EnglishNotes has written 146 posts for English Notes

Noisome or noisy?

Noisome means something that is offensive to the senses, particularly to the sense of smell. For instance, ‘noisome dumping ground’ It can also mean obnoxious or objectionable. Example may be ‘noisome taste [in clothes/makeup].’ This word has nothing to do with noisy.

Advance or advanced?

Both advance and advanced are adjectives. But they do not mean the same. Advance: provided or carried out in advance; prior Advanced: far on (or ahead) in time or course; beyond introductory stage COMPARE: Most reservations are confirmed with a 50% advanced deposit. X Most reservations are confirmed with a 50% advance deposit. √ He … Continue reading

Maybe or may be?

Maybe (one word) is an adverb. It is used to mean perhaps or possibly. Example: I don’t see Mike around. Maybe he left for home already. May be (two words) means might be. The word may in may be is an auxiliary verb. Example: This may be the last game that he plays for this … Continue reading

‘Sleep on it’ or ‘Sleep in’?

When you cannot take a decision on something right away, and need some time to think about it, you say that you need to “sleep on it.” Example: I haven’t been able to make up my mind about your offer. Let me sleep on it and get back to you in a few days. “I’m … Continue reading

Are you ‘mooning over’ somebody?

Over the moon: extremely happy Many moons ago: a very long time ago Once in a blue moon: something that occurs very rarely Cry for the moon: to ask for something that is difficult or impossible to achieve. Moon over (somebody): to spend time thinking about somebody that you love, especially when other people think … Continue reading

20 ways of saying ‘NO’!

My favourite is ‘nonononononono’ 🙂 Here are some you may use: In a word, no. Not now. Not likely. Not this time. Count me out. I’d rather not (if you don’t mind). No chance. I’ll opt out! No way! Can’t see myself doing this This is simply not my thing. I don’t think I’m up … Continue reading

How do you tell someone that they are wrong?

How do you tell someone that they are wrong without sounding rude or without offending them? Try to reduce the directness of the address. And how do you do that? By using expressions like ‘I’m sorry but…,’ ‘I’m afraid…,’ ‘I don’t think…’ ‘Don’t mind my saying so, but..’ POLITE/SOMEWHAT POLITE I’m sorry, but that’ s … Continue reading

How to use ‘compose’ and ‘comprise’

The word ‘comprise’ means ‘to contain.’ For example: ‘The book comprises six sections.’ A rule of thumb for using comprise: if you replace comprise with ‘contain’ or ‘has’ and the sentence still makes sense, you have used it correctly. The word ‘compose’ means ‘to make up.’ Example: ‘Many ethnic groups compose this neighborhood.’ Now, the … Continue reading

‘Going back to the drawing board’: Idioms for change

Here are some idioms and expressions to talk about changes or the intent to change: Blow away the cobwebs To get rid of feelings of tiredness Out with the old, in with the new Accepting new ideas Shake things up Make significant/positive changes Give (something) a new lease of life Revive something Go back to … Continue reading

‘Darting’ or ‘pacing’? Words to describe ‘moving/walking quickly’

Dash: moving in a hurry, probably because the person is in a hurry or needs to do something urgently. I dashed to the shop before it closed. Dart: suddenly moving quickly. I saw a man darting behind the bushes. Stride: walking quickly with big steps, appearing to have a purpose. She strode up to his … Continue reading

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