5 English Words I Love

The English language has some pretty cool words. Here is a list of 5 that I love, along with definitions and example sentences.

1) Wistful

“Having or showing a feeling of vague or regretful longing.”

Example: There was a wistful smile on her face as she thought about her youth.

Why I love it: The sounds in the word remind me of the feeling itself.

2) Egregious

“Outstandingly bad; shocking.”

Example: The accountant made an egregious error which cost his client a large sum of money.

Why I love it: This word is such a mouthful and sounds very heavy and clunky, which is perfect given it’s meaning.

3) Rakish

“Having or displaying a dashing, jaunty, or slightly disreputable quality or appearance.”

From the concept of a rake, described by Wikipedia as “a carefree, witty, sexually irresistible aristocrat” in England during the 1660s – 1680s.

Example: He wore a rakish smile as he walked into the room, an air of confidence and ease about him.

Why I love it: Though the concept is somewhat outdated, once in a while I run into a man like this, or see a smile like this, and the word just fits so perfectly.

4) Disreputable

“Not considered to be respectable in character or appearance.”

Example: I wish you would stop spending time with that disreputable bunch you call your friends.

Why I love it: It’s a simple, elegant way of describing a not-so-simple concept.

5) Quaint

“Attractively unusual or old-fashioned.”

Example: My grandmother lives in a quaint cottage in a small English village.

Why I love it: It is just fun to say, especially if you really articulate the “t”.

What about you? What are some of your favourite English words?

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Living in a New Country? 5 Tips to Jump-start your Language Learning

Maybe you’ve moved to France to work as a teaching assistant, or your company has temporarily relocated you to Italy. Or perhaps you’re spending the summer in England as an au pair.

Whatever your situation, your time is probably limited, so you’ll want to start using your new language right away.

Here are 5 ways to make sure you get the most you can out of this experience. Continue reading

Alternatives to “Like”, “You Know”, and “Umm..”

In my  last post, we talked a bit about the importance of using filler words and sounds that fit the language that you’re learning: “umm…” in English, “euh…” in French, “ähh…” in German.

But maybe you don’t want to umm and ahh. Those sounds can work really well in casual situations, but they aren’t always the best choice in a more professional setting, especially a very conservative one.

So what can you do to buy yourself a moment to think about what to say next? And how can you do it without saying “like”, “you know”, and “umm…”? Continue reading