From the category archives:

improve your English

  • Language tip of the week: idea

    Posted by on January 22, 2015

    In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. In this series of  language tips we look at how metaphor is used to express some common concepts in English. This week’s tip looks at metaphors used to talk about ideas: An idea or theory is like a […]

    Read the full article
  • Language tip of the week: student

    Posted by on January 15, 2015

    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 […]

    Read the full article
  • Passives: the long and the short of it

    Posted by on January 12, 2015

    In a previous post, I mentioned that the passive without an agent (also called the ‘short passive’) is one of a dozen ways of reporting and commenting on events and situations without specifying an actor – e.g. “The fire had been fully extinguished by yesterday morning.” But why do we use the passive with an […]

    Read the full article
  • Language tip of the week: happy

    Posted by on January 08, 2015

    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 feeling happy: Feeling happy and […]

    Read the full article
  • Life skills tip of the week: ways of asking and giving permission

    Posted by on December 23, 2014

    As 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 expressing approval and disapproval. This week’s tip, which is the last in the series, looks at ways of asking and giving permission. Can I…? […]

    Read the full article
  • Language tip of the week: love

    Posted by on December 18, 2014

    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 love: When you love someone […]

    Read the full article
  • Word roots and routes: close

    Posted by on December 15, 2014

    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 […]

    Read the full article
  • Language tip of the week: lawyer

    Posted by on December 11, 2014

    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 […]

    Read the full article
  • Language tip of the week: understand

    Posted by on December 04, 2014

    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 […]

    Read the full article
  • Life skills tip of the week: ways of praising someone

    Posted by on December 03, 2014

    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 […]

    Read the full article