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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
indefinite article
5 minutes/an hour/20 years etc ago
▪ Her husband died 14 years ago.
a breach of an agreement (=an act of breaking an agreement)
▪ Both sides were accusing each other of breaches of the agreement.
a common/an everyday event
▪ The death of a child was a common event in those days.
a difficult/an awkward stage
▪ He was 13 and going through that awkward stage.
a hint/trace of an accent
▪ I could detect the hint of a German accent in her voice.
a means to an end (=a way of achieving what you want)
▪ To Joe, work was a means to an end, nothing more.
a means to an end (=something you do only to achieve a result, not because you want to do it or because it is important)
▪ Many of the students saw the course as a means to an end: a way of getting a good job.
a military rebellion/an army rebellion
▪ Marlborough considered leading a military rebellion against the new king.
a naked/an open flame (=not enclosed with a cover)
▪ Never use a naked flame near spray paint.
a name/an identity tag
▪ Every baby had a name tag on his or her wrist.
a parallel/an alternative universe
a party wins/loses an election
▪ Do you think the Labour Party can win the next election?
a plane accident/an airplane accident (also a flying accident)
▪ Holly died in a plane accident.
(a) quarter of an hour (=fifteen minutes)
▪ Mum was gone for about a quarter of an hour.
a quarter of an hour
▪ I’ll meet you in a quarter of an hour.
a side of an equation (=the letters and numbers on one side of an equals sign)
▪ Find the square root of both sides of the equation.
a side of an equation
▪ We need to discuss the financial side of the equation.
a surprise announcement/an unexpected announcement
▪ The Senator made the surprise announcement that he will not be seeking re-election.
a test of ability/an ability test
▪ Examinations are not always a good test of ability.
▪ The class was given a verbal ability test.
abandon/give up an attempt
▪ They had to abandon their attempt to climb the mountain.
accept an application
▪ The college refused to accept my application.
accept an award
▪ Miller accepted the award for best comedy show.
accept an explanation (=believe that it is true or correct)
▪ The court accepted her explanation.
accept an invitation
▪ Are you going to accept their invitation to the wedding?
accept an invitation
▪ She accepted his invitation to dinner.
accept an offer
▪ In the end I had to accept his offer of £4,500.
accept an offer (=say yes to it)
▪ Are you going to accept their offer?
accept an opportunity
▪ I wish that I’d accepted the opportunity to retire when it was offered.
according to an estimate
▪ According to some estimates, an acre of forest is cleared every minute.
achieve/accomplish an objective (also attain an objectiveformal)
▪ The policy should help us achieve our objective of reducing paper waste.
act as an incentive (=be an incentive)
▪ The chance of promotion acts as an incentive for many employees.
act on an impulse (=do something because you have a sudden desire to do it)
▪ Acting on an impulse, he decided to visit his sister.
administer an injectionformal (= give sb an injection)
▪ She was taught how to administer an injection.
administer an oath (=be the official person who listens to it)
admit an offence
▪ He had admitted sex offences against children.
adopt/assume an identity (=give yourself a new identity )
▪ She assumed a false identity and went to live in South America.
afford (sb) an opportunity/chance
▪ It afforded her the opportunity to improve her tennis skills.
agree an agenda
▪ The meeting ended in chaos as representatives were unable to agree an agenda.
amend an act (=make small changes)
▪ In 1978 the act was amended to make the earliest mandatory retirement age 70.
an abandoned baby (=left somewhere by a mother who does not want it)
▪ The abandoned baby was found under a hedge.
an A/B/C studentAmerican English (= one who usually gets an A, B, or C for their work)
▪ He was an A student all the way through high school.
an abiding/enduring/lasting memory (=that you will always have)
▪ The children's abiding memory of their father is of his patience and gentleness.
an ability group (=a group that students are taught in, based on their level of ability)
▪ Children are divided into different ability groups.
an abject apologyformal (= one that shows that you are very sorry)
▪ The BBC issued an abject apology for insulting the Queen.
an abortive attemptformal (= unsuccessful)
▪ They made an abortive attempt to keep the company going.
an abridged version (=one that is shortened from the original but not changed in any other way)
▪ Reader’s Digest published abridged versions of many popular novels.
an abrupt halt (=one that is sudden and unexpected)
▪ His career came to an abrupt halt when he was seriously injured in a road accident.
an absolute bargain
▪ £59.99 is an absolute bargain.
an absolute maximum
▪ Entries are limited to an absolute maximum of 100 words.
an absolute/bare minimum (=the very least amount)
▪ He paid in five pounds, the bare minimum needed to keep the bank account open.
an absolute/complete nightmare
▪ The whole day was an absolute nightmare.
an absolute/outright/clear majority (=a majority that has been won by more than half the votes)
▪ There was no party with an absolute majority in the House of Commons.
an abstract concept (=based on general ideas rather than on something that exists)
▪ He finds it hard to grasp abstract concepts.
an abstract notion
▪ In art, how can you represent abstract notions such as peace or justice?
an abstract sculpture
▪ an abstract sculpture of the universe
an absurd/ridiculous notion
▪ They had the ridiculous notion that they could make a living from singing.
an abuse of power (=a wrong or unfair use of power)
▪ This cover-up is a scandalous abuse of power.
an academic career
▪ She wanted to pursue an academic career.
an academic curriculum (=involving studying from books, not practical subjects)
▪ They unquestioningly accept the traditional academic curriculum.
an academic discipline (=a subject that is studied at university)
▪ the academic disciplines of linguistics, psychology and sociology
an academic essay
▪ Mature students often need practice writing academic essays.
an academic subject
▪ Children who are not good at academic subjects may excel in music or sport.
an academic/practical etc turn of mind
▪ youngsters with an independent turn of mind
an acceptable/reasonable/satisfactory compromise
▪ By 1982 an acceptable compromise had been reached.
an accepted convention
▪ Saying 'thank you' and 'please' is an accepted convention.
an accepted/received notion (=an idea that most people believe)
▪ These women challenged accepted notions of female roles in society.
an accessory before/after the fact (=someone who helps a criminal before or after the crime)
an accident happens (also an accident occursformal)
▪ No one saw the accident happen.
▪ Most road accidents occur in urban areas.
an accident inquiry
▪ The accident inquiry revealed that the accident had been caused by human error.
an accident investigation/inquiry
▪ The two deaths are the subject of an accident inquiry.
