3 Adjective & Preposition Combinations

Grammar time! Today we’re looking at three combinations of words that you will see together frequently. When learning another language, it’s very helpful to learn and memorize combinations. This saves time, helps you recognize patterns, and explains weird rules that don’t make sense.

In English, there are some prepositions that almost always follow certain adjectives in certain situations. You will simply need to memorize these combinations and when to use them.

  • Remember, adjectives are words that describe nouns. Prepositions are words that show location or connect words.

Let’s look at three combinations.

Married to

This adjective – married – is used to indicate the condition of marriage. Married describes the person and their condition of marriage. We use the preposition “to” after the adjective “married” to show who shares in the condition of marriage.

It follows this pattern: married + to + person. It always follows this pattern, unless you’re forming a question.

Examples

  • I am married to him.
  • He is married to Julia.
  • Are you married to Fred?

Notice the pattern: married + to + person.

  • I am [married] + [to] + [him].
  • He is [married] + [to] + [Julia].
  • Are you [married] + [to] + [Fred]?

Incorrect Examples

  • I am married him. (This sentence doesn’t make sense because it doesn’t have the preposition.)
  • He is married Julia. (This sentence doesn’t make sense because it doesn’t have the preposition. Or it seems like you’re talking to someone named Julia and you mean to say, “He is married, Julia,” telling Julia that someone male is married.)
  • Are you married Fred? (This sentence seems like you’re talking to someone named Fred and mean to say, “Are you married, Fred?”, asking Fred if he is married.)

Be careful to not get confused between using the adjective “married” by itself and when you need to use the preposition with the adjective.

  • Adjective + preposition combo = who they are married to. Use the adjective + preposition combination when you want to show who the person shares the marriage status with. Who they are married to. Example: I am married to Sally.
  • Adjective = married status. Use only the adjective if you simply want to show that the person is married, to show their marriage status. Example: I am married.

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Interested in

“Interested in” shows interest in a certain topic or subject. For example, if I have interest in doing something or pursuing an idea, I use this pattern of adjective + preposition / interested + in.

It follows this pattern: interested + in + topic. It always follows this pattern.

Examples

  • I am interested in painting.
  • He was interested in graphic design but not anymore.
  • We are interested in going with you to the park.

Note the pattern: interested + in + topic

Here’s the breakdown of the pattern for each example.

  • I am [interested] + [in] + [painting]. (Painting is the topic that you express interest in doing.
  • He was [interested] + [in] + [graphic design] but not anymore. (Graphic design is the topic.)
  • We are [interested] + [in] + [going with you to the park]. (The topic that we are expressing interest in doing is going to the park with you.)

Incorrect Examples

  • I am interested painting.
  • He was interested graphic design but not anymore.
  • We are interested going with you to the park.

All of these examples are missing the preposition “in” and don’t make sense.

Be careful not to get confused between the use of just the adjective “interested” and the adjective + preposition combination of “interested in”.

  • Adjective Only = referred interest. Use just the adjective “interested” to show interest in what the person already referred to. Example: Would you like to go to the movies with us? I am interested.
  • Adjective + Preposition Combo = specify where your interest is. Use the adjective + preposition combination when you want to specify where your interest is at or what interests you. Example: I am interested in going to the movies with you.

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Angry at

“Angry at” is a combination that expresses anger and describes someone who is angry and why they’re angry. When you’re angry at something or someone, you direct your anger towards that something or someone, usually because they did something to make you angry.

Examples

  • She was always angry at the dog for sleeping on her toes.
  • They are angry at the government.
  • I will be angry at you if you don’t do the dishes.

The pattern for this combination is: “angry” + “at” + “someone/something”.

  • She was always [angry] + [at] + [the dog] for sleeping on her toes. (The dog made her angry.)
  • They are [angry] + [at] + [the government]. (The government made them angry.
  • I will be [angry] + [at] + [you] if you don’t do the dishes. (You will make me angry if you don’t do the dishes.

Note that the last part of the combination is always an object or a person – the dog, the government, and you.

Be careful not to confuse the difference between just the adjective “angry” and the adjective + preposition combination of “angry at”.

  • Adjective + Preposition Combo = specify who or what. Use the adjective + preposition combination when you want to specify who or what made you angry. Example: I am very angry at you.
  • Adjective Only = anger. Use just the adjective “angry” when you simple want to express that you are angry. Example: I am very angry.

