Language tip of the week: work

Posted by on November 29, 2012

In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. These tips are based on areas of English which learners often find difficult, e.g. spelling, grammar, collocation, synonyms, etc.

This week some advice about the noun work:

In most of its meanings, work is an uncountable noun, and so:
▪  it rarely comes after a or a number
▪  it is rarely used in the plural
✗ It is very common for university students to get a part-time work.
✓ It is very common for university students to get part-time work.
✗ They want to relax after the pressure of their works.
✓ They want to relax after the pressure of their work.

Q: What is the difference between work and job?
A: Work refers in general to things people do to earn money. Job is used when you are referring to the particular thing that someone does regularly in order to earn money:
✓ Mr Biswas goes to Port of Spain to look for work. By chance he gets a job on a newspaper.
Work can be a countable noun when it means ‘something produced by a writer, painter, musician, or other artist’:
✓ Copying from the works of the Great Masters was one of a young art student’s most important tasks.
✓ This opera is indeed a work of great dramatic intensity.

More language tips

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

Would you like to improve your vocabulary? Follow our daily tweets @MacLearnEnglish or visit our Learn English Facebook Page.

Leave a Comment
* Required Fields Notify me of follow-up comments via email