Category Archives: Uncategorized

We just got the go-ahead! (Nouns formed from phrasal verbs)

About Words - Cambridge Dictionaries Online blog

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by Kate Woodford

Here on About Words, we frequently publish posts on phrasal verbs. This week, just for a change, we’re looking instead at a group of nouns that are formed from phrasal verbs. Some of these nouns are usually written with a hyphen between the verb and particle and some are written as one word.

Let’s start on a positive note, with the noun in the title. From the phrasal verb go ahead, the phrase the go-ahead refers to an occasion when you are given official permission to start a project. You get or are given the go-ahead: The council has given the go-ahead for a housing development in the area.

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I think you should apologise: giving advice and making suggestions

About Words - Cambridge Dictionaries Online blog

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by Liz Walter

We all have times when we want to give advice to someone or to make a suggestion about something they could do to solve a problem. However, it’s not always easy to do that without giving offence, so this post looks at a range of language you could use in this situation.

The most obvious words to use for giving advice are the modal verbs should and ought to:

You ought to eat more vegetables.

You shouldn’t be so rude to your parents.

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Rushed off my feet: words connected with hard work

About Words - Cambridge Dictionaries Online blog

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by Liz Walter

Last month I wrote about laziness and doing nothing, but this month, when most people are back at work and school begins again (in the UK at least), the topic is the opposite: hard work and being busy.

There are several colourful idioms connected with having too much work to do. If you are up to your eyes/eyeballs/neck/ears in work, there is a very large amount of it to do. We can also say that we are rushed off our feet – this phrase is usually for when the work involves standing up or moving around, for example working in a shop or café. In UK English, an informal way of saying that a job or situation (for example, running a family) is busy is to say that it’s all go.

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Time to put your feet up: words connected with doing nothing

About Words - Cambridge Dictionaries Online blog

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by Liz Walter

It’s August, and for many people that means holiday time (vacation time if you’re a US English speaker), so in this post I thought I’d make some suggestions for words and phrases connected with being lazy and not doing much.

There are several words for lazy people. They are all negative, but some are more disapproving than others. Describing someone as a layabout indicates strong disapproval, whilelazybonescould be used almost affectionately. Slacker could be used seriously or semi-humorously, as could the informal couch potato. Work-shy is a very disapproving word, often used for unemployed people suspected of not wanting to get a job.

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Let’s bake a cake. (Cooking words)

About Words - Cambridge Dictionaries Online blog

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by Kate Woodford

One thing we haven’t dealt with yet on this blog is cooking vocabulary. We’re now making up for it with two posts devoted to common words used for preparing food. If you’re a keen cook, read on!

Let’s start with some basic cooking verbs relating to the inside of the oven. When we cook bread and cakes in an oven, we say we bake them: freshly baked bread / I’m going to bake a cake. However, for cooking meat and vegetables inside an oven, we use the verb roast: I’m roasting a chicken. / roasted vegetables. (We also use the verb ‘roast’ for cooking food, especially meat, over a fire.)

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When no one was looking, she opened the door: Using narrative tenses

About Words - Cambridge Dictionaries Online blog

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by Liz Walter

Everyone tells stories. We do it every day, even if it’s just telling our family that we met an old friend in the supermarket. English exams often ask students to write anecdotes or descriptions of past events. An important part of telling a story is using the right tenses because they show the reader or listener how the events in your story fit together. There are four main tenses that are often used for stories – in English language teaching, they are often known as the narrative tenses, because they are used to narrate (=tell) a story.

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Corporate Psychopaths at Work – is success on the agenda?

Middlesex Minds

Clive Boddy, Professor in Leadership and Organisation Behaviour in the Business School, has been researching corporate psychopaths for over a decade. Here he shares his thoughts on the perceived success of psychopaths in the workplace, and considers whether a psychopath’s personal advancement comes at the expense of colleagues and organisations

Some psychologists have equated psychopathy with personal success because a few of the qualities of psychopaths, such as apparent charm, ruthlessness and coolness under pressure, help them climb the corporate ladder. They get to the top more frequently than non-psychopaths do. However, to me this begs the questions of what this success means for those who work alongside these corporate psychopaths in the organisational sphere? Does the success of psychopaths come at the expense of their colleagues? What impact do they have on organisational productivity? I conducted and examined research in this area to find answers.

Corporate psychopaths are those…

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