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Notice that in all three of these examples, you use the preposition with the adjective to specify details regarding the adjective. “Married to” specifies who you are married to. “Interested in” specifies what you’re interested in. “Angry at” specifies who you’re angry at.

Understanding, learning, and using these three combinations will help you become even more fluent in speaking and using English. The easiest way is to memorize this. When you use the adjective, remember that you probably need to use the preposition if you’re going to express more information.

And just for fun, check out this example with all three examples:

I am angry at you for being interested in getting married to that guy.

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Vocabulary for Types of Shirts

This is a shirt!

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The clothing that you use on the upper half of your body that is separate from pants. In English, you can use shirt to describe any type of this part of clothing. But if you want to become fluent and learn more vocabulary in English, you can learn the specific words that break down what types of shirts exist in the English language and what each one means.

Knowing the types of shirts will help you when you’re at the store buying clothes and want a specific type. For example, you may go to the store and say, “I want to buy a shirt.” The woman or man in the store that is helping you will probably ask, “What kind of shirt are you looking for?” And if you don’t know the vocabulary for types of shirts, you’ll look at them with a confused look on your face.

There are five types of shirts that are the most common. For each one, think about if the word is used for women’s clothing or men’s clothing more. Think about what kind of shirts you have in your closet. And then go practice with your own clothing!

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Blouse

A blouse is normally a shirt used by women that is nicer than a t-shirt. It may be made of different material than cotton, such as silk, linen, or polyester. The neckline usually varies a lot and there are different sleeve lengths.

Button-Up Shirt

A button-up shirt is exactly what it says – it has buttons on the front. A button-up shirt is a dress shirt. Most often used by men for work or more formal settings, although I do know men that use it for casual settings. It has a stiff collar on the top, a closed neckline, usually short or long sleeves, and buttons that close the front of the shirt.

Dress Shirt

A dress shirt is any shirt that is used for formal settings. As mentioned, a button-up shirt is a dress shirt with buttons on the front. It may be used by men or women. Other dress shirts that aren’t button-up shirts are usually used by women. A blouse may be considered a dress shirt. It is any shirt that is used for formal settings.

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Polo Shirt

A polo shirt is a cotton/polyester shirt with a collar and two buttons. The buttons don’t continue all the way down the shirt, and the collar is usually flexible, instead of stiff like a button-up shirt. Polo shirts are often used for golfing and may be called golf shirts.

T-Shirt

A t-shirt is the most basic of shirts. It is most often made of cotton or a cotton/polyester blend. The neckline is always close to the neck and does not vary. The sleeves are usually almost to the elbow or to the wrist. There are most often designs on the front or back. T-shirts are usually the cheapest type of shirt as well.

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Knowing the names for the types of shirts will help you improve your vocabulary and take one more step towards English fluency!

Now go practice your English in your closet with your own shirts!

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Learn English with Music: In Case You Didn’t Know by Brett Young

One of the songs that I’ve found lately that has great <lyrics> is “In Case You Didn’t Know” by Brett Young, but I found it by the cover by Boyce Avenue.

You can listen to the original by Brett Young on YouTube or the cover by Boyce Avenue.

Learning English with music is so powerful! Not only is it fun, it helps you with so many things to improve your English.

  1. Pronunciation. It helps you soooo much with pronunciation since you’re listening to someone pronounce the words. Music is different because you can stretch or slam together the words with the music. But this helps you with pronunciation since you’re hearing words in a different situation. Also, the words blend together so you’re listening to how the words sound when they’re not pronounced very clearly.
  2. Rhythm. We all know that music has rhythm. Lots of rhythm. This helps you learn the rhythm of speaking English. You’ll know which words to emphasize and which words to not emphasize.
  3. Vocabulary. Music is full of vocabulary that is important, not only because they are words that most people use during their normal conversation, but also because it includes <slang>.

If you need more ideas of how to use music to learn English, check out my blog post Learning English with Music that includes a free worksheet to use with the music “Good Grief” by Bastille. Also, who likes 21 Pilots?

Instead of looking at vocabulary, let’s look at phrases from the lyrics.

“I almost said what’s on my mind

“On my mind” means that you’re thinking about something a lot, that it won’t leave your thoughts or your mind. It does NOT mean that something is sitting on your head.

Examples

  • You’ve been on my mind lately. (I’ve been thinking about you quite a bit lately.)
  • Why can’t you say what’s on your mind? (Why can’t you say what you’re thinking?)

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“Baby I’m crazy ’bout you

When you’re crazy about something, it means that you like someone or something a lot.

