5 Phrases With the Word “Lovers”

You may know that Valentine’s Day is coming up in a couple weeks. This is a holiday which stems from European Catholic culture and traditions (Saint Valentine being a Catholic saint who has come to be associated with love.)

Sometimes when we use the word “phrase” we mean it as an expression or idiom. However, in grammar, the technical meaning of a phrase is a set of words that act as a single unit. In other words, it is not the same thing as a complete sentence. A phrase therefore must be at least two words which work together in a
sentence.

For example, in the sentence, “I hate those dirty old jeans,” the phrase “those dirty old jeans” acts as a single object (which I hate).

Here are five phrases which have the word “lovers” or “lovers’.” Even though the word lover means someone that we are in love with (and the person loves us back), not all the phrases have a positive meaning. Let’s start with one with a negative meaning:

1.) Lovers’ quarrel: A lovers’ quarrel is a fight between two people who are in love.

2.) Lovers’ lane: the phrase lovers’ lane refers to a quiet place alone where two lovers can go to kiss or spend “alone” time together.

3.) Lovers’ knot: Lovers’ knots are different types of knots of rope together which symbolize love and deep connections between people.
lovers knot.jpg

4.) Lovers’ leap (or lover’s leap): this is another negative phrase. It refers to a place where someone can jump to end their own life. This might be someone who had their heart broken, or perhaps a couple who has gone too crazy for each other.

5.) The last one is “star-crossed lovers.” Did you ever read or see The Hunger Games? You may recall that the main protagonists of the movie, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark – who later fell in love – were referred to several times as “star-crossed lovers” by the game host Caesar Flickerman. Actually, this is another negative phrase. Star-crossed lovers are thought to be two fated to love each other but also fated to be doomed (destroyed) because the stars are against them. Think: Romeo & Juliet! But in The Hunger Games at least, everything worked out in the end. Mostly.

Have a lovely Valentine’s Day!

Spectacular vs. Spooktacular

“Spectacular” is a very positive (good) word in English. It is related to the word “spectacle” which usually means something impressive or good to see.

Here are some synonyms for “spectacular” in everyday usage:
Super
Awesome
Terrific
Great
Superb
Excellent
Fantastic
Wonderful
Marvelous

Now… about “Spooktacular.”

“Spooky” in English means scary, eerie, weird, frightening. We use this word a lot in association with the holiday of Halloween.

For example: A spooky ghost; a spooky costume; a spooky house; a spooky decoration.

English speakers love to do “word play.” That means making one word sound like another word. Or, combining two words into one. (Like, “chillax” which is “chill” and “relax.”)

So, something really great or awesome that is on or around Halloween is “spooktacular.”

We hope you have a very spooktacular Halloween next week!

It will be very common to see Halloween events using this name. We found these and many more on the internet easily.

What Does it Mean to be Called a Nut?

nutss.jpg

Have you ever heard of the “Nutty Professor?” Has anyone ever said you were nuts?

Calling someone a “nut” in English can be an insult. It means that person is crazy or acting in an insane manner.

But, just like the word “crazy,” there are times when it can be a good thing. For example: “I’m crazy in love with you” is probably a good thing.

Similarly, you could say “I’m nuts about you,” which means I like or love you A LOT.

Here are some example sentences in which “nut” or “nuts” may be an insult (a bad thing) or a way of saying someone is crazy or insane:

“Wow, your boss is totally nuts.”

“I can’t believe he said that. That is nuts!”

There are also variants of this word which have a similar, negative meaning:

“Don’t talk to him. He’s totally nutso.”

“Don’t ask her out to dinner. She’s a real nutjob.”

There are also phrases from go + nuts, such as:

“Be careful! Your roommate is going nuts.”

“I’m sorry but your boyfriend has gone completely nuts.”

The insult of “nuts” can be made a little less intense by changing it to “nutty.” This might mean the person is a little weird or different. Here’s an example:

“I like your brother, I really do. He’s just a little bit nutty.”

Lastly, let’s not forget there are times when being crazy for something is a good thing. Like being crazy for healthy food or exercise. We might say:

“Wow I didn’t know David was such a health food nut.”

“He’s really nuts about his new job.”

“Saul is a crazy good artist.” (“Crazy” here acts like an adverb, similar to “very”)

My high school Spanish teacher always called us his “bag of mixed nuts.” Mixed nuts are the nuts you buy from the supermarket and eat. He meant that in a nice way, as in we were crazy but he liked us.

Here are some other slang synonyms for nuts: wacko (adj/noun), psycho (adj/noun), loony (adj/noun), weirdo (noun), freak (noun), maniac (noun), messed up (adj), cray cray (adj)

Here are some images we found online when we typed “crazy nut”:

What vocabulary should you learn before taking TOEFL & IELTS?

academic vocabulary.jpg

If you are planning on taking the TOEFL some time this year, you are probably not a beginner in English. On the other hand, in order to get the score you want, you may want to (or need to) improve your vocabulary knowledge.

If you are planning to take the TOEFL (or other high-stakes standardized test in English), what are the best words to learn?

The TOEFL and other such tests emphasize academic English. That is, English used in university classes, essays, and discussions (formal and informal).

Lucky for you, we live in a time when computers can analyze the language in the university and help us understand which words are most common in a university setting. Today, we know which words are most common in the universities. Likewise, understanding and using these words are essential for success on the TOEFL.

To start, you should learn these TOP 60 ACADEMIC WORDS IN ENGLISH: https://www.vocabulary.com/lists/23710

You may know some or all these words. Once you’ve learned all of these, we recommend moving on to the full AWL list (Academic Word List), provided here: http://www.cal.org/create/conferences/2012/pdfs/handout-4-vaughn-reutebuch-cortez.pdf