How to Give Your Vocabulary a Boost as You Prep for Your IELTS Exam

How to Give Your Vocabulary a Boost as You Prep for Your IELTS Exam
– A Guest Post by  Ofer Tirosh 

The International English Language Testing System, or IELTS, is a standardized test of the English language used to measure the proficiency of non-native speakers. Recognized by employers and universities all over the world, it remains one of the most popular and trusted tests for determining one’s overall ability to communicate in English.

There are four components to the exam – listening, speaking, reading and writing – and each individual will find that the difficulty of each section depends on their own skills and strengths.

While it is often said that the IELTS is difficult, preparing well can make it seem much  less so. This article aims to offer you some fun and practical ideas to help you get ready for the exam. Because not everyone learns the same way, we have provided a variety of approaches to help you boost your vocabulary.

Continue reading

Posted in IELTS | 1 Comment

A Song with First Conditional, Imperatives, and Collocations

Image result for dua lipa don't start now album cover

Dua Lipa – Don’t Start Now

Dua Lipa sings a song, Don’t Start Now, in which she tells an ex boyfriend very clearly that their relationship is finished and she is not interested in seeing him again. Her life is so much better without him. Her message to him is clear: If you don’t want to see me with another man, don’t look!

Click on the above picture for the official YouTube video. For the YouTube video with lyrics, click here.

Sentences starting with ‘If” are usually conditional sentences, and Dua Lipa is telling her ex what not to do in the future if he doesn’t want to see her with another man. Because she is referring to possible future situations, the sentence structure is First Conditional. Because she is warning him about possible future actions, she uses Imperatives:

Walk away!

Don’t show up;

Don’t come out;

Don’t start caring about me now.

Walk away;

› › › › › › › › ›

You may have studied First Conditional with WILL + Base Infinitive. If you would like to revise the rules for First Conditional with WILL, click here. Today, however,  I’m focusing on First Conditional with Imperative Verbs.


♥ The chorus is one long First Conditional sentence:

If you don’t *wanna see me dancing with somebody;            *want to
If you *wanna believe that anything could stop me,
Don’t show up;
Don’t come out;
Don’t start caring about me now;
Walk away; you know how;
Don’t start caring about me now.

Conditional Sentences are Complex Sentences, which means that they include at least one Dependent Clause (blue print) and at least one Independent Clause (green print). The chorus includes two Dependent Clauses and five Independent Clauses.


                                            ♥ Note the Imperative Verbs


Don’t show up

 Don’t come out

 Don’t start

 Walk away


♥ The song provides numerous Collocations, here in bold:

Did a full one-eighty …
But look at where I ended up.
I’m all good already;

So moved on, it’s scary.
I’m not where you left me at all,
Don’t show up;
Don’t come out;
I’m better on the other side.
Walk away.

Can you work out the meanings of the above collocations? Look at what you can understand. She is telling someone: ‘Don’t … Don’t … Don’t … Don’t … I’m all good … I’m better …”   When Collocations are idioms, you can often work out the meaning if you know the context.     

Did a full one-eighty … 

To do a one-eighty (180°) is to change your thinking and/or actions completely: to think or do the opposite. The singer thinks about the way she was before and the way she is now – from heartbroken (maybe) to ‘all good’.

But look at where I ended up.

To end up is to eventually finish, to end a situation. The singer was possibly heartbroken but at the end, she was ‘all good’. For more examples of ended up, click here.

I’m all good!   I’ve moved on!

I’m all good already

She is not just ‘good’; she is great, completely okay. Don’t worry! (‘Already’ means ‘sooner than expected’.)

 ♦ So moved on

To move on from a relationship means to accept that the relationship is over, finished, and to be ready for a new relationship, a new life.

So … , it’s scary.

So + adjective/adverb, it’s scary, means that something (or someone) is so bad / wonderful / clever etc. that it is hard to believe. The singer has moved on and recovered so quickly and easily from the relationship that it is impressive and hard to believe – it’s scary.

I’m not where you left me at all

Literally, where you left me, means the last place you saw me. However, here it means that she is not the sad, rejected person he said ‘goodbye’ to. She has moved on.


     ♦ Don’t show up

To show up means to arrive. For example, All the employees were expected at the Christmas party but fewer than half showed up.

      ♦ Don’t come out

Meaning: Don’t leave your house. Stay at home. If you don’t want to see me with another man, don’t leave your house!

 the other side

I’m better on the other side. Her life is better now after the end of the relationship. The experience has been like a journey and she has come through to the other side. She is no longer in the journey or experience. She is at a distance from it: the other side.

Walk away.

To walk away from someone or something means to leave or abandon the person or situation. She tells him to walk away, leave her. She reminds him that he knows how to walk away because he had abandoned her more than once. 

For more examples of walk away, click here.

Click here for a free idioms and phrases dictionary. 

      

Posted in Grammar, IELTS, Intermediate (Level 4), Listening, Pre-Intermediate (Level 3), Songs, Upper Intermediate (Level 5) | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

English Idioms in Pictures #9

Click on the picture below to find out the meaning of the idiom PULL YOUR SOCKS UP.

Once on the site, you can click on Follow at the bottom of the page to receive more pictures and explanations of idioms FREE.


Iddy pulls his socks up

             

Posted in Intermediate (Level 4), Pre-Intermediate (Level 3), Reading, Upper Intermediate (Level 5) | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Christmas 2019

  Happy Christmas!  

It’s that time of year again when many of us prepare to celebrate Christmas. Traditionally, for Christians, it is about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ approximately 2,000 years ago. However, Christmas has become an important time for celebrating with family and friends for both Christians and non-Christians. Let’s have a look at some of the ways we observe Christmas:

Figurines: The Infant Jesus with Mary, Joseph, and an Angel

  For over 2,000 years, Christians have celebrated the arrival on earth of a very remarkable person: Jesus of Nazareth.  We know a lot about Jesus because of  widespread writings, not just from his followers, but also from well-known scribes of the time. Jesus was a historically real person. His teachings of love, compassion, forgiveness, and acceptance appealed to all kinds of people as well as his message of hope for a new life after we pass on from this one. He practised what he preached, being kind and non-judgmental. You could say that he was, and is, the perfect role model.

Christians attend Church on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. They listen to readings about the special night when Jesus was born, pray together and sing Christmas Hymns. (My favourite is O! Holy Night.’) It’s a very happy occasion!  

 Giving presents, decorating Christmas trees and homes is also traditional for many. Children in particular love all this Christmas activity and get very excited at the thought of a visit from Santa.

Photo by Ann Danilina on

Presents are opened on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day or at a party beforehand. Many workplaces have parties and some, like mine, organize a ‘Secret Santa’. We pick the name of a colleague out of a hat and buy a gift for that person. No-one knows who has provided their present. It’s lots of fun! Not everyone is a Christian but that doesn’t matter. It’s the ‘Spirit of Christmas’ that is important: a feeling of goodwill towards everyone.

  In Australia, as in many western and European countries, this is an occasion for being with family, especially family whom we don’t see regularly. We get together and tend to eat and drink too much! It’s a busy time, when we acknowledge the importance of family.

Cristo Redentor, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

⛪If you would like to join in the Christmas festivities and you don’t have a family or friends to celebrate Christmas with, I strongly recommend that you contact a Christian church nearby; for example, The Catholic Church, The Anglican Church, The Pentecostal Church, The Presbyterian Church, The Methodist Church, or The Salvation Army. They welcome everyone,  provide a lovely Christmas dinner and a jolly experience and expect nothing from you. You don’t need to be a Christian. You don’t have to attend a church service and you just might make some friends! Alternatively, church services can be viewed online. Just open You Tube and search: ‘Christmas Mass’. It is streamed live on Christmas Day and on Christmas Eve.

Pavlova – a traditional Australian dessert

 Australian Christmas is different to Christmas in the Northern Hemisphere where it is cold in December. Here, it is summer and while some households still enjoy roast turkey, hot vegetables, and hot Christmas pudding, many of us prefer cold meat, seafood and salads and cold or fruit-based desserts. Pavlova, cheesecake, and ice cream pudding are favourites.

Because it is very hot here, barbecues are very popular which means that cooking indoors is unnecessary. After lunch, the beach is popular for those fortunate enough to live near one or holiday at one. Summer in Australia is holiday season, especially for school children and their families, and Christmas lunch or dinner is often casual: delicious and special, but simple. The beach is calling!

                                                              The beach is calling!                                                                                                    Many thanks to Britt Gaiser from for this photo.

If you would like to listen to some delightful Christmas Carols sung by Michael Bublé, click here. To hear a magnificent version I’ve recently discovered of a traditional Hymn , click here.