▪ Accident investigations often take months.
an accident investigator
▪ Accident investigators have been there all morning.
an accident victim
▪ One of the accident victims is still trapped in his vehicle.
an accidental hero (=someone who becomes a hero by chance)
▪ He became an accidental hero after discovering the injured child while out walking.
an accidental/chance discovery (=happening by chance)
▪ Some of the tombs were the result of chance discoveries.
an accident/crash victim
▪ The crash victims were rushed to hospital.
an accurate account
▪ Both newspapers gave fairly accurate accounts of what had happened.
an accurate record
▪ Many hospitals did not keep accurate records.
an accurate/exact translation
▪ The most accurate translation of the word would be ‘master’.
an accurate/reliable estimate (=fairly exact)
▪ It’s hard to put an accurate estimate on the number of people affected.
an accurate/true picture
▪ Our aim is to build an accurate picture of the needs of disabled people.
an accurate/true reflection
▪ These reports were not an accurate reflection of existing attitudes.
an acoustic/an electric/a classical guitar
an acoustic/an electric/a classical guitar
an acquired taste (=something that people do not like at first)
▪ This kind of tea is an acquired taste, but very refreshing.
an acre/hectare of land
▪ The family owned hundreds of acres of land.
an acrid smell (=strong and bitter)
▪ The acrid smell of smoke clung about the place.
an acrimonious exchangeformal (= in which people show their anger and criticize each other)
▪ The newspaper article led to a series of acrimonious exchanges between leading scientists.
an act becomes law
▪ In the 40 years since the Abortion Act became law there have been repeated attempts to amend or repeal it.
an act comes into force
▪ Since the act came into force, all public buildings must have disabled access.
an act of courage/bravery
▪ The men were awarded the medals for acts of courage.
an act of defiance (=when you refuse to obey or respect someone)
▪ As an act of defiance Leigh dropped out of high school a month before graduation.
an act of faith (=when you do something that shows you trust someone completely)
▪ The signing of the treaty with Britain was an act of faith.
an act of kindness/love
▪ We were grateful for her act of kindness.
an act of parliament (=a law that has been passed by parliament)
▪ Their rights are guaranteed by Act of Parliament.
an act of revenge
▪ The men were shot dead in an act of revenge for Khan’s assassination.
an act of terrorism (=when someone kills people or bombs a place for political reasons )
▪ It was the worst act of terrorism in US history.
an act of terrorism
▪ The prosecution alleged that the men had been responsible for many acts of terrorism.
an act of vandalism (=when someone deliberately damages things, especially public property )
▪ These mindless acts of vandalism affect the whole community.
an act of violence
▪ Police warned that acts of violence would not be tolerated.
an act of violence/aggression
▪ Incidents of sexual harassment and acts of violence against women were on the increase.
an act prohibits sth
▪ Section 47 of the Act prohibits the making of misleading statements to the police.
an action plan
▪ My accountant developed a detailed action plan with specific targets.
an active imagination (=when someone is able to form pictures or ideas easily)
▪ Some of the children have an overactive imagination.
an active interest
▪ As a teenager he began to take an active interest in politics.
an active life
▪ He lived a full and active life.
an active lifestyle
▪ Studies show that an active lifestyle can reduce your chance of developing heart disease.
an active lifestyle (=in which you exercise)
▪ An active lifestyle has many health benefits.
an active member
▪ She became an active member of the Geological Society.
an active member (=one who takes part in many activities of an organization)
▪ She was an active member of the church.
an active mind (=when someone is able to think quickly and clearly)
▪ A fit body is crucial if you want an active mind.
an active part
▪ Our members take an active part in fund-raising.
an active participant
▪ The student must be an active participant in the learning process.
an active role
▪ Most men play a less active role in family life than women.
an active role (=when you do practical things to achieve particular aims)
▪ She took an active role in the community.
an active supporter
▪ The company is an active supporter of animal rights groups.
an active supporter
▪ He remained an active supporter of Greenpeace.
an acute embarrassment (=extremely severe and important)
▪ Her memoirs were an acute embarrassment to the president.
an acute shortage (=very bad)
▪ They were suffering because of an acute shortage of doctors and nurses.
an added advantage (=an extra advantage)
▪ Candidates with experience in Sales and Marketing would have an added advantage.
an address book (=a book or a file on your computer, where you keep people’s addresses)
an adequate supply
▪ The larger cities usually have more modern health facilities and an adequate supply of medicines.
an administrative chore (=a chore such as writing letters or paying bills)
▪ filling in forms and other administrative chores
an administrative post
▪ For the next twelve years, he held various administrative posts in Bombay.
an administrative/bureaucratic nightmare (=something that is very complicated and difficult to keep accurate records of)
▪ Dealing with so many new applications for asylum is an administrative nightmare.
an admission charge (=for being allowed to enter a place)
▪ There is no admission charge.
an admission of failure
▪ Dropping out of college would be an admission of failure.
an adopted child (=legally made part of a family that he or she was not born into)
▪ I didn’t find out that I was an adopted child until years later.
an adult learner
▪ Many adult learners also work full-time.
an advanced civilization
▪ Philosophy is a luxury of an advanced civilization.
an advanced country
▪ technologically advanced countries such as Japan
an advanced learner
▪ Mastering idioms and phrasal verbs is frequently the greatest challenge facing the advanced learner of English.
an advanced stage
▪ Negotiations are at an advanced stage.
an advanced state of sth
▪ The dead bird was in an advanced state of decay.
an advanced/modern society
▪ The Greeks formed the first advanced societies in the West.
▪ This kind of hatred and violence have no place in a modern society like ours.
an advancing army (=moving forward in order to attack)
▪ The advancing Roman army was almost upon them.
an adventure story
▪ an exciting adventure story for children
an adverse impactformal (= a bad effect)
▪ The loss of forests has had an adverse impact on bird populations.
an adverse reactionformal (= a bad reaction)
▪ The patient died after having an adverse reaction to the drug.
an adverse/unfortunate consequence (=that affects your life, a situation etc badly)
▪ Divorce often has unfortunate consequences for children.
an advertising ban
▪ Is an advertising ban a denial of freedom of speech?
an advertising slogan
▪ The company has dropped its original advertising slogan.
an advertising/employment/travel etc agency
▪ a local housing agency
an advertising/marketing/sales campaign
▪ The store ran a television advertising campaign just before Christmas.
an advice centre/service/desk/bureau
▪ They offer a 24-hour advice service to customers.
an advisory committee
▪ a government advisory committee
an advisory council (=for giving advice)
▪ The report was issued by the Advisory Council on Science and Technology.
an aerial photograph (=one taken from a plane)
▪ Aerial photographs can be used to locate archaeological sites.
an affluent society/area etc
▪ the affluent Côte d'Azur
an after-dinner speaker (=someone who makes speeches after formal meals)
▪ As every after-dinner speaker knows, a joke or two is always much appreciated.
an after-dinner speech (=after a formal dinner)
▪ He gets paid a lot for making after-dinner speeches.
an afternoon nap (=short sleep)
▪ Dad was having his Sunday afternoon nap.
an afternoon/morning nap
▪ She has her afternoon nap at about two.
an age gap (=a difference in age between two people)
▪ Despite the age gap, they became good friends.
an age group
▪ Older people are being affected by the economic downturn more than other age groups.
an age group/bracket/range
▪ Men in the 50–65 age group are most at risk from heart disease.
