List R

raise or rise? Let us look at these two words first as
verbs (doing words):
My landlord has decided to RAISE the
He RAISED the rent a year ago.
He has RAISED the rent three times in
four years.
My expenses RISE all the time.
They ROSE very steeply last year.
They have RISEN steadily this year.
Now let us look at them as nouns (a raise,
You should ask your employer for a
You should ask your employer for a
An increase in salary is called ‘a rise’ in
the UK and ‘a raise’ in America.
recent or resent? RECENT = happening not long ago
RESENT = to feel aggrieved and be
recover or re-cover? Bear in mind the difference in meaning
that the hyphen makes:
RECOVER = get better, regain possession
RE-COVER = to cover again
referee or umpire? REFEREE = football, boxing
UMPIRE = baseball, cricket, tennis
regal or royal? REGAL =fitforakingorqueen;
resembling the behaviour of a king or
ROYAL = having the status of a king or
queen, or being a member of their family
repellent or repulsive? Both words mean ‘causing disgust or
aversion’. REPULSIVE,however,isthe
stronger of the two; it has the sense of
causing ‘intense disgust’, even horror in
some circumstances.
REPELLENT can also be used in the
sense of being able to repel particular
pests (a mosquito repellent) and in the
sense of being impervious to certain
substances (water-repellent).
repetitious or
Both words are derived from ‘repetition’.
Use REPETITIOUS when you want to
criticise something spoken or written for
containing tedious and excessive
repetition. ‘Repetitious’ is a derogatory
Use REPETITIVE when you want to
make the point that speech, writing or an
activity involves a certain amount of
repetition (e.g. work on an assembly line
in a factory). ‘Repetitive’ is a neutral
reverend or reverent? REVEREND = deserving reverence; title
for a cleric.
The Revd. C. Benson
The Rev. C. Benson
REVERENT = showing reverence
REVERENT pilgrims
rigorous or vigorous? RIGOROUS = exhaustive, very thorough,
exacting physically or mentally
VIGOROUS = full of energy

fairly, quite, rather and pretty

1. Fairly modifies adjectives and adverbs. It is not very strong:
if you say that somebody is “fairly nice” or “fairly clever”, she will not be very pleased.

  • “How was the film?” “Fairly good. Not the best one I’ve seen this year”
  • I speak Greek fairly well – enough for most everyday purposes.

2. Quite is a little stronger than fairly

  • ” How was the film?” “Quite good. You ought to go”
  • He’s been in Greece for two years , so he speaks Greek quite well.

Quite can modify verbs

  • It was a good party. I quite enjoyed myself.

3. Rather is stronger than quite. It can mean “more than is usual” , “more than was expected” or  “more than is wanted

  • “How was the film?” “Rather good- I was surprised”
  • Maurice speaks Greek rather well. People often think he’s Greek
  • I think I’ll put the heating on. It’s rather cold.

Rather can modify verbs

  • I rather like gardening.

4. Pretty is similar to rather. It is only used in informal English

  • “How are you feeling?” “Pretty tired. I’m going to bed”

5. Note

  1. The exact meaning of these words may depend on the intonation used
  2. Quite is not used very much in this way in American English
  3. We put quite and rather before a/an
  • It was quite a nice day.
  • I’m reading rather an interesting book

road and street

1. A street is a road with houses on either side.
We use street for roads in towns, but not for country roads.

  • Cars can park on both sides of our street.

Road is used for both town and country.

  • Cars can park on both sides of our road.
  • There’s a narrow winding road from our village to the next one.
    (not… a narrow winding street…)

2. Note that, in street names, we stress the word Road, but the word before Street.

  • Marylebone ‘ Road
  • ‘Oxford Street.

Talking: Say, Tell, Ask, Speak, Talk, Answer, Reply

Say (say/said/said)

We use say when we report someone’s words.

  • She said ‘This is horrible!’
  • He said that he wanted a drink.

We use say when we ask about language.

  • a: How do you say ‘book’ in Spanish? b: ‘Libro’.

We say hello / goodbye   please / thank you /Happy Birthday / Merry Christmas / Happy New Year / Congratulations

Tell (tell/told/told)

Tell is usually followed immediately by a person. Say is not followed immediately by a person.

  • He told me his name. [not He said me his name.]

We use tell when we want to know how to get to a place.

  • Can you tell me where the bus station is, please? [not Can you say me …?]

We use tell with other wh- words too (when, how, why, where), e.g. you can tell someone how to do something, where something is, why something happened.

  • He told me how to send a fax.
  • Tell me when you want to have dinner.
  • You can tell someone the time / a story / a joke / your name / address / telephone number.


Ask is used for questions.

  • My sister asked me where I was going, (or My sister asked (me) ‘Where are you going?’)
  • a: Can I ask you a question? b: Yes.
  • a: What day of the week were you born? b: Thursday.

You can ask someone the way / the time / a question.

Ask somebody to do something and ask someone for something.

  • I asked him to turn off his radio, (or I said ‘Please turn off your radio.’
  • She asked for the bill, (or She said ‘Can I have the bill please?’)


Do you speak Japanese?   [not Do you -talk Japanese?]

I like talking to you. (having a conversation with you)

Can you answer the telephone / the door, please?
(pick up the phone / open the door to see who it is)

I wrote a letter to him but he did not reply.
(for letters/faxes/e-mails) (he did not send me a letter