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  • Language tip of the week: love

    Posted by on December 18, 2014

    Learn English with Macmillan DictionaryIn this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. In this new series of  language tips we will be looking at how metaphor is used to express some common concepts in English. This week’s tip looks at metaphors used to talk about love:

    When you love someone very deeply, it feels as if you are physically weak or falling over. The effect that an attractive person has on you is like being hit or knocked over by them:

    Just looking at him makes me go weak at the knees.
    I fell for Molly in a big way.
    Do you remember the first time you fell in love?
    I’d never met anyone like Jack – he just swept me off my feet.
    I was bowled over by his charm and good looks.
    Anyone can see they’re head over heels in love.
    That girl is an absolute knockout.
    He’s drop-dead gorgeous.
    He’s always had a bit of a weakness for brunettes.
    She felt helpless with desire.

    Sexual love is like fire or heat:

    Their new singer’s really hot.
    I bumped into an old flame yesterday.
    It was a fiery, passionate relationship.
    His touch inflamed her senses.
    She gave him a smouldering look.
    His eyes burned with desire.
    The movie includes some steamy sex scenes.
    Sara felt herself melting into his arms.

    More language tips

    Browse the list under the ‘language tips‘ tag here on the blog for more useful language tips.

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  • New pragmatics lesson plan: ways of praising someone

    Have you seen our latest lesson plan by author Jonathan Marks? It’s the final one in the ‘expressing yourself’ series and helps learners review and consolidate ways of praising someone. What’s included? Worksheets for students, tips for teachers, as well as an answer key and suggested follow-up activities. All pragmatics lesson plans – including this […]

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  • They don’t shoot dead people, do they?

    Each Saturday a small section entitled ‘Chris Maslanka’s Puzzles’ appears on the Guardian newspaper’s puzzle page. One puzzle features a ‘Professor Pedanticus’, who – you guessed it – is a pedant, the sort of old-school fuddy-duddy who wants the English language to stay exactly as it was at some idealised point in his past – […]

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  • Word roots and routes: close

    Next in a series of posts exploring some of the ‘roots’ and ‘routes’ of English vocabulary. A popular stereotype concerning English vocabulary is that the high-frequency, monosyllabic words are of Germanic origin. This is often the case, but by no means always, and one of the exceptions is close, which has a Latin origin. Close is a particularly busy […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 12th December, 2014

    This post contains a selection of links related to language and words in the news. These can be items from the latest news, blog posts or interesting websites related to global English, language change, education in general, and language learning and teaching in particular. Feel free to contact us if you would like to submit a link […]

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  • Language tip of the week: lawyer

    In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. These tips are usually based on areas of English which learners find difficult, e.g. spelling, grammar, collocation, synonyms, usage, etc. This week’s language tip helps with the differences in usage in American and British English of the word […]

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  • Real Grammar Quiz, Question 4: Is it OK to split an infinitive?

    Real Grammar isn’t about the made-up or outdated “rules” which some people try to make us follow. As we said in the introduction to this new series from Macmillan Dictionary, Real Grammar is based on the evidence of language in use. In the coming months, we’ll be bringing you blog posts and videos that give evidence-based answers to frequently asked questions about grammar and […]

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  • Flat adverbs are exceeding fine

    We can do something quick or do it quickly, go slow or go slowly. But though we can do something fast, we don’t do it fastly – this is not a word you’re likely to hear from a native English speaker. How come? Fast, slow, and quick all belong to the set of adverbs in […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 5th December, 2014

    This post contains a selection of links related to language and words in the news. These can be items from the latest news, blog posts or interesting websites related to global English, language change, education in general, and language learning and teaching in particular. Feel free to contact us if you would like to submit a link […]

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  • Language tip of the week: understand

    In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. In this new series of  language tips we will be looking at how metaphor is used to express some common concepts in English. This week’s tip looks at metaphors used to talk about understanding something: Understanding something is […]

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  • Life skills tip of the week: ways of praising someone

    Learning about pragmatics and how to express yourself successfully is a useful life skill, said Michael Rundell in January when he introduced the new pragmatics series on Macmillan Dictionary. The series is part of the Macmillan Life Skills campaign, offering free resources for English language students and teachers each month. As part of the series, we’ll bring more useful content and […]

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  • The ups and downs of conversation

    In the previous post in this series, I presented some examples of how people often establish a topic before going on to say what they want to say about it – eg: That painting at the top of the stairs, I got that from my grandmother – or reiterate or clarify the topic at the […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 28th November, 2014

    This post contains a selection of links related to language and words in the news. These can be items from the latest news, blog posts or interesting websites related to global English, language change, education in general, and language learning and teaching in particular. Feel free to contact us if you would like to submit a link […]

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Recent Comments

Recent Comments
  • Posted by Elizabeth Manning to They don’t shoot dead people, do they? on December 19, 2014 I agree that Pedanticus is overreacting and it is not always bad English to put the adjective before the noun group in sentences like this; and that when the noun group is a long one, it is actually better to put the adjective first. But it started me wondering why, with short noun groups, the adj-before-noun-group pattern sounds perfectly OK with some verbs but not with others. For example, "A neighbour forced open the front door",...

  • Posted by Aven to Language and words in the news – 12th December, 2014 on December 17, 2014 Hi! Thought you might consider including this video on the origins of the word "Yule" in this week's round-up. Thanks, and happy Yule! (Also, io Saturnalia!). http://youtu.be/thKqObFOw08

  • Posted by Luqi Wan to Language tip of the week: money on December 14, 2014 Language Tips of the week is very helpful to us in teaching English in China. Otherwise, We may confuse the exact meanings of words that we are talking about here.

  • Posted by Liz to Language tip of the week: intelligence on December 11, 2014 Hi Mac. 'Intelligence is like a light' is indeed a simile. The format of these articles, and the Macmillan Dictionary features they are based on, is to identify a set of metaphors that apply to a particular quality or feeling, such as intelligence or happiness, and then to explore those metaphors. So 'intelligence is like a light', or 'feeling happy is like being high up' tell you what the metaphor is; as you point out they...

  • Posted by Mac Solomon to Language tip of the week: intelligence on December 10, 2014 Good explanation, although saying that 'intelligence is like a light' is technically a simile, not a metaphor.