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: interpret

The verb interpret seems to be known by language learners from B2 level, but only in its specialist meaning of LANGUAGE, as in the dictionary example We had to ask the guide to interpret for us. The most frequent meaning for first language users is the one that appears at C1 level in the English Vocabulary Profile, that of DECIDE MEANING. This use is especially common in Academic English, but interestingly, the word family member interpretation appears to be more frequent in academic text than the verb (the noun is the most frequent form of the word family according to the Academic Word List, an important source which we have used during our research into C level vocabulary. This can be accessed for free on the Victoria University of Wellington website via the following link). The noun is currently given C2 in our resource, along with the noun misinterpretation and the verb misinterpret. All four words are displayed in a Word family panel on the online resource, bringing these words together for teaching purposes. Word family panels in the English Vocabulary Profile display ‘core’ members that are known up to B2 level in regular type, with C level additions in italics.
To view the full entry for interpret on the English Vocabulary Profile, please click here.

Word of the week: well

The word well is an adverb, an adjective and an exclamation. As part of the English Profile programme, Professor Michael McCarthy has been examining occurrences of the exclamation Well… in spoken interaction, and this use of the word at the beginning of a sentence is given A1 in the English Vocabulary Profile. Learners who use it effectively, either to pause or to soften feelings of doubt or disagreement, will sound more natural. The adjective meaning of HEALTHY is also at A1, and there are three uses of the adverb at A1 too: the core meaning IN A GOOD WAY, and the phrases as well (as) and Well done! At the other end of the Common European Framework levels, C1 and C2, we have added several phrases using the adverb, including it’s just as well, can’t/couldn’t very well do sth, and mean well. There is also one phrase at C1 featuring the adjective: be all very well. Well, now take a look at the full entry for this extremely useful word!
To view the full entry for well on the English Vocabulary Profile, please click here.

Word of the week: carry

The verb carry is known from A1 level in its core meaning of HOLD. Two phrasal verbs carry on and carry out are included at B1 level. Further meanings of the verb occur throughout the levels up to C2, where there are two further senses HAVE and SUPPORT, as well as the phrase carry weight. As you will see in the entry itself, the meaning of DISEASE, as in Mosquitoes carry malaria, has been given C1 without any supporting evidence from the Cambridge Learner Corpus. We have done this in the few cases where our reviewers have supported the inclusion of a particular meaning or word, confirming that it is likely to be known at a certain level. As our corpus data is expanded over the coming months and years, we will be able to review these entries – the English Vocabulary Profile is not set in stone and regular updates will be made as more evidence is made available.
To view the full entry for carry on the English Vocabulary Profile, please click here.

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