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Thursday, February 28, 2019

Prepositional Words and Phrases

ASK

Ask about: find out more about.

e.g. I want to ask about my application for that position.

Ask after: ask about the health and wellbeing of someone.

e.g. My in-laws asked after you.

Ask around: request information from a number of people.

e.g. I plan to ask around to see what people think about the new mayor.

Ask back: invite someone to come again.

e.g. Because of your rudeness, they will never ask you back.

Ask for: request for someone or something.

e.g. The policeman is asking for you.

Ask of: ask of something from someone.

e.g. I want to ask a favor of you.

Ask out: invite someone to go out.
e.g. I asked her out to dinner, but she refused.

Ask over: invite someone to visit.

e.g. I asked my neighbor over to fix my computer.
FACE

Face into: turn something or someone towards certain direction.

e.g. Please face into the camera; they want to take a picture of you.

Face off:  prepare for a confrontation.

e.g. The two candidates are going to face off in a debate.

Face up: confront something with courage.

e.g This is a huge challenge that you must face up.

ACE

Ace in(to): to be luck to be admitted into (slang).

e.g. My son aced into Harvard University.

Ace out of: to be lucky to accomplish something.

e.g. I aced out of my chemistry exam.

EASE

Ease someone of something: to relieve or reduce someone of something.

e.g. The doctor eased me of my back pain.

Ease off: diminish; let up doing something.

e.g The rain has eased off; we'd better leave now.

e.g. Come on, he's just a kid. Ease off!


Stephen Lau     
Copyright© by Stephen Lau



Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Knowing Their Differences

Eminent / Imminent / prominent

Eminent means important or outstanding; imminent means coming soon.

e.g. He is an eminent author whose books have been translated into multiple languages worldwide.
e.g. Look at the dark clouds above; I think a storm is imminent.

Endure / Persevere

Endure means to bear bravely; persevere means to keep on doing.

e.g. It is not easy to endure the physical pain.
e.g. In spite of all the difficulties, he persevered with his plans.

Observable / Observant

Observable: can be seen or noticed; observant: quick to pay attention.

e.g. The solution to the problem is observable to many scientists.
e.g. To be a good scientist, you must be observant of all the relevant details and data.

Deplete / Replete

Deplete means to empty; replete means to be filled with.

e.g. My illness might have depleted me of energy and strength.
e.g. Your garage is replete with garden tools.


Everyday / Every day

Everyday is an adjective.

e.g. This is an everyday event.
e.g. This happens in every day.
e.g. Every day somebody is killed on the road.

Pretense Pretension

Pretense is to make believe; pretension is a claim

e.g. She makes no pretense to like her mother-in-law. (She does not pretend that she likes her mother-in-law)
e.g. He made no pretension to that award. (He never claimed that he received that award)

Ingenious / Ingenuous

e.g. I must say that was an ingenious way to fund the project.
e.g. The Mayor's response to the questions from the reporter was sincere and ingenuous.

Noteworthy / Noticeable

Noteworthy means deserving attention; noticeable means easily seen.

e.g. The candidate's accomplishments are noteworthy.
e.g. The flaws in the Governor's character are easily noticeable to the public.

Emigrate means to move to a country; immigrate means to come to country.

e.g. Many people like to emigrate to the United States.
e.g. Those who immigrate from other countries must abide by the laws in this country.

Copyright© by Stephen Lau


Sunday, February 24, 2019

Prepositional Words and Phrases

LABOR

Labor for: work on behalf of someone or something.

e.g. I labored for you all day long, and you didn’t even thank me.

Labor over: work hard on.

e.g. The lawyer labored over my case for months.

e.g. The doctor labored over his patient for hours.


ASK

Ask about: find out more about.

e.g. I want to ask about my application for that position.

Ask after: ask about the health and wellbeing of someone.

e.g. My in-laws asked after you.

Ask around: request information from a number of people.

e.g. I plan to ask around to see what people think about the new mayor.

Ask back: invite someone to come again.

e.g. Because of your rudeness, they will never ask you back.

Ask for: request for someone or something.

e.g. The policeman is asking for you.

Ask of: ask of something from someone.

e.g. I want to ask a favor of you.

Ask out: invite someone to go out.
e.g. I asked her out to dinner, but she refused.

Ask over: invite someone to visit.

e.g. I asked my neighbor over to fix my computer.

Therefore, learn more prepositional phrases with different meanings when used with different prepositions.

RUN

Run down: hit with a vehicle

e.g. The old man was run down by the bus.

