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Archive Language Point 103

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Friendship Vocabulary 2

Helen, Alice, Khalid and Tim in a restaurant

Here is some vocabulary using the words friend and friendly.


a mutual friend: a person who is the friend of two people who may or may not know each other

She met her husband through mutual friends.

a fair-weather friend: someone who only wants to be friend with you when things are going well but who doesn't want to be friends with you when you have problems or things are going badly

He turned out to be a real fair-weather friend as soon as I lost my job. He didn't call me once when I was unemployed.

a circle of friends: a group of people who have something in common and know each other

Through her interests in running and art she's got a very wide circle of friends.

have friend in high places: know important or influential people who can help you get what you want

He hasn't done any studying this term but I bet you he won't fail his exams. He's got friends in high places, you know.

a false friend: a foreign word which you confuse with a word in your own language because the two words look or sound similar but which actually has a different meaning

The teacher helped her with some Spanish false friends. She thought that 'record' meant 'remember' because that's what 'recordar' means in Spanish.

man's best friend: a dog

My dog Spot's been with me through all my troubles. It really is true that he's man's best friend.


friendly fire: during a war, when soldiers shoot soldiers from their own side, not the enemy

Five of our soldiers were killed by friendly fire.

Friendly can also be used as a suffix. When it's added to a noun it can make an adjective that means not harmful or suitable for particular people. For example:

eco-friendly: not harmful to the environment

He tries to use eco-friendly washing powder so that he doesn't harm the world around him when he cleans his clothes.

dolphin-friendly: not harmful to dolphins

They use special dolphin-friendly equipment for catching tuna so that they only catch tuna and leave the dolphins behind in the sea.

child-friendly: suitable for children

This restaurant has special menus for kids and even gives out pens and paper for them to draw on. It's so child-friendly it makes going out for a meal so much easier than going to other restaurants.

gay-friendly: suitable for gay people

He usually stays in gay-friendly hotels with his boyfriend when they go on holiday.


a bottle of bubbly
a bottle of champagne

a toast
a short speech people give to express good wishes, followed by a drink

ups and downs
good times and bad times

mates/pals (informal)

not here


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