Love, work and police: pronouncing the letter ‘o’.

About Words - Cambridge Dictionaries Online blog

bulentozber / iStock / Getty Images Plus

by Liz Walter

Pronunciation is one of the hardest things to master in English. Today I’m going to look at the letter ‘o’ and concentrate on some common pronunciation errors.

Most students have no problem with the short vowel sound /ɒ/ found in British English in words such as hot, boss and across. (Americans pronounce this as a longer sound /ɑː/.) Students also generally understand how adding an ‘e’ to the end of a word leads to a longer sound /əʊ/ (UK) /oʊ/ (US), for instance hop/hope, not/note.

View original post 388 more words

Advertisements

Discipline

One of the parenting's most challenging opportunities Often in circumstances where it is necessary for a parent to discipline a child, the parent’s own anger or frustration comes through in lieu of healthy guidance and direction. At these times, we hear words we never thought we’d say coming out of our mouths: “Because I say… Continue reading Discipline

To be resilient, face tragedy with humour and flexibility

To be resilient, face tragedy with humour and flexibility People who are resilient tend to be flexible – flexible in the way that they think about challenges, and flexible in the way that they react emotionally to stress. They are not wedded to a specific style of coping. Instead, they shift from one coping strategy… Continue reading To be resilient, face tragedy with humour and flexibility

Observant or blissfully unaware? (Noticing and not noticing things)

About Words - Cambridge Dictionaries Online blog

Besim Mazhiqi / Moment / Getty Images

by Kate Woodford

Are you observant? (Do you usually notice what’s happening around you?) This week we’re thinking about words and phrases in this area.

A really useful word is the verb spot. If you spot something or someone that interests you, you notice them, often when you are trying to see them: I spotted Tom in the crowd. / Police spotted him leaving the building.

View original post 399 more words

Getting the hang of it (Words and phrases for getting used to things)

About Words - Cambridge Dictionaries Online blog

Koldunova_Anna / iStock / Getty Images Plus

by Kate Woodford

Getting used to things is a part of life. We all deal with situations, tasks or tools that are new to us. At first, they may seem difficult or strange. With time or practice, they become familiar and normal.  In this blog, we look at the language for expressing this idea.

Starting with single words, if you familiarize yourself with something that you don’t know about, you intentionally learn about it, usually to prepare for something: I need to familiarize myself with the new software. If you acclimatize, you become familiar with different weather or surroundings so that you are able to deal with them: More time will be needed for the troops to acclimatize to the desert conditions.

View original post 330 more words

Are you a glass-half-full person? (Everyday Idioms)

About Words - Cambridge Dictionaries Online blog

by Kate Woodford
glass-half-full
A reader of this blog recently asked for a post on idioms that are used in everyday English. This seemed like a reasonable request. After all, if you are going to make the effort to learn a set of English idioms, you want those idioms to be useful. The question, then, was how to decide which idioms to write about. There are a great number of idioms in the English language, but some are rarely used. In the end, I decided to keep an idioms diary for a week, and make a note of any idioms that I heard people use in conversation. From this set of idioms, I chose a few that I considered to be common in contemporary, conversational English and have presented them here.

Early in the week, a radio presenter told his colleague that she was ‘opening up a can of…

View original post 455 more words

Do you have what it takes? (Everyday idioms in newspapers)

About Words - Cambridge Dictionaries Online blog

by Kate Woodford​
have_what_it_takes
As part of an occasional series on the subject of common idioms, we recently posted a blog which featured the idioms which we heard in spoken English during the course of a week. This week, we’re taking a different approach, picking out the idioms used in a range of national newspapers that were published on the same day. As with the previous post, we have only included the most frequent idioms – in other words, the sort of phrases that you are likely to hear or read nowadays.

One newspaper reports that a politician has criticized doctors as a group, claiming that they do not understand how their patients suffer when they wait a long time to be treated. Doctors, the politician complains, are ‘out of touch’.  To be out of touch is to not have the most recent information about a subject or a…

View original post 319 more words