  

I hope you have a

Very Merry Christmas & a

Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous 2020!!

      

Posted in Advanced (Level 6+), Elementary (Level 2), Intermediate (Level 4), Pre-Intermediate (Level 3), Songs, Upper Intermediate (Level 5) | 1 Comment

How to Write a Sentence: #2

First, read How to Write a Sentence: #1

There are three types of sentences in English: SIMPLE, COMPOUND, & COMPLEX.

All sentences must contain a subject, a verb with tense, and they must have meaning.

You need to know which type of sentences you are writing, so that you can apply the appropriate rules. So, here we go …

SIMPLE SENTENCES Simple Sentences have one subject and one main (complete) verb,

You are reading  this blog.   

Who is hugging that girl? 

OR   two subjects and one main verb,

The girl and the paper man love each other.

OR   one subject and two main verbs,

She is hugging him and smiling. (Verbs: is hugging & is smiling)

OR two subjects and two main verbs.

The paper man and the girl are hugging each other and smiling.

Look at the following sentence. It is a Simple Sentence because it has one subject and one verb. 

The beautiful tropical gardens across the road from my old school were destroyed in the earthquake last month.  

The sentence has a lot of ‘extra stuff’, but when you take out this ‘extra stuff’, what is left?

The gardens were destroyed.

** Don’t be confused by long sentences with lots of adjectives, adverbs and prepositions. To understand the structure of a sentence, you need to find the verb first. Then, find the subject.

COMPOUND SENTENCES  Compound Sentences are formed when two or more Simple Sentences are joined (linked).

The gardens were destroyed and many houses were damaged.

The gardens were destroyed but my old school was not damaged.

The old school was not damaged so we are all relieved.

A Compound Sentence is composed of two or more sentences (independent clauses) which are joined by Co-ordinating Conjunctions. For a complete explanation of how Co-ordinating Conjunctions are used to make Compound Sentences, click here.

Click here for How to Write a Sentence: #3: COMPLEX SENTENCES

Click here for How to Write a Sentence: #1


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Posted in Grammar, IELTS, Intermediate (Level 4), TOEFL, TOEIC, Upper Intermediate (Level 5), Writing | Leave a comment

Song with Present Tenses for Opinions and Beliefs

We can use Present Simple Tense to talk about how we feel, what we believe in, and what we think about how we live in the 21st century.

We use Present Continuous Tense to explain or describe what is happening now or at this time in our lives.

The song Freedom (Fight For It) by rock singer Joy Villa, and rapper Flint Bedrock, is about what they think about free speech, freedom of religion and freedom of political beliefs. 

According to Joy Villa “Freedom is worth fighting for. No matter the cost, if we aren’t all free, none are free.”

Joy Villa was recently interviewed by Rita Panahi on Sky News Australia. Rita agreed that “Critical thinking is essential; don’t form an opinion based on herd mentality. Think for yourself.”

Click here for the Youtube video of the song. I have included the lyrics below with grammar corrections in brackets. Songwriters are not expected to be grammarians, but as this is an English website, I feel that I must provide corrections. Nonetheless, the lyrics convey very clear meanings. What do you think?

∗ By the way, I could not find the lyrics to this song on any of the usual platforms I check for song lyrics. I wonder why? I eventually found them on Joy Villa’s site.

Present Simple Tense: Pink
Present Continuous Tense: Bright Blue

Song: Freedom (Fight For It)

By Joy Villa and Flint Bedrock 

So many people try to stop me stop me from speaking. 
So many people (are) trying to keep me  from thinking, 
But I’m awake and I’m tired; I’m tired of sleeping. 

(There is)
No going back, no going back,
Mental prison, 
Slavery of the mind, 
Education (is)
Keeping us in line. 

Controls our youth, 
stolen culture,
broken truth. 

Do you really want to live free? 
Do you really want to be free? 
Then you ∗gotta fight for it.        ∗ (have to)           You ∗better  fight for it.                ∗ (need to)

Technology (is) in place of conversation. 
The system that we’ve got won’t solve the situation.
My thoughts ∗ain’t got nothing to do with my  persuasion.                                              ∗ (have nothing)

It’s more than just a “race relation”. 

Choose life. 
Freedom’s what you find.
Break chains.
Free thoughts (are) not a crime.

controls our youth, 
stolen culture, 
broken truth. 

