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: actually

The adverb actually is frequently used in English. Three senses are included in the EVP, from A2 to B2 levels. There is a lot of evidence in the Cambridge Learner Corpus for each of these uses, though the word is more common in spoken English. Corpus evidence shows that in the sense of OPPOSITE, the word actually occurs predominantly in the initial position in a sentence, as the examples given at this sense indicate; e.g. "You didn't tell me about needing the car." "Actually, I did."
 
To view the full entry for actually on the English Vocabulary Profile, please click here.

Word of the week: unfair

The adjective unfair has two meanings, both of which are in the English Vocabulary Profile. The meaning NOT EQUAL seems to be known to learners at an earlier level than the meaning NOT TRUE. The negative prefix un- is possibly the easiest for learners to use, and is often used mistakenly in common learner errors such as ‘unresponsible’ and ‘unpatient’.
 
To view the full entry for unfair on the English Vocabulary Profile, please click here.

Word of the week: high

High is in the EVP as an adjective and adverb – the noun, as in an all-time high, is above B2 level for general English use. There are some strong collocates for the adjective in learner use, which act as a guide to level for each meaning: high prices and high marks belong to senses that are known at an earlier level than the meaning IMPORTANT, as in high priority. Interestingly, the use of low in this way is much less frequent, both for first language users and for learners.
 
To view the full entry for high on the English Vocabulary Profile, please click here.

Cambridge University Press