It’s that fun time of year where the English speaking world prepares for Halloween – with scary stories, films and costumes. Which means it’s also the time of year to practice our Halloween vocabulary – words which cover a range of frightening topics, emotions and mythical creatures! Build your vocab with my nasty nouns and abysmal adjectives, then see if you can complete the exercise below.
Mixed Halloween Vocabulary Exercise
Match the following descriptions with the words below.
- Something that is not from this world.
- The practice of magic or sorcery.
- An ugly, giant creature.
- A very old person who wants to suck your blood.
- Dead people who refuse to stay dead.
- A box to bury dead bodies in.
- Illumination from the moon.
- A characterisation of Death.
- A carved pumpkin that we put a candle in.
- The worst kind of dream.
- The remains of a person without flesh or muscles.
- A home where you find ghosts (or worse!).
- A magical person with wings.
- An enchantment, poems or other words that create magic.
- A person who changes into a wolf.
- a. fairy
- b. witchcraft
- c. werewolf
- d. moonlight
- e. spell
- f. zombies
- g. haunted house
- h. skeleton
- i. coffin
- j. jack’o’lantern
- k. the grim reaper
- l. nightmare
- m. ogre
- n. supernatural
- o. vampire
Answers to the Exercise
- n – supernatural
- b – witchcraft
- m – ogre
- o – vampire
- f – zombies
- i – coffin
- d – moonlight
- k – the grim reaper
- j – jack’o’lantern
- l – nightmare
- h – skeleton
- g – haunted house
- a – fairy
- e – spell
- c – werewolf
Many words in English can be adapted to be used for different grammatical functions. We often use prefixes and suffixes (extra parts of the word added at the beginning or the end) to change the meaning of a word for a variety of purposes. Adjectives and verbs can be turned into nouns, for example happy becomes the feeling of happiness, run becomes the doer of the verb, runner. There are many different ways to do this that sometimes have individual quirks – but there are also some general rules to help know how to create nouns from other words. The following is a list of the most common suffix changes to form nouns: Continue reading
When we talk about future plans in English, the construction “to be willing to do” can be used with a few different adjectives (in place of willing), such as ready, prepared and able. In some contexts these can be used interchangeably with almost no difference in meaning, roughly meaning to be prepared to do something. The idiomatic expression ready, willing and able to … means to be incredibly eager / prepared to do something. It makes use of these multiple words reinforcing the idea of readiness/eagerness by repeating adjectives that with almost the same meaning (similar to a construction such as I am well and good). However the use of such a phrase does demonstrate there is some difference between these words, and in certain contexts the different forms of to be willing to do can have distinct meanings. Continue reading
To get in the mood for Halloween, a favourite holiday in the UK and America, here’s a list of some useful adjectives to describe creepy scenarios! Perfect for building a scary scene and setting some devilish ambience – these are all adjectives with descriptions and examples. You have until October 31st to learn and use these wicked words to their best beastly ability. Continue reading
“If you are a non-native speaker intending to write in English, YOU NEED THIS BOOK!” – Amelie Chaloux , Amazon review
Word Order in English Sentences teaches effective sentence structure in English. It covers the structure of sentences, explaining how and why different English word types fit into specific orders. It is available from this site in electronic form, or in print form on Amazon.
Effective Word Order Rules
“The greatest thing about this guide is that it doesn’t simply tell you what to do, it also explains why, so that you understand the subtle (or not so subtle) change in meaning of the sentence, which can occur if you swap just a couple of words in your phrase.” – Polina Zemsteva, Amazon review
The English language requires specific word order rules, to make sure your sentences make grammatical sense. When you change your word order, you can change the meaning of your sentence. This guide explains standard sentence structures, so that you will always be understood clearly. It takes you from the general ‘subject-verb-object’ beginning into more complicated patterns for specific words, including how to list adjectives, and how to position different adverbs. The simple chapter structure covers the following topics:
- Basic sentence structure (subject-verb-object and beyond)
- Question forms
- Negative forms
- Verb phrases (now including phrasal verbs, transitives and intransitives, and combinations of verbs)
- Noun phrases (now including compound nouns, noun complements and embedded questions as noun phrases)
- Adjectives (now including adjectives in unusual positions)
- Sentences with multiple clauses (including simple, complex and compound sentences)
Every topic is covered with standard word order patterns and exercises to practice your knowledge. The exercises use scrambled sentences which need to be re-ordered, and the answers include detailed explanations of why the sentences should be placed in these orders. For an introduction to the style of the book, you can see my Adjective Word Order exercise in this blog (which is similar to part of the adjective chapter in the book).
Adjectives describe nouns, and are usually placed either before a noun (as part of the noun phrase) or after a noun, pronoun or verb. The rules for this placement are quite simple, but when we use more than one adjective the word order is important, to sound more natural and to make the meaning clear.
Placing an adjective before or after the noun
Adjectives are placed directly before a noun to add detail to the noun. In a noun phrase, with additional words (such as determiners and adverbs), the adjective should be the last word before the noun. When they are removed from the sentence, the sentence should still make sense: Continue reading
Adjectives and adverbs are describing words. For definitions of words, see here, or for examples, see this extensive list. They add details to other components of a sentence. They can be used in a variety of ways, and some uses have regional variations. Generally, however, the simplest way to think of them is that adjectives describe nouns (subjects, objects, things), whilst adverbs describe almost all other word types. The following rules should help you choose when you need to decide on an adjective or adverb: Continue reading