Examples

  • I’m so crazy about you that I want to spend every day with you.
  • She’s so crazy about that chocolate ice cream.

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“You had my heart a long, long time ago”

When someone has your heart, it means that you like someone romantically. It shows possession of your heart for someone else. You will do things you normally wouldn’t do because you like that person. (Or you can use it for an object as well.)

Examples

  • Chocolate ice cream has my heart.
  • Her husband had her heart from the very first moment she saw him.

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“Girl it did me in

When something does you in or did you in, it means that it made you faint or stopped you. In the romantic sense, it means that someone makes you faint or weak because you like them.

Examples

  • She does me in every time she wears that dress.
  • It did me in when he looked at me that way.

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“You’ve got all of me

When someone has everything of you, or has got all of you, it means that they possess everything of you. Romantically, you are theirs. You like them so much that they can have all of it.

Examples

  • He’s got all of me, holding nothing back.
  • I am yours, you’ve got all of me.

 

“Yeah you’re my everything

When someone is your everything, they mean so much to you. They mean everything to you. You can’t lose them.

Examples

  • My husband is my everything. I can’t live without him.
  • He said, “You’re my everything. Marry me.”

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As you’ve probably noticed, this song is about a man expressing his love for a woman. Almost all of these phrases express love for someone. What other phrases do you know that express love for someone? Let me know in the comments!

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Collocations Starting with “Have”

English is full of collocations, which is a big word for a combination of certain words that frequently appear together. The individual meaning of the words doesn’t change but when combined, the meaning slightly changes.

Collocation = a combination of words that frequently appears together, starting with a verb

Learning collocations will help you recognize the meaning of certain phrases quickly and will provide you with more vocabulary.

Remember that the verb “to have” normally indicates possession but with these combinations, it means that the indicated happened.

Let’s look at some of the common combinations of words that start with the verb “have”.

Have fun

“Have fun” means to enjoy what you’re doing, to like what you’re doing.

Examples

  • Have fun at the party!
  • I had so much fun yesterday.
  • They have fun every time they go to the pool.

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Have a good time

“Have a good time” means the same thing as “have fun”. It means to enjoy what you’re doing.

Examples

  • Have a good time at the party!
  • I had such a good time yesterday.
  • They have a good time every time they go to the pool.

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Have a baby

“Have a baby” means to give birth. It is the process of delivering a baby. It can also be used to say that you’re pregnant.

Examples

  • We’re going to have a baby!
  • She had her baby yesterday.
  • It ‘s okay to have a baby at the hospital.

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Have a headache / Have a toothache

“Have a headache” means to feel pain in your head, a headache. “Have a toothache” means the same thing but in your tooth.

Examples

  • I have a headache right now.
  • You have had a toothache for the past week?
  • How long have you had your headache?

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Have an argument

“Have an argument” means to argue with someone else.

Examples

  • We had an argument last night.
  • She doesn’t want to have an argument with you.
  • They have an argument every night.

 

 

The more collocations that you learn, the more you’ll feel confident in using English. You’ll know how native English speakers really use these words and understand more of what is said.

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10 Common Homophones

We all know that English is full of confusing words, vocabulary, spellings, and usage. One of the items in English that makes it so confusing is called a <homophone>.

Homophone = words that sound the same but are spelled differently and mean different things

You may confuse homophones when someone is speaking to you or when you’re watching TV. Homophones are confusing when you’re listening to English since the words sound the same. If you’re reading English, you may not notice that the words are homophones, since the spelling is different.

If you have a hard time remembering what a homophone is, split up the word: <homo> + <phone>. These Latin roots mean “the same” and “sound”. This can help you remember that homophone means the same sound.

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Learning homophones will help you learn some of the most confusing words in English and take one more step in speaking English fluently. Let’s look at some of the most common homophones.

 

Blue / Blew

  • Blue = the color blue
  • Example: Would you like to paint the room the color blue or red?

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  • Blew = the past tense of the verb “to blow”, which means to force air out of your mouth
  • Example: She blew the candles out on top of her birthday cake.

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Which / Witch

  • Which = connecting word that indicates a choice between two things or connects two phrases
  • Example: Which flavor of ice cream do you want?
  • Example: I like chocolate ice cream, which is also your favorite flavor of ice cream.

 

  • Witch = a person that practices magic
  • Example: My sister likes to dress up as a witch for Halloween.

