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Category Archives: Vocabulary

English words of Indian origin

I’ve just learned in this telegraph.co.uk article that a lot of Hindi, Urdu and Persian words have made their way into the English language.

Some of these words are quite common, like pyjamas, shampoo, avatar, bungalow, juggernaut, jungle, punch, yoga, curry, guru, chutney and veranda.

These words “feel as British as fish and chips but have Eastern roots”!

Are you using pseudo-anglicisms?

Pseudo-anglicisms are words that you think are English, but they aren’t. According to this BBC article, foreign languages are full of them. Germans call a very old car an Oldtimer. It sounds very English, doesn’t it? But it’s not. At least it’s not the word we use for an old car. We call them vintageContinue Reading

Do you love English?

According to this article on the grammarly.com website, entitled “7 Reasons to Love the English Language”, there are now 1.5 billion active speakers of English. And you’re probably one of them! Take a look at the article to learn some surprising facts about the language. For example, did you know that a new word isContinue Reading

Are you a back-seat driver – and more idioms

One of my favourite idioms is “Action speaks louder than words”. But, I find teaching idioms can be tricky business. A lot of people struggle to use them correctly. That’s why I prefer using plain English – an English that everyone understands. However, if you’re interested in learning some American English idioms, you might likeContinue Reading

Let’s use more respectful language

Instead of saying someone has had a “sex change”, grammarly.com recommends using the more respectful term “(gender) transition” (for example, from man to woman or from female to male).

How to pronounce the word “buffet”

A “buffet” is a piece of furniture in a dining room (like a kind of sideboard or a counter) from which meals are served. But the word can also mean a meal on a table or sideboard at which guests can help themselves. But how is the word pronounced? Iswearenglish on YouTube can help us with the British EnglishContinue Reading

Using more respectful language

Instead of calling someone “a transgender”, grammarly.com recommends using the more respectful term “transgender person”.

17 more difficult-to-pronounce words

Here are 17 more words you might have difficulty in pronouncing, according to Reader’s Digest (link to: rd.com). (I pronounce “mauve” as rhyming with “stove”. Do people really say “mawve”? I’ve not heard that before.)

Using more respectful language

Instead of asking someone what their “sexual preference” is, grammarly.com recommends using the more respectful term “sexual orientation”.

Can you pronounce these words correctly?

According to Reader’s Digest, non-native speakers of English find that these are the 10 most difficult words to pronounce (link to:rd.com). (Even I struggle with Otorhinolaryngologist!)