Word of the Week

wowWith its 120th word, Word of the Week has now come to an end. We hope you enjoyed this free feature and that it has given you an insight into the thinking and research behind the English Vocabulary Profile.

All 120 are still available to read in our archive, below. Each Word of the Week in the archive is followed by a link to the full entry for that word on the English Vocabulary Profile. To view the entries, you will need to subscribe to the EVP: to subscribe for free click here.

Word of the week: while

While is a conjunction and a noun. Three separate uses of the conjunction appear to split over three CEFR levels, from A2 to B2. Interestingly, the noun occurs very frequently in the Cambridge Learner Corpus from B1 level, in phrases such as after a while, for a while, and, mainly at B2, once in a while. The variant ’whilst’ is included only for the B2 sense of ALTHOUGH, as there is no evidence of learners using it at lower levels.
 
To view the full entry for while on the English Vocabulary Profile, please click here.

Word of the week: else

The adverb else is a good word for learners to know at a fairly early stage, because of its usefulness and its frequency in English. It readily attaches itself to question words, as in Who else was at the party? and forms phrases with pronouns and adverbs, as in anything else and somewhere else. There is evidence of learner use worldwide from A2 level. The phrase or else comes in at B2 level in the sense of IF NOT, but its other use for comparing two different things or situations is above B2, so is not included in the current EVP.
 
To view the full entry for else on the English Vocabulary Profile, please click here.

Word of the week: still

Still is in the EVP as an adverb and adjective. As an adverb, its most frequent sense, that of CONTINUING (as in I’m still hungry.), is used from A2 level, whereas the meaning DESPITE is at B1 level. The phrases better/worse still have been included because they are fairly frequent in first language use, and there is some evidence of learner use at B2, although these phrases are used a lot more in learner writing at the C levels. As for the adjective, the main collocations used by learners up to B2 level are the verbs keep, sit, stand and stay. 
 
To view the full entry for still on the English Vocabulary Profile, please click here.

Cambridge University Press