Than / Then

  • Than = a word to compare two things
  • Example: “Do you like chocolate ice cream more than vanilla ice cream?

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  • Then = a word used to indicate the time frame
  • Example: Do the dishes and then you can watch TV.

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Here / Hear

  • Here = indicate close proximity to you
  • Example: Can you come here for a minute?

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  • Hear = the verb to use your ears to perceive sound
  • Example: We hear the music at the concert very well, since we’re at the front.

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Buy / By

  • Buy = to purchase something
  • Example: My cousin buys jam every Saturday.

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  • By = a preposition to indicate location to something else
  • Example: The towel is by the sink.

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There / Their / They’re

  • There = to show existence
  • Example: There is no time to go shopping today.

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  • Their = to show possession for more than one person, from a 3rd person perspective
  • Example: Their clothes are more expensive than ours.

Friendship Together Bonding Unity Youth Culture Concept

  • They’re = a contraction for the words “they are”, which is 3rd person plural for the verb “to be”
  • Example: They’re running away!

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To / Two / Too

  • To = preposition, an infinitive starter
  • Example: Can you pass the cup to me?
  • Example: I like to eat ice cream.

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  • Two = the count of the number 2, between the numbers one and three
  • Example: Put two strawberries on top of my ice cream.

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  • Too = more than normal, or used to indicate that you did something in addition to someone else
  • Example: I want ice cream, too!

It’s / Its

  • It’s = the contraction for the words “it is”, the 1st singular version of the verb “to be”
  • Example: It’s so delicious.

 

  • Its = to show possession for gender neutral, 1st person, singular
  • Example: Its not very happy.

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Are / Our

  • Are = from the verb “to be”, used for 1st and 3rd person plural
  • Example: We are ready to eat ice cream.
  • Example: They are ready to carve pumpkins.

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  • Our = possessive pronoun for 1st person plural
  • Example: Our ice cream is better than yours.

Weather / Whether

  • Weather = the condition of temperature and moisture outside
  • Example: What will the weather be like tomorrow?

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  • Whether = used to show comparison between two things or as a contraction
  • Example: Whether you want to eat ice cream or not, we are going to eat ice cream.

 

Practice these common homophones so that you can recognize the meaning of each word when someone uses it in conversation. You can start with the Common Homophone Worksheet to practice with. Let me know your answers in the comments!

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How to Order Meat in English

Although I don’t eat very much meat, I’ve learned to adapt since my adorable Brazilian husband loves meat. I mean, loves meat. One of the things that he learned how to say in English in the very beginning was how to order his meat in English.

When you go to a restaurant and order steak (or meat), there are four options to how you would like the meat cooked. This determines how long the meat is cooked, the color inside the steak.

Knowing these four words/phrases will help you know how to order your steak when you go to a steakhouse.

Raw

This first one isn’t a normal word to use to order meat but I want to make sure that you understand this word and how it compares to the other words.

Raw: uncooked; not cooked at all

Raw is how you would buy the meat from a butcher or from the grocery store. I don’t know of any steakhouse that would let you order your steak raw, since you can get very sick from eating your meat raw.

Rare

Rare means that the outside of the meat will be cooked but inside will be red. This means that the steak is cooked for less time since it didn’t cook completely inside.

Rare: red inside

Medium rare

Medium rare means that you don’t want your steak completely red inside but would prefer a small layer of red, surrounded by pink.

Medium rare: cooked on the outside, then pink, then red for a small area inside

Medium well

Medium well means that you would like for there to be a small amount of pink inside. It is close to being completely cooked (well) but it’s still pink.

Medium well: a little bit of pink

Well done

Well done means that the steak is completely cooked. There are no parts of pink.

Well done: completely cooked

How do you like to order your steak?

beef, cutlet, food, meat, raw, steak

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Grow Up v. Growing

The girl was growing while she grew up.

How can one sentence have two verbs that look exactly the same? And what does this sentence even mean? “To grow up” (grow up) and “to grow” (growing) are two more words that make up a pair of words in English that mean something different but look almost identical. Make sure to add it to your list!

The most importance difference between these two verbs is that one verb is a phrasal verb – “to grow up.”

Phrasal Verb: a verb that is made up of more than one word and changes the meaning when the combination of words is different

Read more about phrasal verbs and five important phrasal verbs to add to your vocabulary!

“To grow up” is a phrasal verb because of the addition of the word “up” at the end. That one word makes the meaning of this verb be different than the verb “to grow.”

