From the category archives:

Live English

  • Is English going to the dog(e)s?

    Posted by on April 16, 2014

    A few weeks back, our Friday column on Language and Words in the News included a link to an article by Gretchen McCulloch on the grammar of “doge”. Historically, a doge was an elected ruler of Venice, but that’s not the one we’re talking about here. And although the two words are homonyms (both pronounced […]

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  • Are you -ish, -ic, -ese or -ian? (Or none of these?)

    Posted by on April 09, 2014

    Most people in Spain are Spanish and speak Spanish. Most people in Italy are Italian and speak Italian. There are many countries that give their name, plus a suffix, to both a language, and an adjective for things from the country. Of course there are lots of languages without countries, and plenty of countries that […]

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  • Life skills tip of the week: ways of apologizing

    Posted by on April 08, 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 […]

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  • 248 changes in Macmillan Dictionary’s new update

    Posted by on April 02, 2014

    After a hard day at work — so busy you had to have your lunch al desko — you’re home at last. Time to change into something comfortable (so, maybe not the spray-on jeans today) and settle down to chainwatch your latest box set — perhaps one of those scary Nordic noir thrillers. Well, you […]

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  • Life skills tip of the week: ways of offering something to someone

    Posted by on March 18, 2014

    As part of our pragmatics series, we bring more useful content and tips from the Macmillan Dictionary on expressing yourself. The previous language tip looked at ways of suggesting something. This week’s tip gives some ways of offering something to someone, and some ways of accepting or refusing an offer: Would you like…? is the most […]

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  • Corpus linguistics in a MOOC – the future of education?

    Posted by on March 12, 2014

    Today’s guest post comes from Tony McEnery, Professor of Linguistics and English Language at Lancaster University, and a leading figure in the world of corpus linguistics. ______________ If somebody had told me that, when I agreed to do a massive open online course (MOOC) for corpus linguistics, I would be crowd-sourcing word meanings from thousands […]

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  • Life skills tip of the week: ways of suggesting something

    Posted by on March 04, 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
  • Life skills tip of the week: ways of expressing uncertainty

    Posted by on February 25, 2014

    As part of our pragmatics series, we bring more useful content and tips from the Macmillan Dictionary on expressing yourself. The previous  language tip looked at ways of saying ‘I don’t know‘. This week’s tip gives some ways of saying you think you know something but are not completely sure: perhaps/maybe: used for saying that […]

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  • Apostrophe do’s, dos and don’ts

    Posted by on February 17, 2014

    Every year there’s controversy over the use of punctuation in public places. Often it’s the humble apostrophe causing trouble, and so it was in Cambridge recently when the city council removed the mark from street signs. Unhappy pedants armed with markers set about replacing the missing apostrophes, which were later officially reinstated. One anxious campaigner […]

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  • Life skills tip of the week: ways of saying ‘I don’t know’

    Posted by on February 11, 2014

    Learning about pragmatics and how to express yourself successfully is a useful life skill, said Michael Rundell last month 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, […]

    Read the full article