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English Language "Words" and how to use them: Getting Started


Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble. Yehuda Berg*

*Yehuda Berg is a former co-director of the Kabbalah Centre, which was founded by his father Philip Berg. Berg is an author of many books.

10 Words to Make You Sound Wicked Smart!

11 new English words for 2016 – and how to use them

1. Photobomb

Everyone loves to take a selfie – but who is that random person pulling a funny face in the background? They just photobombed you!

Use it: “That would have been a nice photo if that guy hadn’t photobombed us.” 

2. Vape

A recent trend is to give up smoking cigarettes in favour of electronic ones. If you like “vaping”, then you’re a “vaper”.

Use it: “For the sake of my health I decided to give up smoking and try vaping.” 

3. Glamping

If you like camping but are looking for something less muddy and more comfortable, you could try glamping – or glamorous camping. You still stay in a tent or tepee in the great outdoors, but usually you’ll be sleeping on a bed with pillows and duvets and there may even be a kitchenette and Wi-Fi.

Use it: “We wanted to try something a bit more luxurious than camping, so we booked to go glamping.” 

4. Binge-watch

The huge take-up of on-demand TV and box sets have brought about this new word. It means to watch a large number of television shows, usually from the same series, in succession.

Use it: “I was ill last week, so I downloaded and binge-watched the whole of series one of Game of Thrones in one day!” 

5. Meh

Originating from TV’s The Simpsons, this word has become a popular way to express the fact that you’re not bothered or impressed about something.

Use it: “I ordered a new dress online, but when I tried it on – meh.” 

6. Freegan

In opposition to consumerism and capitalism, there is a group of people that tries to recycle everything, including eating food that has been thrown away. These folk are known as freegans.

Use it: “Steve hates waste, so he decided to become a freegan to reduce food waste.” 

7. Voluntourism

This term describes people who volunteer overseas for a charity, maybe to work on a project for elephants’ welfare or to help build a community school, but their actual motivation is to visit foreign places. The word is also used to mean tagging on a holiday at the end of a volunteer period abroad.

Use it: “I really want to explore South America, so I thought I’d try voluntourism.” 

8. Webisode

Popular streaming websites, such as Netflix and Amazon Video, show TV programmes that are only available online and these are known as webisodes. You’ll only be able to find these TV shows using the internet.

Use it: “I’m going to watch the new webisode of Orange is the New Black on Netflix.” 

9. Crowdfund

To fund a project from lots of people who usually donate a small amount.

Use it: “Agatha wanted to start a new charity project, so she tried crowdfunding to raise some money.” 

10. Skort

A new fashion item that looks great but is practical, too – a pair of shorts with a flap of material over the top that makes it look like a skirt.

Use it: “Jonathan wants to go roller-skating so I bought a skort – just in case I fall over!” 

11. Buko

A new slang term to mean “much” or “many”.

Use it: “I’ve worked extra hours this week and earned buko cash.”


Confusing words

Here are some words that are confusing:

  • two - to - too = two is a number, to means toward, too means also, much, or very
  • their - there - they’re = their shows possession, there is a place, they’re is a contraction for they are
  • I - me = I is a subject pronoun, me is an object pronoun
  • who - whom = who is the subject pronoun, whom is an object pronoun
  • fewer - less = fewer means a smaller number, lesser is a smaller amount.
  • its - it’s = its shows possession, it’s is a contraction for it is
  • your - you’re = your shows possession, you’re is a contraction for you are
  • can - may = can shows ability, may shows permission
  • lead - led = lead is a metal and a word for others to follow, led is the past tense form of the verb lead
  • by - buy - bye = by means near or beside, buy means to purchase, bye is like goodbye 
  • accept - except = accept means to receive, except means to leave out or take
  • affect - effect = affect is a verb meaning to influence, effect is a noun meaning result
  • capital - capitol = capital is the seat of government, capitol is the building where the legislative body meets
  • compliment - complement = compliment is saying something nice, complement is something that completes
  • council - counsel = council is a group, counsel is a verb meaning advise
  • descent - dissent = descent means a decline, dissent means disagree or opposition
  • lose - loose = lose means to not win or you can’t find something, loose means roomy or unrestrained
  • precede - proceed = precede means to come before, proceed means to continue or go forward
  • principal, principle = principal means the main person or part, principle means a fundamental truth
  • stationary, stationery = stationary means standing still, stationery means paper to write on

2016 Word of the Year


‘Surreal’ Is the Word of the Year for 2016  

The American publishing company best known for its popular dictionaries said the decision was based on two simple criteria: The word has a “high volume of lookups” and a “significant year-over-year increase in lookups” on

Definition of surreal (Adjective)             

  1. 1:  marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream; also :  unbelievablefantastic <surreal sums of money>

  2. 2:  surrealistic


 play\(ˌ)sə-rē-ˈa-lə-tē\ noun



Library Media Specialist

Nancy Green's picture
Nancy Green
Timberlane Regional High School
36 Greenough Road
Plaistow, New Hampshire 03865

100 words to make you feel super smart

25 Most used words in the English Language

1. the
Example: “The black cat is old.”

2. of
Example: “There are a lot of bridges across the river Thames.”

3. and
Example: “She and her husband have already gone.”

4. a
Example: “A waiter brought me a glass of water.”

5. to
Example: “I have been to the supermarket today.”

6. in
Example: “It rains a lot in England.”

7. is
Example: “It is warm today because the sun is shining.”

8. you
Example: “Can I help you?”

9. that
Example: “She said that she is tired.” “That is a shame.”

10. it
Example: “It is sunny today.” “I don’t have my hat, I wish I had it.”

11. he
Example: “This is Tom, he is my brother.”

12. was
Example: “It was cold yesterday.”

13. for
Example: “These flowers are for you.”

14. on
Example: “He is sitting on my chair.”

15. are
Example: “We are married, and we are happy together.”

16. as
Example: “He closed the door behind him as he entered the room.”

17. with
Example: “She has gone to the cinema with her friends.”

18. his
Example: “He showed me his new football.”

19. they
Example: “I am going to see my grandparents, as they are both very old.”

20. I
Example: “I am proud of myself”

21. at
Example: “We had lunch at 2 o’clock. We ate at a lovely restaurant.”

22. be
Example: “You will be cold.” (“I was cold.” “We are cold.” “She is cold.”)

23. this
Example: “This is my new coat, I bought it earlier this week.”

24. have
Example: “I have had some cake, so I will not have any more.”

25. from
Example: “We got the train from London to Manchester, I had to travel from 11am until 1pm.”