Let’s look at each verb, what they mean, and how you can remember the difference between the two of them.

To Grow

“To grow” means to increase in size because of genetics. Things that we usually use with the verb “to grow” are plants and humans, although you may say that something grows in size. Remember: “to grow” is used for increase in size.

Examples

  • My plants grow really fast when I give them fertilizer with their water.
  • We can grow apples in our yard.
  • I grew three inches in one year.
  • The food is growing in size.
  • My baby is growing so fast!

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To Grow Up

“To grow up” means to increase in maturity, to change from one phase to another. We usually use the verb “to grow up” to talk about children, teenagers, or animals.

Examples

  • My children can’t grow up that fast! I’m not ready!
  • The puppy grew up and became a dog.
  • We can grow up and become adults.
  • My baby is growing up so fast!

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Differences

  1. Grow up is a phrasal verb. Grow is not a phrasal verb.
  2. To grow is to increase in size. To grow up is to increase in maturity.

Similarities

  1. We conjugate and use the two verbs in the same way.
  2. They use the same root word – grow.

 

Remember: “To grow” is to increase in size. “To grow up” is to increase in maturity, even though the word “up” would make you think that they’re getting larger.

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Learn English with the Prefix “Pre”

In English, there are many roots of words (parts of words) that come from Latin. When a set of two to three letters makes up the beginning of a word and it is a Latin root, it is called a prefix.

Prefix = a set of letters that comes at the beginning of a word

There are many prefixes in English, such as the prefix “non-“. Each prefix has a certain definition. When you learn the definition of the prefix, you can more easily understand the meaning of new words, without needing to know the definition from the dictionary or asking someone. You can easily guess the meaning of the word since you know what the prefix means.

One common prefix is “pre-“. This prefix means “before”.

PRE- = before

Once you know that the prefix “pre-” means “before”, you can replace “pre” with the word “before” in order to know the definition of the word.

For example, in the word “preschool”. If you separate the prefix, the word becomes “pre – school”. You probably know the meaning of the word “school” and you now know the meaning of the prefix “pre”. Replace “pre” with before and you know that “preschool” means something before school. If you did not know the meaning of “preschool”, you could guess that it means something you do before school. In the dictionary, you can confirm that “preschool” is the school or the classes that you can go to before you go to normal school.

Let’s look at other words that include the prefix “pre”.

Predate

  • Pre + date
  • Before + date = before the date
  • Definition: the date of the object comes before something else or before the time
  • Example: My sister predates my brother since she was born before he was.

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Prepay

  • Pre + pay
  • Before + pay = pay before
  • Definition: exchange money for item before you receive the item
  • Example: You can prepay for the book.

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Prenatal

  • Pre + natal
  • Before + natal = before birth
  • Definition: the condition before birth
  • Example: We will do the surgery prenatal, meaning that the surgery will be performed before your baby is born.

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Prehistoric

  • Pre + historic
  • Before + historic/history = before history
  • Definition: old, out of date
  • Example: That building is prehistoric!

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Precaution

  • Pre + caution
  • Before + caution = before caution
  • Definition: do something before in order to prevent something bad from happening
  • Example: They make sure to take precaution before construction.

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Precook

  • Pre + cook
  • Before + cook = before cook
  • Definition: cook before you eat or purchase
  • Example: Adam likes to purchase precooked meals.

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Make English easier by learning prefixes! Learning a prefix gives you the ability to guess the definition of lots of words, without knowing before. What other words do you know start with the prefix “pre-“? Let me know in the comments!

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Vocabulary for Sports Balls

There are so many sports to choose from! And many of these sports use a ball.

Ball = a round shape with air inside that is firm, used for sports

All of the sports that use a ball give a specific name to that ball according to the sport. Americans know which ball is which, what it looks like, what color it is, how big it is, per the name of the ball. Learning the name of each of these balls will help you when people use the name to refer to something. For example, many people use balls to indicate size of something. A doctor may say that the cancer is the size of a basketball. Or it may be the size of a golf ball. If you don’t know what the doctor is talking about in reference to the basketball or golf ball, you won’t know what size he’s talking about.

Learn the names of each one and which sport they go with. The lucky part is that the name of the ball indicates the sport that it is used for.

 

Basketball

Basketball ball or ball for basketball or basketball is used for the sport of basketball. Basketball is when you throw the ball into the net in the air in two teams, bouncing the ball on the ground as you run. It is round, red with black lines, bounces, and is hard.