▪ The school takes in children from the seven to eleven age range.
an age limit
▪ There’s no upper age limit for drivers.
an age limit
▪ The lower age limit for entering the Royal Marines is sixteen.
an age restriction
▪ Employers can no longer place age restrictions on applicants.
an age-old tradition/practice/custom etcBritish English
▪ age-old customs
an ageing population (=gradually becoming older on average)
▪ The rapidly ageing population will put a strain on the country's health care system.
an agony columnBritish English (= that gives advice to readers about personal problems)
▪ Romantic relationships are much discussed in all the agony columns.
an agreement breaks down (=it stops working)
an agricultural/a rural economy (=one that is based mainly on farming)
▪ The early 1920s saw a rapid expansion in the American agricultural economy.
an agricultural/secretarial/technical etc college
▪ I wanted a job in farm management so I went to agricultural college.
an aid programme/scheme/package
▪ The UN aid programme provided most of the finance.
an aid worker
▪ Aid workers warned of a worsening situation.
an aid/relief/humanitarian convoy (=taking food, clothes, medicine etc to people in disaster areas)
▪ The United Nations aid convoy finally reached the border.
an air of excitement (=a general feeling of excitement among a group of people)
▪ There was a real air of excitement before the game.
an air of mystery (=something that seems mysterious)
▪ There was an air of mystery about him.
an air raid (=when bombs are dropped from planes)
▪ His parents were killed in an air raid.
an air-conditioned coach
▪ Travel is by air-conditioned coach.
an air-conditioning system
▪ The building hasn’t got an air-conditioning system.
an air/bomb attack (=an attack from a plane using bombs)
▪ Malta was under heavy air attack.
an airing cupboardBritish English (= a warm cupboard for sheets and towels)
an airline flight
▪ domestic airline flights
an airline reservation
▪ Make sure you have an airline reservation before booking the hotel.
an airline/plane/air ticket
▪ You can pick up your airline tickets at the check-in desk.
an air/rail disaster (=an air or rail accident)
▪ The crash was the worst rail disaster in Pakistan’s history.
an airtight/watertight container (=not allowing air or water in)
▪ Seeds are best stored in airtight containers.
an alarm button
▪ He hit the alarm button under the desk.
an alarm clock goes off (=rings at a particular time)
▪ What time do you want the alarm clock to go off tomorrow?
an alarm clock (=that makes a noise to wake you up)
▪ He forgot to set his alarm clock.
an alarm goes off (also an alarm soundsformal)
▪ The thieves fled when an alarm went off.
an alarm system
▪ an electronic burglar alarm system
an alarming rate
▪ The alarming rate of increase in pollution levels has concerned environmentalists.
an alarming/worrying/disturbing trend
▪ I have detected a worrying trend of late.
an alarm/security system
▪ A new alarm system has been installed.
an alcoholic drink (=containing alcohol)
▪ Beer, wine, and other alcoholic drinks will be available.
an alien concept (=an idea that is very strange or that does not exist)
▪ In many countries, queuing for a bus is an alien concept.
an all-inclusive price/package/holiday etc
▪ an all-inclusive vacation cruise
an all-out attack (=that is done with a lot of determination)
▪ General Smith was in favour of an all-out attack on the enemy.
an all-out strike (=in which all the workers have stopped working completely)
▪ The company faces an all-out strike next month.
an all-out strikeBritish English (= when all the workers in a factory, industry etc strike)
▪ The dockers voted for an all-out strike.
an all-round education (=including a balance of lots of different subjects)
▪ The school offers a good all-round education.
an all-star/a star-studded/a stellar cast (=a lot of very famous actors)
▪ The movie features an all-star cast.
an all-time high/low
▪ The price of wheat had reached an all-time low.
an all-time record
▪ The price of oil has hit an all-time record.
an alleged conspiracy (=that people say exists but that is not yet proved to exist)
▪ The charges against him relate to an alleged conspiracy.
an alleged crime (=not proved to have happened)
▪ No evidence of the alleged crime was presented.
an allergic reaction
▪ If you develop an allergic reaction to your sunscreen, change it.
an almighty explosionold-fashioned (= extremely loud)
▪ There was an almighty explosion and I was knocked to the ground.
an alternative lifestyle (=one that is different from most people's)
▪ Is choosing to be green really an alternative lifestyle?
an alternative method (=a method that is different than the usual one)
▪ Try to use alternative methods of transport, such as cycling or taking the bus.
an alternative route (=one that you can use instead)
▪ Holiday-makers bound for South Wales are advised to find an alternative route.
an alternative solution
▪ We need to look for alternative solutions.
an alternative source
▪ The university is exploring alternative funding sources.
an amazing variety
▪ The market has an amazing variety of fresh fish.
an ambiguous/vague concept (=one that is not clear or is hard to define)
▪ Creativity is an ambiguous concept.
an ambitious goal (=an aim that will be difficult to achieve)
▪ The agreement set ambitious goals to cut greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.
an ambitious programme
▪ The European Community embarked on an ambitious programme of research.
an ambitious project
▪ Young people often enjoy the challenge of an ambitious project.
an ambulance crew
▪ The woman had to be rescued from her car by an ambulance crew.
an amendment to the constitution (=a change)
▪ the First Amendment to the American Constitution
an American/English etc expression
▪ She remembered the American expression her mother had always used: 'Life’s a breeze'.
an American/Japanese etc tourist
▪ She saw a crowd of Japanese tourists, cameras at the ready, wandering down the path.
an amicable settlement (=when people agree in a friendly way)
▪ Disputes were often taken to a village council, which attempted to bring about an amicable settlement.
an amount/a length of time
▪ Customers only have a limited amount of time to inspect the goods.
an amused smile/look/expression etc
an amusing story/anecdote/incident etc
▪ The book is full of amusing stories about his childhood.
an analysis shows sth
▪ DNA analysis shows that the blood and the saliva come from the same person.
an analysis suggests/indicates sth
▪ Our analysis suggests that these problems are widespread.