Chorus x 2

When fake news
Is like a game of thrones;
We need Alex Jones.
Conspiracy activities (are) exposing the toxicities.
Who’s the truth?
You decide.

Chorus x 2



Posted in Grammar, IELTS, Intermediate (Level 4), Listening, Pre-Intermediate (Level 3), Songs | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

English Words that are often Confused #3

First, read English Words that are often Confused #1 & #2.

Today, I’m continuing with English Words that are often Confused: words starting with ‘D’. Take note of prepositions (about, to, on, etc.) which often collate with the confusing words. Using the correct preposition is as important as using the correct word.

This baby is totally dependent on his parents.

Let’s have a look at some confusing words:

a) defective, deficient           

b) deny, refute

c) dependant, dependent         

d) desert, dessert  

e) disinterested, uninterested         

f) drank, drunk


♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦


a) defective, deficient 

♦ defective   adjective: used to indicate a defect,  flaw or damage

Your watch is defective. You should take it back to the shop and get a refund.


♦ deficient – adjective: used to indicate a shortage or lack, especially of something which is important or necessary

Unfortunately, many students exist on a nutritionally deficient diet.

In many countries, people can obtain a driving licence despite being deficient in common sense and knowledge of road laws.


♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦


b) deny, refute

They denied that they were vampires.

♦ deny – verb: to state that something is untrue

Ambrogio and Selene denied that they were vampires.


♦ refute – verb: to prove that a statement is false

They were able to refute the charge of murder as they had been performing at the annual policemen’s ball at the time of the alleged vampire attack.


♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦


c) *dependant, dependent   

♦ dependant – noun: a person, usually a child, who depends on or needs someone for support or financial aid.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have four dependants, aged from six months to six years.

♦ dependent
– adjective: needing someone or something for support

    Many adult children are still financially dependent on their parents.

      Baby mammals are dependent on their mothers, often for years.


Note: To help you remember: the word ‘ant‘, which is in dependant, is also a noun.

* Dependant is British English spelling for the noun only. American English uses dependent for both the noun and adjective.


♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦


d) desert, dessert

♦ desert – noun: an area in which very little vegetation, if any, can grow because of lack of rainfall.  

The original meaning of the word desert is an abandoned or desolate area.

The Sahara Desert covers an area of about 3.5 million square miles.


♦ dessert – noun: a sweet pie, icecream, cake, fruit salad etc. served at the end of a  meal. 

‘My favourite dessert is Pavlova with
passionfruit. Yours?’

‘I love icecream with chocolate sauce, icecream with fruit, icecream with cake; in fact, I love any dessert which has icecream!’ 


Note: My way of remembering which word has two ‘s’ might be helpful for you: at school, I had a friend, Andrea, who always wanted two scoops of icecream for dessert!


♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦


e) disinterested, uninterested 

♦ disinterested – adjective: impartial, unbiased
To describe a person as disinterested is to provide a great deal of information about that person. It means that he or she is not simply unbiased, but also is not motivated or influenced by selfish interests or personal gain. 

It is a growing concern that so many court judges hold strong political views which may affect their sentencing. All judges should be disinterested in every case in their courtroom.


♦ uninterested – adjective: not interested

My husband enjoys watching football, cricket, and golf on television, and would love me to join him but I am totally uninterested.

Note: It is not surprising that disinterested is often confused with  uninterested when the media, as well as some modern dictionaries, increasingly use them both to mean not interested. Languages change and evolve, and English is no different. However, my concern is that if disinterested ends up meaning not interested simply because people don’t know the difference, we will lose a concise, meaningful English word. Forever. 


♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦


f) drank, drunk

We drank a toast to our future together.

♦ drank: verb – past tense of the verb ‘to drink’

We drank a toast to our future together.


♦ drunk: verb – past participle of the verb ‘to drink’ – used with auxiliary verbs havehas, and had

Have you ever drunk Cava? It’s a luscious sparkling wine made in Spain.

Who has drunk too much on New Year’s Eve? Not me. Never!

When I arrived at the office Christmas party, I was dismayed to learn that the new employees had drunk all the champagne!


♦ drunk: adjective 

We drank a lot of champagne at our wedding but we didn’t get drunk. No-one wants to see a drunk bride!

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

** If you would like to receive all my future posts explaining confusing words, as well as other helpful English information, just click on ‘Follow’.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Posted in Advanced (Level 6+), Cambridge, IELTS, Intermediate (Level 4), Upper Intermediate (Level 5), Vocabulary | 1 Comment

How to Write a Sentence: #1

 What is a sentence?

