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Language tip of the week: clean

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 other ways of saying clean:

wash to clean something using water and sometimes soap
Mum was outside washing the car. ♦ Go and wash your hands before dinner.
wipe to clean a surface such as a table, window, or shelf using a cloth, especially a slightly wet cloth
A bartender was slowly wiping the counter.
mop to clean a floor using water, soap, and a mop (=a cleaning tool with a long handle)
Don’t walk over the floor after I’ve mopped it.
brush to rub something with a brush in order to remove dirt, dried mud, dust etc. You also brush your teeth using a toothbrush, toothpaste, and water
Brush your teeth after every meal. ♦ Ben was brushing mud off his jacket.
scrub to clean something by rubbing it hard, using a stiff brush with soap and water
It’s going to be hard to scrub that saucepan clean.
sweep to clean a floor, a set of stairs, or a pavement using a brush with a long handle
We scrubbed the kitchen floor and swept the hall.
dust to remove dust from furniture, shelves, and other surfaces, using a soft cloth
I hardly ever dust the bedrooms.
cleanse to clean your skin thoroughly, often using a special liquid or cream
Gently cleanse the wound and apply a loose bandage.

More language tips

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

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Kerstin Johnson

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