an ancient city
▪ the ancient city of Jerusalem
an ancient site
▪ The organization maintains and restores ancient sites, castles, monuments etc.
an angry denial
▪ There were angry denials of corruption in the police force.
an angry exchange
▪ His angry exchange with the referee earned him a yellow card.
an angry response
▪ His comments sparked an angry response from opposition politicians.
an angry/furious expression
▪ Her angry expression turned to one of utter despair.
an angry/threatening gesture
▪ One of the men made a threatening gesture, and I ran.
an anguished/agonised cry (=full of distress)
▪ She gave an anguished cry, calling his name.
an angular face (=so thin that you can see the bones)
▪ She stared at his dark, angular face.
an announcement comes (=it happens)
▪ His announcement came after two days of peace talks.
an annoying/unpleasant/nasty habit
▪ He had the unpleasant habit of eating with his mouth open.
an annual competition
▪ Last year he won the magazine’s annual photo competition.
an annual conference
▪ the biggest annual conference for teachers of English
an annual holiday (=a holiday you take every year)
▪ We were getting ready for our annual holiday in Cornwall.
an annual increase
▪ The company reported a 10% increase in pre-tax profits.
an annual inspection
▪ The aircraft was due for its annual inspection.
an annual meeting (=an important meeting held once a year)
▪ the annual meeting of the British Medical Association
an annual quota
▪ The US immigration laws imposed a strict annual quota for each country of origin.
an annual review
▪ There will be an annual review of your salary.
an annual survey
▪ Every council will be required to conduct an annual survey of residents.
an annual/a monthly fee
▪ An annual fee of £150 has been introduced.
an annual/monthly subscription
▪ An annual subscription to the magazine costs $20.
an annual/monthly/weekly budget
▪ The organization has an annual budget of $24 million.
an annual/monthly/weekly cycle (=the related events that repeat themselves every year, month etc)
▪ the annual cycle of planting and harvesting crops
an annual/monthly/weekly/daily total
▪ The Government plans to increase the annual total of 2,500 adoptions by up to 50%.
an anonymous call (=in which the caller does not give their name)
▪ The £10,000 demand was made in an anonymous call to his home.
an anonymous donation (=from someone who does not give their name)
▪ The charity confirmed it had received an anonymous donation of £100,000.
an answering machine (=for recording telephone messages)
▪ There’s a message on the answering machine.
an antenatal clinicBritish English (= giving medical care to pregnant women)
▪ The staff at the antenatal clinic will give you the results of your blood test.
an anthology of poems (=a book of poems by different people)
▪ She gave me an anthology of poems for children.
an anti-government protest
▪ Religious leaders continued to lead anti-government protests.
an anti-government/anti-war etc rally
▪ The peace groups made plans to hold an anti-war rally.
an anti-government/pro-democracy etc demonstration
▪ There have been further violent anti-government demonstrations this week.
an anti-smoking/anti-bullying etc campaign
▪ How effective has the anti-smoking campaign been?
an anti-virus program
▪ You should update your anti-virus program regularly.
an ants' nest
▪ a red ants' nest
an anxious/troubled/worried expression
▪ She stood looking at me with an anxious expression.
an apartment block
▪ I met him at his apartment block in Manhattan.
an apartment building (also an apartment block British English apartment house American English)
▪ a five-storey apartment block
▪ Our apartment building is the last block on the right, opposite the bank.
an apartment complex (=a group of buildings containing apartments)
an apartment complexAmerican English
▪ a luxury apartment complex on Fulton Street
an apocryphal story (=one that is well-known but probably not true)
▪ There are many apocryphal stories about him.
an apparent lack of sth (=one that seems to exist)
▪ Adam's apparent lack of concern angered his brother.
an apparent similarity (=one that seems similar but really is not)
▪ Many apparent similarities became less convincing on closer examination.
an appeal fails/succeeds
▪ If the appeal fails, he will serve his full sentence.
an appeal fund (=money collected to help people who are in a very bad situation)
▪ The appeal fund has now reached £65,000.
an appeal/request for aid
▪ International aid agencies launched an appeal for emergency aid.
an appeals court/court of appeal (=dealing with cases in which people are not satisfied with a decision)
▪ The appeals court rejected the defence’s argument.
an application form
▪ Simply fill in the application form and return it to your bank.
an appointment card (=one with your appointments on)
▪ The dentist gave me a new appointment card.
an appreciative comment (=showing that you think something is good or nice)
▪ Appreciative comments may improve your staff’s performance.
an approaching storm (=one that is coming closer)
▪ The horizon was dark with an approaching storm.
an appropriate measure (=a measure that is suitable for a particular situation)
▪ In the event of an assault, staff will need to take appropriate measures to defend themselves.
an appropriate response
▪ She laughed, which didn't really seem an appropriate response.
an appropriate/apt metaphor (=a very suitable one)
▪ Building on sand is an apt metaphor for the challenge we face.
an approval/popularity rating
▪ His popularity rating remains high.
an approving nod/glance/smile etc
an approximate/rough figure
▪ He gave us an approximate figure for the cost of the repairs.
an aptitude test (=a test that measures your natural abilities)
an arable farm (=a farm where crops are grown)
▪ Tractors represent the single biggest cost on most arable farms.
an arable field (=one used for growing crops)
▪ Barley was growing in the arable fields surrounding the castle.
an arable/agricultural crop (=grown on farm land)
▪ A lot of woodland has been cleared for arable crops.
an arch enemy (=main enemy, used for emphasis)
▪ The comic book character Lex Luthor is Superman’s arch enemy.
an archaeological site
▪ Archaeological sites are often discovered by accident.
an Arctic/Antarctic expedition
▪ I accompanied the explorer on one of his Arctic expeditions.
an ardent/fervent supporter (=very enthusiastic)
▪ She is an ardent supporter of the government's proposed tax reforms.
an arduous journey (=to a place that is difficult to reach)
▪ the arduous journey to the North Pole
an arduous task (=needing a lot of effort and hard work)
▪ We began the arduous task of carrying the furniture to the top floor.
an area of conflict (=a subject or matter that causes conflict)
▪ There may be many areas of conflict between parents and teenagers.
an area of disagreement (=an idea or subject that people disagree about)
▪ Substantial areas of disagreement still exist between scientists.
an area/field of research
▪ This is a very exciting area of research.
an argument breaks out (=it starts)
▪ The men were drunk and an argument soon broke out.
an argument erupts (=a big argument suddenly starts)
▪ A bitter argument erupted between the brothers over who should inherit the money.
an armed attack
▪ Armed attacks against Israeli settlements are on the increase.