There are three necessary parts to a sentence: SUBJECT (noun or pronoun) & VERB (finite) & the sentence must also have MEANING.

SUBJECT: There are several ways to make a subject, but for now, let’s look at the following:

♦ A subject can be one word; eg, sharks.    Sharks kill. (Yes, this is a sentence. It has a subject, a finite verb, and meaning.)

♦ A subject can be a phrase; eg, Sharks in Australia kill.

♦ A subject can be a noun clause; eg, Whatever sharks do scares people.

The third sentence above has an object  ‘people’. The verb ‘to scare’ must have an object. You need to know which verbs must have a direct object (transitive verbs), which verbs must not have a direct object (intransitive verbs), and which verbs have different rules. This sentence needs the object or the meaning is not clear.

♦ A subject can be a pronoun; eg, They are terrifying. They look dangerous.

The verbs in the two above sentences are followed by complements, not objects, because they are link (copular) verbs. Also, ‘terrifying’ and ‘dangerous’ can’t be objects because they are adjectives in these sentences.

Adrian's great white shark

This shark looks dangerous. It is terrifying! × 534-

VERB: Every sentence must have a verb with tense (tense = time: present, past, future). English verbs have very few forms. (forms = different spellings)

+ Present Simple Tense  positive – Sharks kill. It kills.
Present Simple Tense negative – Sharks don’t kill whales. A shark does not kill jellyfish.
Present Simple Tense question – Do sharks kill dolphins? Does that shark kill people?

+ Past Simple Tense positive – A shark killed the tourist.
Past Simple Tense negative – The shark did not kill the tourist’s friend.
Past Simple Tense question – Did the shark kill the lifesaver?

As you can see, in the positive sentences just three words: ‘kill’, ‘kills’, and ‘killed’, are complete (finite) verbs. They don’t need any help to show the tense (present or past). However, when you write a negative sentence or a question, you need a ‘helper’ (auxiliary) verb to show the tense: ‘do’ or ‘does’ for Present Simple Tense; ‘did’ for Past Simple Tense.

This is the rule for ALL VERBS in English (except the verb ‘to be’). You cannot write:

Sharks not kill whales.

A shark not kill jellyfish.

The shark not killed the tourist’s friend.

The shark kill the lifesaver?   

The auxiliary verb ‘helps’ with the ‘tense’ and the ‘person’.  

♦ ‘Dois used with I, you, we, and they in Present Simple Tense, while

♦ ‘does’ is used with he, she, and it.

♦ ‘Did’ is used with I, you, we, they, he she, and it (all persons) in Past Simple Tense.

All other tenses must use auxiliaries + participles (or base infinitives) to form a complete verb. For example, the following ‘sentence’ has no tense because ‘studying’ (continuous participle)has no tense. So it is not a sentence.

The students studying a lot of grammar.

We don’t know if the students ARE studying, WERE studying, HAVE BEEN studying, or  WILL BE studying, etc. We need the auxiliary verbs to help us, to tell us ‘when‘.




For example:

    ♦ The students have been studying a lot of grammar.

    ♦ The students were studying a lot of grammar.

    ♦ The students will be studying a lot of grammar.

The same combination of auxiliary + (base infinitive) + participle(s) is used for positive sentences (above), negative sentences, and questions (below): 

    ♦ The students have  not been studying a lot of grammar.

    ♦ Have the students been studying a lot of grammar?

    ♦ The students were not studying a lot of grammar.

    ♦ Were the students studying a lot of grammar?

    ♦ The students will not be studying a lot of grammar.

    ♦ Will the students be studying a lot of grammar?

AUXILIARY VERBS follow a very logical pattern:

Continuous (Base verb + ING) TO BE
Perfect TO HAVE
Future WILL 
Continuous & Future TO BE WILL 
Continuous & Perfect TO BE TO HAVE
Perfect & Future TO HAVE WILL 
Continuous & Perfect & Future TO BE TO HAVE WILL 

For a visual guide to all the forms of the 12 tenses, check out my book Understanding English Verbs available from Amazon.

Book cover - Fat Cows

There are three types of sentences in English: SIMPLE, COMPOUND, & COMPLEX.

You need to know which type of sentences you are writing, so that you can apply the appropriate rules.

