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: any

The uses of any as a determiner or pronoun are known at A1, but its use as an adverb to emphasize a comparative adjective in questions and negative sentences commences at B1, as seen in the Learner example given for this sense: I couldn’t wait any longer. Further phrases are listed at B2, such as in any case, not make any difference. You can have a look at the entry for ‘difference’ in the Preview version of the EVP on the website, which shows all entries for the letters D,J and K.
To view the full entry for any on the English Vocabulary Profile, please click here.

Word of the week: look

Look must be one of the first verbs to be learned in the language classroom, as it is used in basic instructions. Two senses are identified at A1: SEE and SEARCH, and by A2, learners can use the verb with an adjective, as in It looks nice. and He looks Spanish. However, the phrase look like has been listed at B1 as many learners struggle to use it accurately. The Cambridge Learner Corpus shows that like is sometimes omitted, as in this learner example: By the way, my teacher looks Brad Pitt. In other cases, like is included unnecessarily, as in She looked like very nice. phrase. A number of phrasal verbs are also formed from this verb: the first to be known, at A2 level, seems to be look after. The noun senses SEE and SEARCH are at B1: learners frequently produce the phrase have a look at this level, although similar phrases with have, for example have a shower/rest/walk, appear to be known at A2.
To view the full entry for look on the English Vocabulary Profile, please click here.

Word of the week: way

The noun way is used frequently in English in a number of different senses, and it is a very important word for learners to get to grips with, as they will use it in a wide variety of contexts and situations. Two senses, METHOD and ROUTE, are known at A2 level, together with the common phrase by the way. Six further senses are listed at B1 level, including two for which there is only limited evidence in the Cambridge Learner Corpus: DIRECTION and POSSIBILITY. The former is understandable as an extension of the ROUTE sense at A2, while the sense of POSSIBILITY (as in in a way, in some/many ways, either way) is currently listed at B1 on the basis of its pragmatic usefulness in giving opinions and structuring discourse. This sense is clearly on the B1/B2 border, and we would welcome your views on its use by learners. Please contact us via this website using the Feedback button.
To view the full entry for way on the English Vocabulary Profile, please click here.

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