an armed clash (=involving the use of weapons)
▪ The violence could soon become armed clashes and even a war.
an armed convoy (=carrying weapons)
▪ a heavily armed convoy of three vehicles
an armed gang (=with guns)
▪ An armed gang stole jewels worth more than five million pounds.
an armed terrorist
▪ They were gunned down by armed terrorists outside their hotel.
an arms embargo (=one that stops weapons being sold or sent to a country)
▪ Ministers knew that the arms embargo was being broken.
an arms/weapons deal (=one which involves selling weapons)
▪ A number of recent arms deals have embarrassed the government.
an army base/camp
▪ the local army base
an army officer
▪ Both daughters married army officers.
an army recruit
▪ The army recruits must undergo basic training.
an army unit
▪ The town was surrounded by army units.
an army/naval/military etc officer
an arranged marriage (=when your parents choose the person you will marry)
▪ In their culture, there is a tradition of arranged marriage.
an arrestable/indictable offence (=one that you can be arrested for or must go to court for)
▪ Indictable offences are tried by a jury in a Crown Court.
an arson attack (=intended to destroy a building by burning it)
▪ Ten classrooms were completely destroyed in the arson attack.
an art collection
▪ the National Gallery’s art collection
an art gallery
▪ a guide to the city's museums and art galleries
an article appears in a newspaper/magazine
▪ A couple of articles appeared in local papers, but nothing else.
an artificial environment
▪ Animals hate being confined in an artificial environment.
an artificial pitchBritish English
▪ The club is building a new artificial training pitch at its sports ground.
an artistic director (=person who controls which plays a theatre produces and how they are produced)
▪ The artistic director announced that a new play would be staged next month.
an art/music/drama college
▪ The Music College was founded in 1869.
an arts centre (=for art, music, theatre, film etc)
▪ Shall we go to the concert at the arts centre on Saturday?
an arts degree (=in a subject that is not science)
▪ She has an arts degree from Sussex University.
an assassination attempt (=an attempt to kill a leader)
▪ De Gaulle survived an assassination attempt in 1961.
an assassination plot
▪ The assassination plot to kill General de Gaulle was unsuccessful.
an assault case
▪ She had to attend court as a witness in an assault case.
an assault charge
▪ He’s in jail on an assault charge.
an assistant coach
▪ He took a job as an assistant coach at the college.
an associate member (=one who has fewer rights than a full member)
▪ Turkey is an associate member of the European Union.
an atmosphere of tension
▪ Voting took place in an atmosphere of tension.
an atom/atomic bomb
▪ Oppenheimer was the father of the atomic bomb.
an attack happens/takes place (also an attack occursformal)
▪ The attack took place at around 10 pm Thursday.
an attack of nerves (=a time when you feel very nervous)
▪ Harrison had an attack of nerves before the match.
an attempt fails/succeeds
▪ All attempts to find a cure have failed.
an attempted/abortive/failed coup (=one that did not succeed)
▪ There was an attempted coup against Togo’s military dictator.
an attitude exists
▪ This attitude no longer exists in the church.
an attitude of mindBritish English (= a way of thinking)
▪ Being young is simply an attitude of mind.
an attractive feature
▪ The house had many attractive features, notably the large garden.
an attractive option (=one that sounds or is good)
▪ If time is short, taking the car to northern France is an attractive option.
an attractive proposition
▪ Setting up your own business is a very attractive proposition.
an attractive/handsome/pleasing etc appearance
▪ Large blue eyes set in a long thin face give him a striking and attractive appearance.
an audible sigh (=a sigh that can be heard)
▪ Tonight she breathed an audible sigh of relief as the show ended.
an audience cheers
▪ The audience cheered loudly when he came on stage.
an audience claps
▪ Most of the audience clapped but a few people jeered.
an audience laughs
▪ He has the ability to make an audience laugh.
an audio commentary (=a recorded commentary that you listen to)
▪ The DVD extras include an audio commentary by the film director.
an auspicious/inauspicious start (=one that makes it seem likely that something will be good or bad)
▪ His second term in office has got off to an extremely inauspicious start.
an authoritarian regime (=with very strong control)
▪ The post-war authoritarian regimes of eastern Europe have been replaced by democratically elected governments.
an authority figure (=someone, such as a parent or teacher, who has the power to tell young people what they can do)
▪ The teacher is an authority figure, like the parent.
an automatic weapon (=an automatic gun)
▪ He was shot 120 times with automatic weapons.
an autonomous region/state/republic etc
▪ Galicia is an autonomous region of Spain.
an autopsy report (also a post-mortem report British English) (= that shows the results of an examination on a dead body to find the cause of death)
▪ The autopsy report gave the cause of death as alcohol poisoning.
an auxiliary verb (=a verb that is used with another verb to show its tense, person, etc. In English these are 'be', 'do', and 'have')
an average length
▪ These worms grow to an average length of about 1 metre.
an average speed
▪ Our average speed was 88 mph.
an avid/voracious reader (=someone who eagerly reads a lot of books)
▪ She was an avid reader of historical novels.
an award schemeBritish English
▪ The league started a new award scheme for young players.
an award winner
▪ The award winners will be announced in December.
an awards ceremony (=to give people prizes for good achievements)
▪ the annual television awards ceremony
an awards ceremony
▪ My parents wanted to be at the awards ceremony.
▪ The stars are gathering for the annual awards ceremony.
an away game (=played at an opposing team's sports field)
▪ We didn't win any away games last season.
an away match (=played at the place where the opponent usually practises)
▪ This is their last away match of the season.
An awful lot of (=a large number of people)
An awful lot of people died in the war.
an awful lot (also a whole lotinformal) (= a very large amount or number)
▪ He spends an awful lot of time on the computer.
an awful/appalling tragedy (=very unpleasant and shocking)
▪ This is an appalling tragedy which will haunt us for the rest of our lives.
an awkward pause
▪ After an awkward pause, Ray began to answer my question.
an awkward position
▪ My foot was in an awkward position.
an awkward question (=one that someone does not want to answer)
▪ How can we keep the press from asking awkward questions?
an awkward/uncomfortable/embarrassed silence
▪ ‘Fred tells me you like books,’ Steve said, after an awkward silence.
an ear/eye infection
▪ She was given antibiotics for an ear infection.
an earlier version
▪ The President vetoed an earlier version of the bill.
an early diagnosis (=at an early stage of a disease)
▪ Early diagnosis gives patients the best chance of recovery.
an early end
▪ Hopes of an early end to the conflict are fading.
an early frost (=one that happens before winter)
▪ I hoped the early frost wasn’t a sign of a bad winter to come.
