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  • Language tip of the week: interest

    Posted by on July 31, 2014

    Learn English with Macmillan DictionaryIn 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, etc.

    This week’s language tip helps with the patterns that can follow the noun interest:

    When the noun interest means ‘a feeling of wanting to know more about something’, it is followed by the preposition in, not for:
    ✗ There is a growing interest for oriental cultures and philosophies.
    ✓ There is a growing interest in oriental cultures and philosophies.

    ✗ Young people often take a great interest for what is happening outside their own country.
    ✓ Young people often take a great interest in what is happening outside their own country.

    You can also use the pattern interest in doing something:

    ✗ What makes these footballers lose interest for playing in their own countries?
    ✓ What makes these footballers lose interest in playing in their own countries?

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  • Posted by John Williams to Is there a case for ‘publically’? Part 1 on July 30, 2014 Good to have a word from Dr Goodword! How infrequent does the '-ical' form have to be before you say 'it does not allow the -al'? 'Basical', 'athletical', and 'authentical' are all rare, but 'basic', 'athletic', and 'authentic' still spell their adverbs '-ically'. Conversely, 'publically' has been around since the 18th century, albeit infrequently.

  • Posted by Robert Beard to Is there a case for ‘publically’? Part 1 on July 30, 2014 I tell my readers that all adjectives that can end either on -ic or -ic-al must retain the -al in the adverb. The ones that do not allow the -al do not need it in the adverb. Since there is no *publical or *political in the sense of politic, it should not be artificially inserted.

  • Posted by Stan to Could you care less? on July 24, 2014 Erik: Could care less is not valid in formal standard English, except when used ironically or jocularly, but it is valid in certain informal and colloquial varieties where people use it as the usual idiom. The same goes for ain't. There's no cause for alarm.

  • Posted by Erik Zidowecki to Could you care less? on July 24, 2014 I disagree with the argument that "I could care less" is valid simply because people use it. It is used because people are ignorant of the proper idiom. For years, English teachers have taught that using "ain't" is incorrect, despite the number of people that use it. Would you now claim that it is fine to use? I have seen people use "for all intensive purposes" instead of "for all intents and purposes" because they misheard...

  • Posted by Macmillan Dictionary to Life skills tip of the week: ways of expressing uncertainty on July 24, 2014 Hi Ana. If you go to one of the lesson plans and look at the top right hand corner you will see an arrow symbol (third from left). Clicking this will allow you to save the file to your computer.

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