Today I have another language related post. When you’re learning to speak English as a second language, the most difficult thing to do, is to play around with the language. Where in your native tongue you have the ability to use and even come up with a plethora of words, in a foreign language getting past basic vocabulary can be difficult. And English has so many great words to express very simple things in much more complicated ways. I own a book called “100 words to make you sound great” and I have picked 10 words for you to ponder, learn by heart and add into your English vocab if you didn’t know them already. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!
Meaning: to delude or to divert attention.
You can use this in any context where you would otherwise use either of the two meanings. So if you’re trying to say I do not want to divert your attention from your problems. You can say: I do not want to beguile you from your problems.
Meaning: infamous by way of being extremely wicked
Ever wondered the professor in Despicable Me is called Dr. Nefario? Well it’s easy to see that it derives from nefarious and he most certainly is wicked. Nefarious is mostly saved for referring to really bad acts of criminality, but I can imagine chucking this into any conversation to describe anyone or anything that does not muster cackling laughter or other sinister plans.
Meaning: To waste money or spend extravagantly or losing a chance.
In other words: you would have been able to have featured as the role model for the shopaholic books (minus the handsome bachelor). Than you could be describe as someone who squanders. But also when you want to say something like: I don’t want to miss that opportunity, you can say: I don’t want to squander my chances.
Have any professors that won’t stop talking? Or friends who keep yapping on and on about the same thing, repeating themselves? Or maybe you are reading a text and think: well that’s an excessive amount of words to describe this? Well that’s verbose.
Meaning: relentless endurance, extreme persistence
Ever heard of the group Tenacious D? Well tenacious is the adjective form of the word tenacity. If you have ever met someone who is given a task and doesn’t let go until they get to the bottom of things or completely finish it, no matter how hard it is: that’s tenacity.
As in: wrecking something, breaking something apart. So substitute it in any of those occasions. If you’ve read The Mortal Instruments then you will get my example: Sebastian has a pernicious character.
Meaning: not giving in to persuasion, stubbornly impertinent
Used in a negative sense mostly, it is an antonym (meaning a word that means the opposite) of tenacity, which was featured above.
Meaning: harmless, having no negative effect
“Oh that tiger looked so innocuous, I thought I could pat him.” Which is of course a bad idea in itself. But it’s a great word to try and slip into your every day English, don’t you think?
Meaning: to draw from, provoke
A very standard phrase in English is: … elicits meaning from… Or: you can elicit a response when you make it happen and not just wait for it. To know this one, will get you through multiple situations. Especially if you’re having to write essays on literary subjects.
Meaning: deserving blame
So instead of saying: he’s guilty or he is to blame, you can also say: he’s culpable. To give a quick example: When you break your antie’s precious vase, you are culpable.
What difficult English word would you like to use in casual conversation?