an early lead (=a lead early in a game, election etc)
▪ Liverpool took an early lead with a goal from Steven Gerrard.
an early night (=when you go to bed early)
▪ I'm really tired - I need an early night.
an early sign (=a sign near the beginning of something that shows that it is happening, or that it exists)
▪ an early sign of spring
an early stage (=near the beginning of a process)
▪ Patients can be treated with drugs, especially at the early stage of the disease.
an early/earlier draft (=written before others)
▪ In earlier drafts of the speech, he criticized the pace of political progress.
an early/initial setback (=happening quite soon)
▪ The policy has been successful, despite some early setbacks.
an early/late breakfast
▪ We had an early breakfast and left before 7.30.
an early/late shift
▪ Nobody wants to do the late shift.
an early/late start
▪ It was long trip so we had planned an early start.
an earthquake destroys/damages sth
▪ The earthquake completely destroyed all the buildings on the island.
an earthquake happens (also an earthquake occursformal)
▪ Scientists cannot predict when an earthquake will occur.
an earthquake hits/strikes a place (=happens in a particular place)
▪ The region was struck by a major earthquake last year.
an earthquake measures 5/6.4 etc on the Richter Scale
▪ The earthquake, which measured 7.6 on the Richter scale, left more than 20,000 homeless.
an earthquake zone (=where earthquakes are quite likely to happen)
▪ It’s not advisable to build nuclear reactors in an earthquake zone.
an easterly/westerly etc breeze
▪ A gentle easterly breeze was blowing in from the Atlantic.
an easy mistake (to make)
▪ She looks like her sister, so it’s an easy mistake to make.
an easy movement (=without effort)
▪ She swung her legs off the bed in one easy movement.
an easy option (also a soft option British English) (= a choice which is not difficult, or which needs the least effort)
▪ For most people, divorce is never an easy option.
an easy victory
▪ Arsenal expected an easy victory.
an easy walk
▪ From here it is an easy walk to the summit.
an easy way
▪ Here’s an easy way to cut up a mango.
an easy win
▪ The Australian appeared to be heading for an easy win.
an easy/difficult child (=easy or difficult to deal with)
▪ Marcus was a very happy, easy child.
an easy/soft target
▪ Some criminals now regard churches as easy targets.
an eating disorder (=in which someone stops eating a normal amount of food)
▪ Eating disorders can be very difficult to treat.
an eating disorder (=a mental illness which causes you to eat too much or too little)
▪ She described her battle with the eating disorder bulimia.
an eating/dessert apple (=one which is sweet enough to eat)
▪ Use dessert apples for this recipe.
an ebb tide (=the flow of the sea away from the shore)
▪ We sailed out to sea on the ebb tide.
an ecological/environmental disaster (=causing great damage to nature)
▪ This region is facing an ecological disaster as a result of toxic waste.
an economic boom
▪ the postwar economic boom
an economic crisis (=a situation in which there are a lot of problems with the economy, that must be dealt with quickly so the situation does not get worse)
▪ The country’s economic crisis continues to deepen as workers demonstrated against rising food prices.
an economic embargo (=one that does not allow any trade or financial business with a country)
▪ He asked for an immediate end to the economic embargo imposed last year.
an economic enterprise (=one that is intended to make money)
▪ It's an economic enterprise, not a charity.
an economic forecast
▪ The Bank of England revised its economic forecast in the wake of the figures.
an economic impact
▪ It is difficult to measure the economic impact of the war.
an economic indicator (=something that shows how well the economy of a country is doing, and what is likely to happen to it in the future)
▪ The main economic indicators show that the economy is still in decline.
an economic migrant (=someone who goes to another country to find a better job)
▪ They are economic migrants, escaping terrible poverty in their home country.
an economic miracle
▪ Brazil seemed to be experiencing an economic miracle.
an economic motive
▪ Many people believed that there were economic motives to the decision to go to war.
an economic policy (=the way in which a government manages the economy of a country or area)
▪ Controlling inflation is the main aim of the government’s economic policy.
an economic programme
▪ The party did not have a clear economic programme.
an economic recession
▪ The economic recession of the '70s led to a fall in recruitment.
an economic recovery
▪ The U.S. is showing solid signs of an economic recovery.
an economic sector (=one part of the economy)
▪ The country is making efforts to expand such economic sectors as tourism and information technology.
an economic slowdown/downturn (=when businesses become less successful)
▪ Experts are predicting an economic slowdown at the beginning of next year.
an economic strategy
▪ The government has changed its economic strategy.
an economic theory
▪ His economic theory assumes that both labour and capital are perfectly mobile.
an economic zone (=an area with special trade or tax conditions)
▪ The area has been made a special economic zone.
an economic/military/business/political etc objective
▪ We have made good progress towards meeting our business objectives.
an economic/political/financial etc crisis
▪ The country was headed into an economic crisis.
an editorial column (=that expresses the opinion of a newspaper editor)
▪ the Financial Times editorial column
an educated/informed guess (=a guess based on things that you know are correct)
▪ Stockbrokers try to make educated guesses as to which stocks will do well.
an education authority (=a government organization that makes official decisions about education in one particular area)
▪ The school is funded by the local education authority.
an education centre
▪ Many elderly people come to the education centre to learn to use computers.
an educational aim
▪ the educational aims of the school
an educational establishment (=a school, college etc)
▪ It’s a large educational establishment with over 2,000 pupils.
an education/health/sports etc correspondent
▪ Here is our sports correspondent with all the details.
an eerie silence (=one that is strange and rather frightening)
▪ An eerie silence descended over the house.
an effect lasts (=continues)
▪ The effect of the drug lasts about six hours.
an effect wears off (=gradually stops)
▪ The effect of the anaesthetic was beginning to wear off.
an effective cure
▪ A few decades ago there was no effective cure for the disease.
an effective means
▪ Is reducing the speed limit an effective means of reducing accidents?
an effective method
▪ Exams are not the most effective method of assessing students’ abilities.
an effective partnership
▪ The agency tries to forge effective partnerships with communities and private businesses.
an effective solution
▪ The government has failed to come up with an effective solution.
an effective solution
▪ The most effective solution to traffic congestion is to build more roads.
an effective system
▪ The country has a simple but effective welfare system.
an effective technique
▪ This is an effective technique for removing unwanted hair.
an effective treatment
▪ Antibiotics are still the most effective treatment for this disease.
an effective way
▪ What’s the most effective way to control crime?
an effective/efficient means
▪ Speed bumps are an effective means of stopping cars from going too fast.
an effective/successful campaign
▪ The Conservatives failed to mount an effective campaign.
