are a couple of lemons in the fridge.
  (no article with plural countable nouns in general     (Not *It has* *Has* *Are*)
  statements)                                          - They are rather dried-up.
- The museums you want to visit are shut on              (= the lemons already referred to)
  Mondays. (Not *Museums you want to ...*)               (there is/are establishes existence; personal
  (the for specific reference)                           pronouns like it and they give details)
- (-) Water is precious. (Not *The water*)             - There were a lot of people at the match.
  (no article with uncountable nouns in                  (Not *Had a lot of people*)
  general statements)                                  - There's the bus!
- The water we drink comes from the river.               (i.e. I've just seen it; compare Here's your
  (Not * Water we drink*)                                passport: offering or indicating)
  (the for specific reference)                         - You'll recognize my coat. It has a wide
- Korea is becoming a major industrial                   velvet collar. (Not *There is*)
  nation. (Not *The Korea*)                            - Somewhere in the universe there exists a
  (most place names have no article)                     planet which supports life. (Not *it has*)
                                                       - You can visit the Parthenon. It still exists
their • there • they're                                  after all these centuries.
- I live there. (Not* their* * they're*)                 (we use the verb exist to refer to existence
   (= in/at that place)                                  and not in everyday reference, where there is,
 - I love Westerns. They're so entertaining.             etc., is preferred)
    (Not *Their* *There*)
    (= they are)                                       these days/nowadays • at this time
 - The Smiths are careful with their money.            - / generally go and collect him from the
    (= which belongs to them)                            station at this time (of the day).
    (their, there and they're are all pronounced in    - Children grow up quickly nowadays/these
    exactly the same way)                                days. (Not *in these days* *at this time*)
 theme • subject • topic                               thick • thickly
 - What was the subject/topic of last night's          - Cut the slices thick/thickly.
    lecture ? (preferable to theme)                      (both forms possible with verbs like cut, lie,
 - The theme of this year's conference is 'Ends          spread)
   and Means'. (preferable to subject/topic)           - Holland is thickly populated. (Not *thick*)
   (subject and topic are specific, referring to         (= 'very much'; -ly as an intensifier)
   subject matter; theme refers to the main idea,      thin • get/wear thin
   the broad issues)                                   - Hasn't he got thin! (Not * thinned*)
- Which subjects are you doing/taking for
                                                       - My pyjamas have got/worn really thin.
   your exams? (Not * lessons* * making*)
                                                         (Not *have thinned*)
then: from then on                                     - I'm going to thin this paint with some
- / started exercising and from then on I                turpentine. (Not *get this paint thin*)
  began to feel fitter. (Not *from then*)                (transitive = make thin/dilute, usually with
                                                         reference to liquids)
then • last
- The last Minister of Education introduced
  some important reforms.

thin • thinly
                                                            this country • that country
- Cut the slices thin/thinly.                               - I'd hate to live in that country. It never stops
   (both forms possible with verbs like cut, lie, spread)     raining. (Not *this country*)
- Iceland is thinly populated. (Not *thin*)                    (= a country, not your own, already referred to)
  (= 'not very much'; -ly as an intensifier)                - In this country, we generally have elections
thing                                                         every five years.
- The thing is, if you miss the last collection,               (= here, the country we live in)
  your letter won't arrive till Monday.                     this night • tonight
   (Not *It is that which* * The fact is*)
                                                            - See you tonight. (this morning/afternoon/
- The good thing is ... The bad thing is ... The               evening, but not *this night*)
  first/last thing is ... The best/worst thing is
  ... The nicest thing is ...                               - I was born on this night fifty years ago.
   (we usually need to supply thing because we don't        this/that/these/those
   normally use adjectives on their own in place of         - I found this wallet. I found this.
   nouns)                                                      (this can stand on its own to refer to a thing)
think                                                       - / know this girl. (Not */ know this.*)
/ think I've won. (Not *I'm thinking*)                         (this cannot stand on its own to refer to a
(stative use = believe)                                        person, but we say Who's this?/Who's that?
What are you doing? - I'm thinking.                            to identify a person when e.g. pointing at a
(dynamic use = using my brain)                                 picture; otherwise it is socially undesirable)
Does she agree with us? -I think so.                        - What are these/those ?
(Not */ think.* *I think it.*)                                 (these/those on their own to refer to things)
Has the postman been ? -I don't think so.                   - Who are these/those people ?
(Not */ think no* and preferable to / think                    (Not *Who are these/those?*)
not, which is becoming old-fashioned)                          (we have to say Who are these/those people/
                                                               men/women?, etc., to identify people)
think of • think about
Think of a person you know. Think of a                      three • thirteen
number. (Not *Think a person/a number*)                     - /'// be thirteen soon. (Not *threeteen*)
(= bring one to mind)                                         (spelling: 3 = three; 13 = thirteen)
I've been thinking about you/thinking about                 throat • neck: sore throat/neck
the lovely holiday we had last year.                        - My throat hurts. I've got a sore throat.
