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  • Life skills tip of the week: approval and disapproval

    Posted by on November 25, 2014

    Express-Yourself-MEDO-Web-232x300pxAs part of this year’s pragmatics series, we bring more useful content and tips from the Macmillan Dictionary on expressing yourself.

    The previous language tip looked at some of the ways of adding emphasis to what you say and write.

    This week’s tip looks at a few of the very many ways of expressing approval and disapproval.

    One way to express approval is to use a positive adjective such as good, great, amazing, fantastic, perfect or wonderful with the verb to be:
    That is/was great/amazing/fantastic.
    That’s a good/great/excellent idea.

    You can also use one of these adjectives with the verbs to look or to sound:
    It looks/it’s looking good/great.
    Looks good/great to me!
    That sounds great/perfect.

    You can say you like or love the way someone does something:
    I really like the way you’ve decorated this room.
    I love the way she writes.

    An informal way of expressing approval for something is to use the present continuous form  of the verbs like or love:
    I am loving this five-day weekend!
    I’m really liking my new phone.

    You can also use phrases such as  good for you or well done to show approval for something someone has done. American English uses the phrase good job:
    “Then I did a post grad in business studies.” “Yeah? Good for you!”
    Well done for having such an excellent website.
    Good job on following up on that report.

    There are very many ways of showing disapproval. Here are a few of them:
    It’s not looking (too/that) good/great.
    That doesn’t sound/seem like a very good idea.
    I don’t really like the way she speaks to her children.
    We only see each other about 3 hours a day, and I am not liking that at all. 
    I’m not impressed with their customer service.

    Would you like to learn more about pragmatics? Keep a close eye on our pragmatics page where the tenth of our life skills lesson plans was published recently. For more information about Life Skills, visit the Macmillan Life Skills page.

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Recent Comments

Recent Comments
  • Posted by gill francis to Not the same thing as writing, speaking, is it? on November 17, 2014 Jonathan: No not really. One factor is surely that the spoken language used to be thought somehow inferior to the written, and written language was the basis for grammatical description and hence prescription. In the last few decades, with the internet, social media, texting etc, people have learnt to write as they speak, and invented a whole new set of conventions for doing so. It’s partly to do with speed – the message is the important...

  • Posted by Stan to Mildew all around me, and other mondegreens on November 17, 2014 Dave: 'You take a piece of meat with you' is a classic. The Maxell ad is good, though I suspect improving the sound quality could never clear up all the misinterpretations of that song... Alma: As a child I assumed it was 'a little alien' too, though not a jam maker. 'Crap' seems to recur as a misheard word, what with your husband's mondegreen, the Roy Orbison song, and the time I told my father I'd gone...

  • Posted by Oisín Carey to Mildew all around me, and other mondegreens on November 16, 2014 Fats Domino was a source of lots of these for us as kids, including 'You used to use my arms as rella' (umbrella) and something like 'Jambalaya cause big fun, feelin' a gum-bowl / 'Cause tonight I'm gonna sing my majella meal' (Jambalaya and a craw fish pie and filet gumbo / 'Cause tonight I'm gonna see my ma Cher Amio). Pretty much the whole of Jambalaya we were winging it!

  • Posted by Jonathan Marks to Not the same thing as writing, speaking, is it? on November 16, 2014 Thanks, Gill. Yes, I know the LGSWE. Have you got a theory about why it's taken writers so long to hear what spoken English is like?

  • Posted by Alma Conway to Mildew all around me, and other mondegreens on November 15, 2014 Oh, and I forgot about my husband's mishearing in his distant childhood of the second line of the chorus to the 1970s country hit 'It's a fine time to leave me Lucille', which he was convinced went on 'with four hundred children and a crap in the fields'.