an efficient means
▪ The tram is a very efficient means of transport.
an efficient method
▪ The railways used to provide a cheap efficient method of travel.
an efficient service
▪ We aim to provide our clients with an efficient and friendly service.
an efficient system
▪ We need a more efficient system for collecting money.
an efficient way
▪ Email is an efficient way of contacting a large number of people.
an effort of will (=a big effort to do something that you find difficult because of the way you feel)
▪ It took a huge effort of will not to cry.
an effort of will (=a determined effort to do something you do not want to do)
▪ With a great effort of will, she resisted the temptation to look at the letter.
an elaborate lie
▪ Her parents didn’t realise that it was all an elaborate lie.
an elaborate pretence (=one that is carefully planned and done, but obviously not true or real )
▪ He made an elaborate pretence of yawning and said he was going to bed.
an elaborate system
▪ The proposal has to get through an elaborate system of committees.
an elected politician
▪ Are the country’s elected politicians trustworthy?
an election broadcastBritish English (= a programme by a party saying why people should vote for them in an election)
▪ a Conservative Party election broadcast
an election broadcast (=shown before an election to persuade people to vote for a party)
▪ a Labour party election broadcast
an election campaign
▪ The election campaign got off to a bad start.
an election candidateBritish English (= someone trying to be elected in an election)
▪ Local party members choose the election candidates.
an election promise/pledge (=one that is made while a person or party is trying to be elected)
▪ The government has broken all its election promises.
an election rally (=a public meeting to support a politician or party before an election)
▪ He drove to Paris to address an election rally.
an election rally
▪ The senator was due to address an election rally that evening.
an election victory/defeat
▪ He became prime minister after a decisive election victory.
an election year (=a year in which there is an election)
▪ The Chancellor won’t raise taxes in an election year.
an election/campaign/manifesto pledge
▪ The governor had kept her campaign pledge to slash taxes.
an election/electoral campaign
▪ He was candidate in the 2008 election campaign.
an election/electoral defeat
▪ It was their worst general election defeat since 1982.
an election/electoral victory
▪ The Democrats were celebrating their election victory.
an electoral alliance (=made between parties before an election)
▪ The weaker Liberal Democratic party was now considering an electoral alliance with Labour.
an electoral mandate (=gained by winning an election)
▪ Ford took over when Nixon resigned, and thus did not have an electoral mandate of his own.
an electoral/election contest
▪ What will be the outcome of the electoral contest?
an electrical storm (=one with lightning)
▪ Power supplies have been affected by severe electrical storms in some parts of the country.
an electric/electricity cable
▪ Be careful you don't cut through an electric cable.
an electricity bill (=a bill you have to pay for electricity you have used)
▪ I pay my electricity bill by direct debit.
an electricity company
▪ Some electricity companies may be able to offer you an environmentally friendly option.
an electricity/gas/phone etc bill
▪ I’ll have to pay the gas bill too next month.
an electronic calculator
▪ Candidates may use electronic calculators in the exam.
an electronic device
▪ The shops are always full of new electronic devices.
an electronic dictionary (=small electronic machine containing a dictionary)
▪ Electronic dictionaries are very popular in Japan.
an electronic instrument
▪ An electronic instrument requires no tuning and very little maintenance.
an element of doubt (=a slight doubt)
▪ There’s an element of doubt about his true age as he doesn’t have a birth certificate.
an element of luck (=an amount of luck that is involved in something)
▪ There is always an element of luck when hiring someone for a job.
an element of mystery (=part of something that seems mysterious)
▪ There is an element of mystery and miracle in the process.
an elementary/intermediate/advanced course
▪ an advanced course in art and design
an element/degree of risk (=some risk, but not much)
▪ There is always an element of risk in flying.
an email address
▪ What’s your email address?
an email attachment (=a computer file sent in an email)
▪ Don’t open an email attachment unless you know who sent it.
an email message
▪ I can send email messages on my phone.
an email/mail message (=a message that you receive by email)
▪ Just send me an email message to let me know what time.
an embarrassed silence
▪ There was an embarrassed silence, then Gina laughed loudly.
an embarrassed smile/laugh/grin
▪ Lucy gave an embarrassed smile and looked down at her feet.
an embarrassing incident
▪ He left after an embarrassing incident in the bar.
an embarrassing question
▪ The media began to ask embarrassing questions about MPs' expenses.
an emergency call (=to the police, fire service, or ambulance service)
▪ The police normally respond immediately to an emergency call.
an emergency meeting (=a meeting that is arranged quickly to discuss a very serious situation)
▪ The cabinet held an emergency meeting earlier today.
an emergency operation (=a medical operation that is carried out quickly when someone has been injured or become ill suddenly)
▪ He had an emergency operation to save his sight.
an emergency operation
▪ He had to have his spleen removed in an emergency operation.
an emergency session (=a political meeting that is arranged quickly to discuss a very serious situation)
▪ an emergency session of the UN Security Council
an emergency situation
▪ If an emergency situation arises, the pilot and crew must stay calm.
an emergency vehicle (=an ambulance or fire engine)
▪ Emergency vehicles rushed to the scene.
an emergency/urgent meeting
▪ The Council has called an emergency meeting to decide what action to take.
an emerging/fledgling democracy (=new)
▪ the emerging democracies of Eastern Europe
an emotional bond
▪ As soon as we met we felt an emotional bond.
an emotional reaction (=showing strong emotion, especially by crying)
▪ I was surprised by her emotional reaction to the news.
an emotional response
▪ When she died, the emotional response was extraordinary.
an emotional speech (=showing emotions, especially by crying)
▪ On retiring, she delivered an emotional farewell speech.
an emotional/psychological impact
▪ Their mother’s death had a huge emotional impact on the children.
an empire collapses (=fails and ends suddenly)
▪ When the business empire collapsed, thousands of employees lost their jobs.
an empire crumbles (=loses power gradually)
▪ The vast empire was beginning to crumble.
an empire falls/collapses (=loses power suddenly)
▪ In A.D.476, the western part of the Empire collapsed.
an empire grows
▪ As the empire grew, its new territories needed to be protected.
an employee joins a company/firm etc
▪ Employees who join the firm after April receive a percentage of the annual bonus.
an employee leaves
▪ When a senior employee leaves the company, we hold an exit interview.
an employment contract (also a contract of employment) (= an official document stating the details about someone’s employment)
▪ There is a clause in your employment contract covering holiday entitlement.
an empty chair (=with no one using it)
▪ She came and sat in an empty chair beside me.