    {think about = 'turn something round' in the mind)      - My neck hurts. I've got a sore neck.
- I'm thinking of moving south.                                (the throat is 'internal' and begins at the back of the
   (Not *thinking to move*)                                    mouth; a sore throat is generally caused by an
    (think of= consider: 'perhaps I will')                     infection; the neck joins the head and shoulders)
thirst (for) • thirsty                                      throw down • knock down
Is there anything to drink? I'm thirsty.                    - He was knocked down by a car.
(Not *Ihave thirst* *I thirst.*)                               (Not * thrown down*) (=
Take a flask of tea with you. You might get                    struck)
thirsty. (Not *might thirst*)                               - You knocked my sandcastle down.
Thirst is your worst enemy in the desert.                     (= destroyed)
A thirsty person is generally a bad                         - The baby picked up his rattle, then threw it
tempered one. (Not *A thirsty*)                               down.
    (we cannot use thirsty on its own to mean 'a thirsty       (i.e. to the ground)
- The rescue team took food and water to the                throw to • throw at • throw away/out • drop
   hungry and the thirsty.                                  - Don't throw stones at the dog. (Not *to*)
    (Not *the hungries* *the thirsties*) (= the group         (i.e. in order to harm it)
    as a whole)                                             - Throw the ball to the dog.
- The children thirst for/have a thirst for/are                (i.e. for the dog to catch/fetch it)
   thirsty for knowledge.                                      (at for 'aggression'; to for destination)
    (= long for)

Shall 1 throw this old newspaper away/out?            time: that time • at that time
  (Not * Shall I throw it?*)                          Grandma was born in 1900. At that time
  (- get rid of)                                      few houses had electricity. (Not *That time*)
- Drop it!/Throw it away! It's dirty!                 (= at that period; also: in those times)
  (Not *Throw it!*)                                   Careful when you 're kicking that ball. You
                                                      nearly hit me that time.
thunder and lightning                                    (= on that occasion)
- I'm scared of thunder and lightning.
  (Not *thunders and lightnings*) {thunder and        time • weather • climate
  lightning are uncountable; note spelling:           What bad/good weather we've been having!
  lightning, not 'lightening', which is part of the   (Not *time* * What a weather/climate!*)
  verb lighten = grow lighter)                        (weather is generally uncountable; a plural
                                                      form exists in the fixed phrase / go out in all
tight • tightly                                       weathers.)
- A lot of people are just sitting tight and          Do you think the climate of the world is
  refusing to pay the new tax. (Not *tightly*)        really warming up?
  (we use tight, not tightly = securely in place/        (weather is day to day, climate is general)
  unmoving, after verbs like bind, fasten, hold,      - You were away for a long time!
  tie; and intransitive verbs like sit and sleep.
  Compare: Screw the lid on tight = securely          timid • shy • fearful
  in place; Screw the lid on tightly = in a tight     - / sometimes feel terribly shy when I'm
  manner: -ly for a deliberate action)                  meeting strangers. (preferable to timid)
- The string was tightly knotted.                     - I keep my money in the bank. I'm too
  (Not * tight knotted*)                                timid/fearful to take risks. (Not *shy*)
                                                        (shy = socially unconfident; timid = lacking
tighten • tight • get tight                             courage; fearful = filled with fear)
- These shoes have got very tight.
   (Not *have tightened* *have tighted*)              tired (of)
- Hang on a moment. I need to tighten my              - / get tired waiting around in airports.
  shoelaces/make my shoelaces tighter/fasten             (Not *tired of waiting* *tired to wait*)
  my shoelaces tight. (Not *get them tight*)             (= while I am waiting: participle phrase)
                                                      - I'm tired of clearing up after you. (Not
till • to • as far as                                    *tired to clear* *tired from clearing*)
- We walked as far as the river/to the river.            (normal use of gerund after a preposition)
   (Not *till the river*) (to/as far as
   for direction)                                     tired • tire • get tired • tire yourself
- It's ten to four. (Not *till*)                      - I've got tired/I'm tired of telling you to keep
   (to and past when telling the time)                   your room tidy. (Not * tired myself* and
- We're open from 9 to/till 5.                           preferable to I've tired)
   (from ... to/till)                                 - You're doing too much. You'll tire yourself
- We're open till/until five. (Not *to*)                 (out). (Not * You'll get tired.* * You'll tire.*)
- We had to wait till Wednesday before we got            (= become exhausted)
   an answer. (Not *to Wednesday*)                    - / always try to keep to a diet when I start
   (till/until for 'up to a point of time')              one, but I soon tire (of it).
