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Session 63

Sian explains how to use 'ish' in this English In A Minute.

Activity 1

How to use 'ish'

How to suggest that something is approximate or 'more or less' in an informal way? Sian teaches you how to use 'ish' in this English In A Minute.

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Sian

Ish is tiny but useful - especially in informal English.

We add ish to the ends of words to make them more vague, when something is not exact, for example.

Ish makes times more approximate so 2ish is about 2 o'clock.

Okay, I'll see you there at 2ish.

We also add ish to other numbers, so 40ish is about 40.

I'm not sure how old she is - 40ish I think.

We add ish to many adjectives such as colours, so if something is kind of brown, we say it's brownish.

My coat's the brownish one over there.

And if someone is quite tall, we can say they are tallish.

I'm tallish with longish, brown hair.

Finally, because ish has become so popular, it's become its own word in informal English as a way to say kind of.

Did you like the film?

Yeah, ish.

I hope you found this video useful - ish.

How to use 'ish'

1. Times 

Ish makes times more approximate: 2ish is about 2 o'clock.

  • I'll see you at 1:45ish
  • The film ends at 6, so we'll meet at 6ish 

2. Numbers

We add ish to other numbers to make them less precise: 40ish is about 40.

  • I've watched this film 5ish times already.
  • He looks about 20ish.

3. Adjectives

We add ish to many adjectives such as colours or height.

  • The film was goodish.
  • The ball is bluish.

4. Its own word

Ish has become so popular, it's become its own word in informal English as a way to say kind of.

  • person A: Did you like the dinner I cooked?
  • person B: Yeah, ish.

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