About Words – Cambridge Dictionaries Online blog
How to use articles: another look (1)
December 13th, 2017, 07:56 AM
by Liz Walter Back in August 2015, I wrote a post about using articles – the words a, an and the. That post has had the most hits of any published on this site, so it is obviously an area that learners of English are interested in. You can read the post here: https://dictionaryblog.cambridge.org/2015/08/19/a-an-and-the-how-to-use-articles-in-english/. If you are not …

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New words – 11 December 2017
December 10th, 2017, 07:56 AM
omurice noun [C] UK /ˈɒm.jə.raɪs/ US /ˈɑː.mjə.raɪs/ a Japanese dish consisting of an omelette filled with fried rice and topped with ketchup A 23-year-old Japanese omurice seller who goes by Kuya Omurice on his Facebook page is a college student who sells the yummy ketchup-drizzled omelets with rice by announcing where he’s going to be …

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Introducing yourself
December 6th, 2017, 07:56 AM
by Kate Woodford A visitor to this website recently asked for the sort of phrases he might use when introducing himself to people, for example in an English class. We thought we would write a blog post on the subject. Starting with the most important piece of information, we could say ‘I’m Maria Gonzalez.’ or ‘My …

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New words – 4 December 2017
December 3rd, 2017, 07:56 AM
Black Fiveday noun [C, usually singular] /blæk ˈfaɪv.deɪ/ the five-day period around Thanksgiving, when shops reduce the price of goods in order to attract customers But part of the reason for the soaring spending figures is because retailers are stretching the November promotional period for longer than ever before. Last year saw the introduction of …

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Cambridge Dictionary’s Word of the Year 2017
November 29th, 2017, 07:56 AM
Our Word of the Year for 2017 is … populism. Choosing our Word of the Year required looking at not only the most searched-for words, but also ‘spikes’ – occasions when a word is suddenly looked up many more times than usual on or around a particular date. On 22 January 2017, as a polarizing candidate …

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I wish I’d studied harder: Expressing regrets and wishes
November 28th, 2017, 07:56 AM
by Liz Walter Nobody’s life is perfect, right? We all have things we’d like to change, or things we wish hadn’t happened. This post is about the way we express those feelings, and in particular the tenses we use, as learners of English (very understandably!) often make mistakes with them. There are two basic phrases we …

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New words – 27 November 2017
November 26th, 2017, 07:56 AM
screen fatigue noun [U] /ˈskriːn fəˌtiːg/ the situation where people feel they spend too much time reading text on an e-reader, tablet, etc. Britons are abandoning the ebook at an alarming rate with sales of consumer titles down almost a fifth last year, as “screen fatigue” helped fuel a five-year high in printed book sales.  …

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Waving a magic wand (The language of false solutions)
November 22nd, 2017, 07:56 AM
by Kate Woodford I recently wrote about phrasal verbs that we use to describe managing problems. While I was researching this area, I started to think more widely about the language of solutions.  I noticed how many words and phrases there are to describe solutions that, for whatever reason, are not as effective as we might …

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New words – 20 November 2017
November 19th, 2017, 07:56 AM
femoir noun [C] /ˈfem.wɑːʳ/ a book or other piece of writing based on a female writer’s personal knowledge and experiences, written from a feminist viewpoint Tracey Spicer says women must speak up on entrenched gender discrimination, take charge of personal finances and shun gruelling beauty routines. The esteemed journalist and author of the self dubbed …

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Vertebrae, bacteria and cacti: Forming plurals in English 2
November 15th, 2017, 07:56 AM
by Liz Walter Last month I looked at the basic rules for forming plurals in English . In this post, I look at some more complex cases, where the words come from Latin and Greek. A large proportion of English words have Latin or Greek roots. We still use the Latin plurals for many words, particularly in …

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