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Soccer Ball

A soccer ball is used for the sport of soccer. Soccer is when you kick the ball into the large net on the ground, never touching the ball with your hands. The ball slightly bounces. It is usually white, round, and is hard, but not as hard as a basketball.

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Golf Ball

A golf ball is used for the sport of golf. Golf is when you use a golf club to hit a small white ball across a field, trying to get the golf ball into a small hole in the ground. A golf ball is always white, small (fits in your hand), and is hard. It usually doesn’t bounce.

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Volleyball

A volleyball is used for the sport of volleyball. Volleyball is when you hit the ball with your hands into the air to get it across a net in the middle of two teams. A volleyball is almost always white, medium sized, and is hard.

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Baseball

A baseball is used for the sport of baseball. Baseball is when you hit the ball with a bat into the air and other people catch with their hands. A baseball is white, small, and really hard.

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Football

A football is used for the sport of football. Football is when you throw and kick the football as a team in order to make a goal at the end of the field. A football is reddish, oblong (round but not perfectly round), and hard.

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Tennis Ball

A tennis ball is used for the sport of tennis. Tennis is when you hit the tennis ball from one side of the court to the other across a net with a racket. A tennis ball is green, slightly fuzzy, and bounces very well.

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Bowling Ball

A bowling ball is used for the sport of bowling. Bowling is when you roll the bowling ball towards the end of a long area to knock down as many pins as you can. A bowling ball can be any color but is super hard, heavy, does not bounce, and has three holes for three fingers.

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What’s your favorite sport to play? Go have fun and practice your vocabulary with the types of ball used for sports!

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What’s the Difference Between Formal & Informal Vocabulary?

How do you talk to your best friend? Do you use the same words that you would use to talk to a teacher or boss at work? Naturally, we don’t use the same types of words or vocabulary for all situations. We use different vocabulary for different situations. Formal situations require formal vocabulary, and informal situations require informal vocabulary.

Informal = casual, friendly, not rigid, relaxed

Think about some informal situations that you may find in your normal life. Informal situations usually happen with close friends, family, or a relaxed setting. Examples may include:

  • Eating dinner with family or friends
  • Playing games
  • Spending time with spouse
  • Hiking with close friends
  • Watching TV with someone else

Formal situations are more rigid, involve people that you may not know very well, or situations that you need to impress someone professionally. Examples of formal situations may include:

  • Interview for a new job
  • Conversation with coworker about work responsibilities
  • Conversation with a stranger on the street
  • Exchange with a banker at the bank about a loan

As you can see, the differences between a formal and informal situation depend mostly on who the other person is that you’re talking with. Let’s look at the difference between formal and informal vocabulary, which are both respectively used for formal and informal situations.

Formal Vocabulary

Formal Vocabulary = words that are used in more formal situations, such as situations in which you don’t have a personal relationship with someone

Formal vocabulary distances the speaker from the audience, making the speaker seem more professional. You may use the following guidelines in order to identify formal vocabulary.

  • Do not use slang. Slang does not belong in formal vocabulary.
  • Do not use swear words.
  • Use the highest version of the words. You may not know very much vocabulary, but in formal situations, try and use the highest version of words that you may know.
  • Use complete sentences.
  • Use the words “yes” and “no.” Do not use words such as “yeah” or “yup.”

Business people talking together in the park

Informal Vocabulary

Informal Vocabulary = words that are used in less formal situations, such as situations in which you know the person very well in a casual way

Informal vocabulary gets rid of the distance between the speaker and the audience, making the speaker seem more approachable, more friendly, and more personable. You may use the following guidelines in order to identify informal vocabulary.

  • You may use slang.
  • You may use swear words.
  • You may use the lowest versions of words.
  • You may use phrases or single words.
  • You may use words such as “yeah” or “yup”.

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It’s important to know the difference between formal and informal vocabulary. One of the signs that you’re not fluent in English is if you mix the formal and informal vocabulary for the wrong situation. If you’re at an interview for a new job, you don’t want to treat the person at the interview like you’re best friend. You don’t know them yet. You want to impress them. You want to treat them professionally, so that they see you as a professional.

The best thing to remember in order to know whether to use informal or formal vocabulary is to use the same kind of vocabulary that your speaking partner uses. If your speaking partner uses words such as “yeah” or “yup,” then go ahead and use the same kinds of words.

To practice, make a list of the formal vocabulary that you use most commonly. Then make another list of words that are informal vocabulary that you may use in formal situations. Good luck!

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