Vocabulary – Word Transformations

EXPANDING VOCABULARY

One of the simplest and quickest ways to expand your vocabulary in English is learning some of the rules of changing words from one form to another: from nouns into adjectives, into verbs and back again.

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One of the easiest methods of doing this is by adding appropriate suffixes to the end of the root word to form either a noun, a verb or an adjective. Look at these examples: 

  • power (noun) changes to powerful or powerless (adjectives)
    -ful and -less are typical adjective endings. 
  • beautiful (adjective) changes to beautify (verb) 
    -ify is a typical verb ending. 
  • to educate (verb) changes to education (noun)
    -ation (or -ion) is a typical noun ending.

Read more of the rules and patterns of adjective, noun and verb suffixes below. 

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Sound like a native English speaker – ‘Linking Sounds’

Do you remember that time when Ada and Andy ran in the Dublin marathon?

Try reading the sentence. Can you pronounce it in one sound, without any pauses?

When native speakers talk, they don’t pause between words. They pronounce whole phrases and even sentences as one continuous sound. If you want to speak English more fluently and sound more natural, you should try to do this too. But how?

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The key is ‘linking’. When we say sentences in English, words are linked or connected to each other, so that two words are pronounced together.

For example:

  • that time – we only pronounce one t and the two words join together.
  • when Ada – the n and the A(da) join so it becomes one word sound.

Read more to learn about these different ways to link words. Continue reading

Past Simple vs Past Continuous

Past simple and past continuous are two of the most common tenses that English students will use when starting to use the language. When we tell stories, say what we did for the weekend, when we describe any events that happened in the past, these are the main two forms that we will use. 

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Here are the rules and the differences.

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Business Culture Around The World

Do you think it’s important to understand different cultures if you are doing business? 

Knowing how to behave and not to behave in a business context in different countries and cultures can be extremely important. Ideas of good manners and politeness can differ from country to country and knowing how to handle yourself when dealing with international clients can go a long way towards ensuring business success and making sure you don’t unintentionally offend anyone!

Should you shake hands, bow when you first meet a client or business partner, make lots of eye contact, even smile? Should you bring a gift to a business meeting?  

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Really Useful Words – ‘Get’

To get is a very commonly-used and useful verb in English and it has got many different uses and meanings. 

Here are some common examples:
1. to receive – Did you get my email?

2. to obtain – Where did you get this information?

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Irish Weather

WEATHER QUESTIONS

“If you don’t like the weather in Ireland, don’t worry, wait a few minutes and it will change.”

The Irish climate can be described as ‘changeable’ (it changes a lot!), ‘mild’ (there are no extremes of either cold or hot temperature) and ‘damp’ (it rains a lot).

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Let’s ask some very obvious questions about the weather and see if you know, the sometimes not so obvious, answers!

1. Why is the Equator hotter than the North and South Poles?
You know this is true but have you ever thought about the actual reason why? It’s not because the Equator sticks out and is a bit closer to the sun! 
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Sports around the world

‘Through play we reach the highest intelligence of humans.’ – Joseph Pearce

Think about which sports you most like to play or watch (if any). What do you think are the most popular sports in your country?

OLYMPIC GAMES

The modern Olympic Games feature summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a variety of competitions. They are considered the world’s most important sports competition with more than two hundred nations participating. The Olympics are normally held every four years.  

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The creation of the modern Olympics was inspired by the ancient Olympic Games held in Olympia, Greece from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD.

What events does your country compete in at the Olympics? 
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Irish Legends & Mythology

‘Myths point to the horizon and back to ourselves saying, this is who we are, this is where we came from and this is where we’re going.’ – J. Michael Straczynski
‘Superheroes fulfil a role similar to the ancient gods.’ – Christopher Nolan

Why do you think we create legends? How do they start?
One theory is that the process of legend stories being created likely began with real incidents or events that were worth recording and repeating. These were passed along by word of mouth from person to person and from generation to generation until they’d been retold thousands of times and existed in hundreds of different versions around the world.

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Saying ‘Hello’ & ‘Goodbye’ in Ireland

NON-VERBAL GREETINGS

Which of the ways below would you normally use to greet someone in your country? (Or would you use something else?)

  1. A kiss on the cheeks
  2. Shaking hands
  3. An embrace
  4. A bow
  5. A nod of the head

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Does it depend, for example, on if it’s a formal or informal situation, or would it change if it’s between two males, or between two females, or a male and female?

Which of the ways above do you think Irish people most commonly use to greet each other?

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The Future – ‘will’ vs ‘going to’

Talking about the Future

When talking about an event that is going to happen in the future, there is more than one possibility. Most often, you will use the phrases will or going to in order to refer to an upcoming event, but sometimes students of the English language can become confused over which one to use and when.

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Both forms refer to the future and there is a difference between the two, even though in some cases they can be used interchangeably with no difference in meaning. 

So, how would you describe the difference?

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