Tagged: vocabulary

Lemon Squeezy

Another song from eapguru – this time to practice the words ‘easy and ‘difficult’. See also this earlier post for further practice of these not-so-easy items!

A free handout with lyrics and tasks for students accompanies the song. The video features Indonesian EAP students preparing to study abroad. Enjoy!

@eapguru

Photos that never forget

ūüė¶ I keep my photos because they can memorise the moment.

But in order to memorise anything they would need consciousness, which is of course impossible. A photograph does not have a brain:

memorise

Only humans can memorise things, so perhaps you mean:

ūüôā I keep my photos because they help me to remember the moment.

Be careful with ‘memorise‘. We don’t usually memorise ‘moments’. We generally memorise¬†information, and this often¬†requires continued and intensive concentration. For example if you want to remember somebody’s phone number, you must first of all memorise it. The memory of the number then stays in your head ready for the next time you need it. With a photograph, the memory might not stay in your head. Rather, you remember the moment¬†whenever you look at the photograph. In this sense the photo acts as ‘a reminder‘.

flag-of-indonesia Indonesians would do well to read through the previous paragraph and consider the translations of ingat and its forms, and also hafal and its forms.

@eapguru

 

My yard is wide

ūüė¶ Of course I love my house. It has a yard. Actually it’s not a very wide yard.

flag-of-indonesia¬†Here an Indonesian candidate is translating ‘luas’ (lit. ‘wide’).

In English, ‘wide’ is one of several dimensions (including ‘long’, ‘deep’, etc.), and doesn’t really communicate the idea of overall size. ¬†If you tell me your yard is wide, I immediately want to know¬†whether it is long. Then I might be able to decide whether it is big or small.¬†For example, a¬†yard might be 10m ‘wide’, but only 10cm¬†‘long’.

To communicate the idea of overall size Рwhen speaking about the land next to or between buildings Рit would be better to say:

ūüôā Of course I love my house. It has a yard. Actually it’s not a very big¬†yard.

More academic synonyms for ‘big’ might include ‘spacious’, ‘expansive’.

@eapguru

Labouring over ‘labourers’

ūüė¶ Some people claim that working hours for labours in factories are too long.

flag-of-indonesia¬†Here an Indonesian student is trying to find a synonym for ‘worker’. Unfortunately the hierarchy of ‘work’ is labelled differently in English.

In English a ‘labourer’ (‘labour’ + ‘er’) does work that distinguish him or her¬†from other kinds of worker:

  • Labourers are usually unskilled.
  • Labourers often have to use physical strength because their work requires them to lift and carry things.
  • The work of labourers is generally outdoor work.
  • Labouring is often dirty work.
  • Labouring is not very well paid in most countries.

Here are some pictures of ‘labourers’.

If you want to use a synonym for ‘worker’ then try to¬†consider:

  • where the work takes place
  • the level of skill involved
  • the salary it attracts

These considerations will lead you to a more accurate label for the work you are talking or writing about. In IELTS a more accurate label is also likely to get you a higher score for Lexical Resource (vocabulary).

This dictionary entry offers a wide selection of labels for different kinds of work.

Other word forms and idioms

Labourer – the person (countable)

Labour – noun (uncountable, abstract meaning)

Labour – verb

Laborious – adjective (Sometimes skilled work can be ‘laborious’, especially if it requires physical effort or is repetitive).

Hard labour – A form of punishment used by tyrannical governments, often for political prisoners.¬†If my work feels like hard labour, it’s very hard work!

In labour – Giving birth!

Labour over something – Work extra hard at a task.


@eapguru

Humans are usually redundant

ūüė¶ In conclusion, long working hours are¬†necessary for human beings.

flag-of-indonesia¬†I’m guessing this may be¬†a cultural issue.

Let’s try a¬†quick¬†test.¬†Which of the following sentences is NOT about working hours and humans?

  1. Long working hours are necessary for human beings.
  2. Long working hours are necessary.
  3. Long working hours are necessary for ants.

Hopefully you chose number 3. In any discussion of working hours, and indeed of many other topics, we’re usually talking about human beings, unless otherwise specified.

The only time we really need to mention humans is when we’re contrasting them with non-humans!

@eapguru

Ethnic(ity)

ūüė¶ Different ethnics will have different languages to communicate.

flag-of-indonesia This is one of those situations where the English word has been borrowed and its use altered. In this case what was in English an adjective has been turned into a noun.

English offers two word forms – ethnic (adjective), ethnicity (noun):

ūüôā Different ethnic groups will have different languages to communicate.

ūüôā People with different ethnicity will have different languages to communicate.

And by the way, how exactly do you describe your own ethnicity? Comments below!

@eapguru

Are the benefits beneficial?

ūüė¶ Constructing impressive buildings benefits more for¬†visitors than local people.

flag-of-indonesia¬†This is another word that gets partly lost in translation. Let’s look at some possible improvements.

Benefit –¬†verb

Constructing impressive buildings benefits visitors more than local people.

The verb ‘benefit’ is transitive, no preposition. Notice the position of ‘more’ in the comparison!

Beneficial – adjective

Constructing impressive buildings is more beneficial for visitors than for local people.

The adjective ‘beneficial’ may be followed by a preposition phrase – usually ‘beneficial + for’ (except “When attempting to lose weight it is more beneficial to exercise than to diet.”).

Without a comparative you might also write:

Constructing impressive buildings is beneficial.

Benefit – noun

The benefits to visitors of constructing impressive buildings are greater than the benefits to local people.

The noun ‘benefit’ – when applied to people (visitors) – is followed by ‘to‘.
When applied to things (constructing impressive buildings) it is followed by ‘of‘.

@eapguru