Vocabulary Reference

Session 1: Words with more than one spelling

Some words have two possible spellings in British English, for example analogue, disc, enquire. Sometimes the second spelling comes from American English.

  • disc can be spelt d-i-s-c or d-i-s-k for computing terms.

Some words ending in -ise or -yse are spelt -ize and -yze in American English. That spelling is generally accepted in British English too.

  • apologise (BrE) / apologize (AmE/BrE)

The past form of some verbs can be spelt in two ways in British English. But the -ed ending is preferred in American English.

  • spelled / spelt (BrE) / spelled (AmE/BrE)

Other words have two spellings, not from any American influence.

  • all right / alright, barbecue / barbeque, racket / racquet

Some American English spellings are not accepted as correct in British English. Two common examples are words with ou in them and words ending in -re.

  • colour (BrE) / color (AmE), centre (BrE) / center (AmE)

Session 3: The migrant that wasn't

plight
difficult situation

captured people’s imaginations
made people feel interested

putting the audience in his shoes
allowing the audience to see the situation from his point of view

grooming
(here) improving his appearance so that he looks clean and tidy

caption
a written text which complements the information given by a picture

broken English
poorly spoken or written English

hoax (noun)
deception

hashtags
use of the symbol # in social media which makes it easier for users to find messages with a specific subject

give the game away
reveal something that is supposed to be a secret

bunch
(here) group of people (informal)

racist
treating people differently according to their race

hardships
difficult conditions

odysseys
long and emotional journeys in which a lot happens

Session 4: Saying sorry

1) The simple ones:

Sorry.
I'm sorry.
I'm so sorry.
I'm really sorry.

2) The classic one:

Sorry I'm late.

3) Sorry about (something):

Sorry about this
Sorry about the damage to your bike

4) Sorry for (doing something). Followed by a verb in the -ing form:

Sorry for losing your bike
Sorry for being so smelly

5) Saying sorry without saying sorry – I apologise for...

I apologise for calling you an idiot. It wasn't very nice.

 

Session 5: The Importance of Being Earnest

guardian
someone who is legally responsible for someone else such as a child whose parents cannot look after them (perhaps because they have died)

christened
given a name (usually as a baby) during a religious ceremony in the Christian Church

courage 
the ability to face difficult situations or danger without showing fear

late
recently died

Surrey 
a county in England near London

Fifeshire
a county in Scotland

confidence
thinking that someone is good and honest

disrespectful
showing lack of respect

debts
amounts of money you owe to someone

consent
permission

eligible
suitable as someone to marry

approve
to think someone or something is good

moral
good and honest

muffins
small, round type of bread that is sliced and eaten hot with butter