Run down: stop functioning

e.g. My lawn mower is running down; I need to get a new one.

Run into: meet by accident

e.g. Yesterday, I ran into an old friend that I had not seen for decades.

Run out of: not have any more of something

e.g. Hurry! We're running out of time!

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Words Frequently Confused and Misused

Common / Commonplace

Common: shared or used by many; commonplace: ordinary, not unusual.
e.g. English is a common language used in Europe.
e.g. Nowadays, carrying a gun is commonplace.

Overdo / Overdue

Overdo means do too much; overdue means past the deadline date.
e.g. This is good enough; don't overdo it!
e.g. The payment is now overdue

Dutiable Dutiful

Dutiable: subject to imported tax; dutiful: showing respect and obedience.
e.g. Tobacco is often dutiable in most countries.
e.g. He is my dutiful son.

Perspective / Prospective

Perspective is an opinion or point of view; prospective means related to the future.
e.g. From the perspective of a woman, how do you look at this case of domestic violence?
e.g. Any person who walks into this shop is a prospective customer.

Practical / PRACTICABLE
Practical means related to practice; practicable means realistic or can be done.

e.g. You must learn all the practical details of the operation of the machine.
e.g. Your plan is not practicable without the funding.

Precede / Proceed

Precede means come or go before in time or place; ; proceed means to go forward.
e.g. Soaking the beans overnight should precede the cooking.
e.g. We decided to proceed with the plan, even without the funding.

Prepossessing / Preposterous

Prepossessing means attractive or impressive; preposterous means absurd or contrary to reason.
e.g. She had put on a prepossessing dress to impress the audience.
e.g. You look preposterous in that ridiculous outfit!

In regard to / As regards

Both mean with reference to.

e.g. As regards your performance, I think you did a good job (no “to”).
e.g. She is very generous in regard to charity donation.


Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Friday, February 22, 2019

Learn American Idioms

Get one's own back: to revenge oneself.
e.g. He wants to get his own back for the insult he has received.

Fall from grace: lose favor or popularity.
e.g. Armstrong has fallen from grace because of the doping.

Feel like: have a desire for something
e.g. I feel like eating a hamburger.

Dance to another tune: change to a different attitude or behavior
e.g. If your parents were here, you would dance to another tune.

As easy as pie: very easy
e.g. Cooking a turkey is as easy as pie.

Take something on the chin: get a direct blow
e.g. The bad news was a shock to me; I took it on the chin.

Flip-flop: change sides in an issue
e.g. Politicians who flip-flop too much are unpopular with voters.

Quick on the uptake: quick to understand; smart
e.g. He is quick on the uptake; you don’t need to give him unnecessary details.

All thumbs: awkward and clumsy with one’s fingers
e.g. She will not learn to play the piano because she knows her fingers are all thumbs.

Abide by: accept and follow
e.g. If you wish to become a citizen of the United States, you must abide by U.S. immigration laws.


Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Choosing the Correct Words

Genteel / Gentle

Genteel: well-bred, polite; imitating the lifestyle of the rich.
e.g. Your friend is genteel. Is he very rich?

e.g. All along he has been living in genteel poverty. He is not practical.

Currant Current

Currant means a kind of black berry; current means a movement of air or water; or of the present time.
e.g. We enjoy the dessert made with honey and currant.
e.g. The water may not be safe for swimming because there is a strong current below the water surface.
e.g. His secretary always keeps him updated with current affairs.

Terminable Terminal

Terminable: can be ended.
e.g. Your job is only temporary and terminable at any time.
Terminal: at the end.
e.g. The doctor told the patient that she had terminal cancer.

Reign Rein

Reign means to rule over; rein means to control (e.g. an animal)
e.g. The emperor reigned over the country for decades.
e.g. You must rein in your hot temper.

e.g. Beware of giving free rein to your reason. (i.e. not release from any restraint).

Accountable to / Accountable for

Accountable to means responsible to someone; accountable for means responsible for something or having to explain.

e.g. The Manager has to be accountable to the Board; he has to be accountable for all his business decisions.

Studio / Studious

Studio: a place where pictures are taken, or films are made.
e.g. The film was made in a Hollywood studio.
Studious: fond of study; careful and thoughtful.

e.g. To be a good scientist, you must be studious.

Emigrate / Immigrate

Emigrate
 means to move to a country; immigrate means to come to country.
e.g. Many people like to emigrate to the United States.
e.g. Those who immigrate from other countries must abide by the laws in this country.

 Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau