Coronavirus Covid-19 – Easing restrictions

The aim of this blogpost is to look at language that is emerging as countries are relaxing their coronavirus restrictions and moving on towards a new phase. Replicating the format of a previous blogpost (dealing with the terminology the Coronavirus arrival brought with it, here), I will introduce language relevant to this stage, while providing context examples taken from newspapers.

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A mish-mash of some of my favourite reduplicatives

When I first heard the word mish-mash, it was love at first sight.

We were sitting by the fire in the rustic living room of an old National Trust farmhouse located in a remote valley of the Peak District. A perfect end to a day of volunteering work in the morning, and an afternoon in the hills.

I was having a drink and chatting about languages with the international team. One  of them (a fellow volunteer at the time and now a close friend) used the word mish-mash. It was clear from the context that she meant something like a jumble, a mixture of things. A pot-pourri. I asked her to repeat the word just to hear the sound of it  in her beautiful British accent. Mish-mash! Love it. Continue reading “A mish-mash of some of my favourite reduplicatives”

Coronavirus COVID-19 Vocabulary List

In this global Coronavirus COVID-19 health emergency, Vitoria has sadly become a hotspot (site with multiple cases of infection) in Spain. In an attempt to prevent the spread of disease, the local authorities are implementing containment measures such as the closure of schools since last Tuesday.

At present, the coronavirus crisis is on everybody’s lips so I have compiled a vocabulary list to enable students to hold a conversation in English about this major issue. This image shows the vocabulary list and down below, each of these expressions is illustrated in the context of current news. 

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Off to Kiwiland!

The Antipodes, pronounced [ænˈtɪpədiːz]: Magical word that evokes a world of contrast and adventure. For us, living in Spain, that would be The Land of the Long White Cloud, translated from the Maori Aotearoa;  in other words, New Zealand, also known as Kiwiland, name which derives from the kiwi, a native flightless bird, which is a national symbol of New Zealand. 

The following map shows highlighted the area equivalent to Spain on the opposite side of the world: Continue reading “Off to Kiwiland!”

Phrasal Verbs and Register: Formal

There is a widely-held belief that phrasal verbs in English are informal and will be frowned upon in academic writing such as the essay, the formal letter, or the report tasks in the CAE.

While there is an element of truth in that,  there are indeed certain phrasal verbs, formal ones that is, which are not only acceptable but will also enhance your writing and show mastery of the language.

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Out and about and other BINOMIALS

A binomial is formed by two words and a conjuction that joins them as in: “After a quick visit to the hotel to drop off her bags, she’s been out and about exploring the city all day”. 

The order of the words is fixed and if you reverse it, it would sound unnatural and be wrong, e.g. “about and out”.

What follows is a selection of some binomials that  I consider useful.  I encourage you to learn them and and try to use one next time you have a conversation in English.  Continue reading “Out and about and other BINOMIALS”