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Category Archives: Vocabulary

Food glorious food

close up shot of breakfast plate with omelet and bread

A lot of people laugh about the British ‘kitchen’. Actually ‘kitchen’ is the place where the food is prepared! If you mean the food, you can either talk about the English ‘food, ‘cooking’ or ‘cuisine‘ (pronounced ‘kwizeen’).

I believe that the food in Britain is better than a lot of people think … Have you ever given it a try?

So how many words do you know?

Do this free vocabulary test and find out how many words you know: http://my.vocabularysize.com/.

Tricky translations

Translating from one language to another is often tricky. Do you know how to translate the following words and phrases without looking them up in a dictionary: ‘Kofferraum’, ‘Arbeitstier’, ‘Wohnmobil’, ‘Pechvogel’, ‘ich verstehe nur Bahnhof’ and ‘er ist ein hohes Tier’? Test yourself with this lovely little quiz.

Don’t be confused!

Do you sometimes confuse words like “borrow” and “lend” or “become” and “get” or “play” and “game”? Not to worry. Help is at hand. Take a look at my little checklist here.  

Sorry, can you repeat that word again please?

We sometimes use ‘pleonasms’ without giving them a second thought. And what are they? A ‘pleonasm’ is what we use when we repeat ourselves. Here are some examples: PIN means a ‘personal identification number’. So we don’t need to say ‘PIN number’. And ‘vast majority’. ‘Majority’ means the largest part of a group. So weContinue Reading

How do you pronounce this word?

You see the word “content” in a piece of writing. But how do you pronounce it? There are two ways. It very much depends on the meaning. The stress is either on the first syllable – CONtent (in German: ‘Inhalt’). Or on the second syllable – conTENT (in German: ‘zufrieden’).

The Queen’s English versus Estuary English

Accents and dialects vary widely across The United Kingdom. You might be surprised to learn that there isn’t one single British accent. If you’d like to listen to the difference between the Queen’s English (also known as Received Pronunciation) and Estuary English (associated with South-East England), you might like to watch this YouTube video clip.

Something I’m sure you don’t know

You’d never guess that the most complicated word in English is a three-letter word. It’s ‘run’! According to this article in Reader’s Digest, Oxford English Dictionary editors discovered that the verb form alone has 645 different meanings. Here are some examples of ‘run’ (as a verb): We run a fever. We run a bath. Our nosesContinue Reading

The fun fact of the day

You’d never guess that the most complicated word in English is a three-letter word. According to this article in Reader’s Digest, Oxford English Dictionary editors discovered that the verb form alone has 645 different meanings. Here are some examples of run (as a verb): We run a fever. We run a bath. We run our fingersContinue Reading

Would you like to spend a penny?

We’ve talked about euphemisms before. Do you remember? We use them when dealing with taboo or sensitive subjects. According to Merriam-Webster, a euphemism is “a mild or pleasant word or phrase that is used instead of one that is unpleasant or offensive”. So when someone comes to visit you after a long journey, instead ofContinue Reading