I will explain these rules in my next post How to Write a Sentence: #2. If you would like to receive an  email when I write more posts, just fill out the Subscription Form below.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Posted in Grammar, IELTS, Intermediate (Level 4), Pre-Intermediate (Level 3), TOEFL, TOEIC, Writing | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

A Must-Read Thriller for Advanced English Students

I have previously recommended the fascinating books written by author JC Ryan, not only for those studying English as a second language, but also native English speakers who enjoy a spellbinding mystery or thriller. Well, now there is a short video to whet your appetite!

Is there a better way to improve your knowledge and usage of English than reading fiction by a master storyteller? I don’t think so! Check out this short video promotion of JC Ryan’s thriller THE FULCRUM.



Posted in Advanced (Level 6+), Reading | 1 Comment

English Words that are often Confused #2

First, read English Words that are often Confused #1

Today, I’m continuing with English Words that are often Confused: words starting with ‘C’. I couldn’t find any common confusing words starting with ‘B’, so let’s move on to ‘C’. Take note of prepositions (about, to, on, etc.) which often collate with the confusing words. Using the correct preposition is as important as using the correct word.

This wine is a perfect complement to your fabulous lunch!

Let’s have a look at some confusing words:

a) complement, compliment

b) comprise, consist

c) confidant, confident

d) contemptible, contemptuous

e) continuous, continual

f) credible, creditable


♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦


a) complement, compliment

 complement   noun: something which completes 

This wine is a perfect complement  to the meal.

Your new blue bag is an ideal complement to your outfit.

 complement   verb: to complete

This wine complements the meal perfectly.

Your new blue bag complements your outfit beautifully. 


 compliment   noun: an expression of praise or admiration

Irina received a lot of compliments about her wonderful cooking.

 compliment verb: to pay a compliment

We also complimented her on her excellent choice of wine.

Note: To help you remember – the spelling of complement is closer to the spelling of complete.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦


b) comprise, consist

 comprise & consist – verbs with the same meaning; however, you should not use ‘of’ after ‘comprise’ 

Grammar point

     Our aerobics class comprises nine talented, enthusiastic members.

        Our aerobics class consists of nine talented, enthusiastic members.


 comprised – adjective used with ‘of’

        Our aerobics class is comprised of nine talented, enthusiastic members. (verb: is)


♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦


c) confidant, confident

 confidant – noun: a person, often a close friend, family member or trusted colleague with whom private matters or problems are discussed

We all need a confidant; someone we can trust with our secrets.

“…. Children need guidance. 
They need a parent  to help and guide them. They
also need a friend. They need a confidant.”
‘Donny Osmond’


 confident – adjective 

I feel more confident about my abilities after doing the course.


♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦


d) contemptible, contemptuous

 contemptible – adjective: not deserving respect, worthy of contempt and strong dislike, usually describes actions

Stealing from a homeless person is a contemptible action.


 contemptuous – adjective: shows contempt, disapproval, lack of respect, usually describes people and their feelings or attitudes

People become contemptuous of politicians who are more interested in power than looking after their electorate.

Throughout the trial, it was obvious that the criminal was contemptuous of the police as well as his victims.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦


e) continuous, continual

 continuous – adjective: non-stop, without interruption

When my mobile phone is fully charged, I have continuous charge for eight hours. 

 continuously – adverb

When Lucy phones me, she talks continuously; it’s impossible to get a word in! 


 continual – adjective: happening regularly, often repeated

         Last night, I was kept awake by the continual barking of my neighbour’s dog. Every time I thought that it had stopped, it started barking again.

 continually – adverb,

       I feel sorry for that dog. It is continually left at home alone.


♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦


f) credible, creditable

♦ credible – adjective: believable, trustworthy

The police decided that the witnesses’ statements were credible.

   We must have transparency in all our business dealings if we are to remain credible.

     A: That street performer does a credible job as the Mad Hatter. He looks just like Johnny Depp, doesn’t he?

      B: His appearance is credible, but can he act?


Ashleigh Barty wins The 2019 French Open Tennis Championship.

♦ creditable – adjective: bringing or deserving credit or praise.         

Winning The French Open is a highly creditable achievement.

The Independent Candidate won a creditable 20% of the vote.



♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

** If you would like to receive all my future posts explaining confusing words, as well as other helpful English information, just click on ‘Follow’.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦


Posted in IELTS, Intermediate (Level 4), Upper Intermediate (Level 5), Vocabulary | 1 Comment