                                                         (tire often refers to failure to keep something
timber                                                   going)
- That looks like a nice piece of timber.             - Don't bother me now. I'm tired.
  (Not *a timber*)                                       (adjective)
- There was a lot of timber stacked in the
  yard. (Not *a lot of timbers*)                      tiredness • fatigue
  (timber is normally uncountable)                    - After the long march the soldiers were
                                                         suffering from fatigue. (Not *tiredness*)
time: on time • in time                                  (= accumulated need for rest, exhaustion)
- If you set this digital alarm clock for 6.58, it    - I had been up all night with the baby and felt
  will wake you exactly on time.                         stupid with tiredness.
- I got an earlier train to be sure I would be           (= the natural need for rest)
  in time for my interview.
   (on time = exactly at a stated time; in time =
   ahead of a stated time)
 to • towards                                               strange tongue, or exists only in a few fixed
- Take two steps towards me. (Not *to*)                     phrases, like mother tongue)
   (towards, to emphasize direction, without             - The doctor asked me to stick out my tongue.
   describing the whole movement)                          (= the organ inside the mouth)
- Does this bus go to York? (Not *towards*)
   (to for general direction)                            too • also • as well • not either
                                                         - / like John and I like his wife, too/as well.
toast • toasted sandwich                                   (preferable to also)
- / ate a slice of toast. (Not *a toast*)                - I play squash and I also play tennis.
- We ate some toast. (Not *some toasts*)                   (Not *too* *as well*)
  (= grilled slices of bread; uncountable)                 (also refers to the verb that follows: 'squash is
- They do snacks like toasted sandwiches and               not the only game I play'. Compare: /, too, play
  salads. (Not *toasts*)                                   tennis, where too refers to the subject I)
                                                         - I don't play squash and I don't play tennis
today • present
- The present generation of young people has               either. (Not *too* *also* *as well*)
  had more opportunities than ours.                         (not... either in negative sentences)
  (Not *The today generation*)                           too • very
- The young people of today/Today's young                - / arrived very late at the airport and just
  people enjoy many advantages.                            caught my plane. (Not *too late*)
today • this                                             - I arrived too late at the airport and missed
- Your aunt is arriving this morning.                      my plane. (preferable to very)
  (Not *today morning/afternoon/evening*)                  (very is the normal intensifier; too suggests
- Your aunt is arriving today.                             'more than is necessary or desirable', so we
                                                           cannot say e.g. */ was too happy when I heard
toilet • clothes • dressing table                          your news. *)
- Daphne has a lot of clothes.
   (Not *a lot of toilet(s)*, though a large             too much • very much • a lot
   wardrobe = clothes, is possible)                      - John likes football very much/a lot and
- Use the mirror on my dressing table.                     plays in a team. (Not *too much*)
  (Not * toilet*)                                          (= as much as is necessary/desirable)
   (= a table in a bedroom, used for dressing, putting   - John likes football too much and is
   on make-up, etc.)                                       neglecting his schoolwork.
- Could you direct me to the toilet please ?                (= more than is necessary/desirable)
  (= lavatory)                                           - I paid a lot/too much for this car.
                                                           (Not *very much*)
tomb • grave                                               (a lot = a great deal; too much = more than is
- The dead soldiers were buried in graves                  desirable: both in affirmative sentences)
  near the battlefield. (Not *tombs*)                    - / didn't pay very much/a lot/too much for
  (a grave = the ground in which a dead person             this car.
  is buried)                                               (very much mainly in negative sentences)
- No one achieves immortality with an
  expensive tomb. (Not *grave*)                          toothache
  (= a decorative or imposing stone container for a      - / have/I've got a toothache. I've got
  dead body, above ground)                                 toothache. (Not * I have my tooth.*)
                                                         - I had (a) toothache last night.
tomorrow                                                   (Not *did/made (a) toothache*)
- /'// see you tomorrow at noon.
  (Not *tomorrow the noon*)                              toothpaste • a tube of toothpaste
- I'll see you tomorrow morning/                         - / bought a tube of toothpaste/two tubes of
  afternoon/evening/night.                                 toothpaste.
  (Not *tomorrow the morning*, etc. *at/on                 (Not *a toothpaste* *two toothpastes*)
  tomorrow morning*, etc.)                                 (toothpaste is uncountable)

tongue • language                                        topical • local
- He speaks four languages. (Not *tongues*)              - Shortage of water is a national problem, not
  (tongue = 'language' is literary: He spoke in a          a local problem. (Not * topical*)

  Acid rain is a topical issue at the                      (translated by a person, from one language
  moment. {local refers to a particular                    into another)
  place; topical refers to present time)
                                                        - / often travel to Brussels. (Not *go on a
   torch                                                  travel* * make/do a travel* *have a travel*)
                                                          (we use travel mainly as a verb in English)
                                                        traveller • passenger
                                                        - Passengers should remain seated till the
                                                          plane comes to a stop. (Not *Travellers*)
                                                          (passengers are people who are carried on
                                                          buses, planes and trains and driven in cars)
 torch • lamp • light bulb                              - There are problems for travellers/
- It isn't easy to read for a long time by the            passengers today at all the main airports.
   light of a lamp.                                       (travellers are people who travel, whether
    (= a device for producing light by burning gas or     they are passengers or not)
    oil; compare a table lamp, a bedside lamp, etc.,
    which are powered by electricity)                   treat • deal with • use • handle
I'm going to have to change this light bulb.            - I'm not sure how I should deal with/handle
I keep a torch (AmE flashlight) in my car                 this difficult situation. (Not *treat* *use*)
for emergencies. (Not *lamp*)                             (= manage)
                                                        - You don't like me. You're just using me.
 total • whole                                            (= taking advantage of)
The whole bill/the whole sum came to $894.              - Do your students make use of the library? -
(Not *The whole came to*)                                 Some do, but they don't make much use of
The total/The total bill/The total sum came               it/make the best use of it.
to $894.                                                - Some companies have a reputation for
   (when referring to figures added together, we can      treating their employees very well.
   use total as a noun or as an adjective, but whole       (= behaving towards them; using in this
   only as an adjective)                                   sense is old-fashioned)
- You can't give an opinion unless you've read          - Every single day a manager has to deal with
   the whole book. (Not *the total book*)                 any number of problems.
                                                           (Not *treat* *use* and preferable to handle,
track • trace • sign                                      which is personal, informal)
- The robbers have disappeared without trace.             (= take effective action, cope with)
  (Not *track* *sign*)                                  - We've been dealing with the same firm of
  (= any mark to show their presence)                     office stationers for years.
- Is there any sign of improvement in the                 (Not *handling* *using* *treating*) (=
  weather? (Not *trace* *track*)                          doing business with)
  (= something that gives information)
- We followed the fresh tracks as far as the            treatment • use • handling
  river. (Not *traces* *signs*)                         - The use of pesticides in farming should be
  (= continuous marks, e.g. footprints, made by a         restricted. (Not *treatment* *handling*)
  person, animal, etc.)                                 - Countries are often judged by their
                                                          treatment of prisoners of war.
tranquil • quiet                                           (= behaviour towards)
Please be quiet. (Not *tranquil*)                       - In some countries, the handling of drugs is
(= e.g. don't make a noise; don't say                     punishable by death.
anything; also note Don't worry!, not                      (= dealing in, buying and selling)
*Be/Rest tranquil!*)
I prefer a quiet/tranquil life in the country           trial: on trial • approval: on approval
to the stresses of town life.                           - We've received these goods by mail order on
   (= peaceful)                                           approval. (Not *on trial*)
                                                           (i.e. we can return them if we're not satisfied
translated by/Trom/into                                    with them)
- Shakespeare's works were translated into
  German by Schlegel. (Not *translated to
  German* *translated in German*)

- The whole gang is going on trial for drug                     (Not *return back* *turn back*) (= go back after
  smuggling next month.                                         having been somewhere; the idea of back is in the
   (i.e. they will be tried in a court of law)                  prefix re-, so we don't need to say back as well)
                                                             - / had to turn back halfway to the airport
trouble • problems                                             because I had forgotten my passport.
- Some people seem to be born to make/cause                     (= go back while on the way to a place; return can
  trouble/problems. (Not *do trouble*)                          also be used in this sense; we say return home, but
  {trouble is frequently uncountable; the plural                return to your country, not *return your country*)
  form troubles often refers to personal
  problems: You don't want to hear about all                 TV/telly/television
  my troubles.)                                              - / saw it on TV. (Not * in TV* *on the TV*)
- That employee made/caused a lot of trouble                   (on TV is the usual informal abbreviation; on
  for you.                                                     (the) television is the normal non-abbreviated
   (Not * made/did you a lot of trouble*)                      form; on (the) telly is very informal)
- My car has been giving/causing (me) a lot
  of trouble lately. (Not * making/doing*)                   twice/two times
- I'm having a lot of trouble with my car.                   - / can't ring her again. I've rung her twice/
  (Not *a lot of troubles*)                                    two times already today.
   (= difficulty)                                               (twice is more common than two times)
- I've got a lot of troubles at the moment.                  type • character • fellow/chap
  (Not *trouble*)                                            - Who's that fellow/chap you were with last
   (= things that are worrying me)                             night? (Not *type* *character*)
trousers • pantaloons                                          (fellow and chap are informal ways of
- How much is this pair of trousers?