an empty gesture (=something you do that does not achieve anything important)
▪ The President's attempt at negotiation was an empty gesture which failed to satisfy his critics.
an empty slogan (=a slogan that promises something which is not actually done)
▪ We want real progress, not just empty slogans.
an empty space
▪ Another day we returned to find an empty space where the TV should have been.
an empty/idle threat (=one that is not sincere)
▪ She was not a woman to make idle threats.
an empty/idle/vain boast (=a false statement that something is good or possible)
▪ ‘Making knowledge work’ is the university’s phrase, and it is no idle boast not a boast, but true.
an empty/vacant seat
▪ Patrick spotted an empty seat near the back.
an end in itself (=the thing that you want to achieve)
▪ The programme is not an end in itself, but rather the first step the prisoner takes towards a new life.
an endless/inexhaustible supply (=one that does not end, or seems not to end)
▪ He has an endless supply of jokes.
an enduring myth (=that has continued for a long time)
▪ The idea that Kennedy was shot by the CIA is one of the enduring myths of our time.
an enemy force (=a military group that is your enemy)
▪ The town is occupied by enemy forces.
an enemy position (=a place controlled by an enemy army)
▪ General Hunt ordered an air strike on the enemy positions.
an enemy spy
▪ He gave information to enemy spies.
an energy bill
▪ We are looking at ways of cutting our energy bill.
an energy company
▪ a state-owned energy company
an energy crisis
▪ Europe could soon face an energy crisis.
an energy shortage
▪ California experienced energy shortages that in turn led to power outages.
an energy source
▪ We hope to see increased usage of renewable energy sources.
an energy/oil/fuel crisis
▪ There is an energy crisis here, with power cuts happening daily.
an engagement ring
▪ I noticed that she had an engagement ring on her finger.
an engaging personality (=pleasant, so that people like you)
▪ He is strikingly handsome with a very engaging personality.
an engine cuts out (=stops suddenly)
▪ The engine keeps cutting out.
an engine idles/ticks over (=runs slowly while the vehicle, machine etc is not moving)
▪ The taxi waited at the kerb, its engine idling noisily.
an engine runs
▪ He parked outside the bank and kept the engine running.
an engineering/building/electronics etc firm
▪ Fred worked for an electronics firm.
an English/a full breakfast (=a big breakfast with bacon, egg, toast etc - used especially in hotels)
▪ A lot of people like to have an English breakfast on holiday.
an English/American/French etc equivalent
▪ Savings and loan associations are the American equivalent of Britain’s building societies.
an English/French etc translation
▪ He wrote the first English translation of Homer’s 'Iliad'.
an English/history/politics etc essay
▪ He got a good grade for his English essay.
an enterprise economy (=an economic system in which there are many private businesses)
▪ An enterprise economy can generate wealth and reduce unemployment.
an enterprise zone (=an area created by the government to attract businesses)
▪ Many firms relocate to enterprise zones because of tax incentives.
an enterprise zone (=where businesses are encouraged)
▪ Small businesses predominated in the enterprise zone.
an entertainment complex (=with cinemas, restaurants and other places to go)
▪ There are plans for an entertainment complex with cinemas and a bowling alley.
an entertainment district (=where there are a lot of bars, clubs etc)
▪ Visitors to Roppongi, Tokyo’s entertainment district, come to experience the latest fashions and have fun.
an enthusiastic amateur (=someone with a fairly low level of skill who tries hard)
▪ There are a few professionals in the race, but most are enthusiastic amateurs.
an enthusiastic audience
▪ They drew enthusiastic audiences at Europe's biggest rock festival.
an enthusiastic response
▪ There has been an enthusiastic response to the introduction of soccer coaching for girls.
an enthusiastic/keen supporter
▪ Eisenhower had been an enthusiastic supporter of the regime.
an enthusiastic/rapturous/rousing reception (=in which people show a lot of approval in a noisy way)
▪ She received an enthusiastic reception.
an entrance exam (=in order to enter a school or university)
▪ Jane passed the entrance exam but decided not to go.
an entrance examination (=to enter a school or university )
▪ He had now failed the college entrance examination twice.
an entrance gate/door
▪ Soldiers were guarding the entrance gate.
an entrance hall (=a room at the entrance to a building)
▪ He walked through the front door into the entrance hall.
an entrance lobby/foyer (=an area at the entrance to a large building)
▪ There was no sign of her in the entrance foyer.
an entrance/entry fee (=a fee to enter a place)
▪ The gallery charges an entrance fee.
an entry point (=a place where people can enter a country)
▪ The 2,000 mile border is the main entry point into the country for illegal aliens.
an entry ticket (=a ticket that allows you to enter a place)
▪ The holiday includes a 2-day entry ticket to the Euro Disneyland Theme Park.
an entry visa (=a visa which allows you to enter a country)
▪ Visitors to the United States must first obtain an entry visa.
an entry/exit visa
▪ All foreigners need an entry visa.
an enviable position (=a situation that other people would like to be in)
▪ He is in the enviable position of not needing to work.
an enviable reputation (=a good one that others would like to have)
▪ The company has established an enviable reputation for quality.
an environmental group
▪ a campaign by environmental groups to protect the Antarctic
an environmental hazard (=a danger or problem in the environment)
▪ Oil from the tanker caused an environmental hazard.
an environmental impact
▪ The environmental impact of the construction project is being investigated.
an environmental problem
▪ Air pollution is our most serious environmental problem.
an epic journey (=a very long and eventful journey)
▪ Lewis and Clark made their epic journey across the continental United States in the early 1800s.
an equal number/amount
▪ Both candidates received an equal number of votes.
an equal partnership
▪ They regard marriage as an equal partnership.
an equal probability
▪ Each new baby has an approximately equal probability of inheriting maleness or femaleness.
an equalizing goalBritish English (= a goal that gives you the same number of points as your opponent)
▪ A loud cheer went up as he scored the equalizing goal.
an equestrian statue (=a statue of someone riding a horse)
▪ He presented the city with an equestrian statue of King William.
an era begins
▪ A new era began for Northern Ireland with the signing of the peace agreement.
an era ends
▪ The era of cheap oil has ended.
an error arises/occursformal (= happens)
▪ If an error occurs, you will have two more chances to re-enter your password.
an escape attempt/bid
▪ She made several unsuccessful escape attempts before finally getting away.
an escape plan
▪ You should have an escape plan in the event of a fire.
an escape route
▪ All their escape routes had been blocked.
an escape route (=a way of leaving a building or place in an emergency such as a fire)
▪ Check that your escape route is clear.
an escaped prisoner
▪ Soldiers arrived, looking for escaped prisoners.
an essay question
▪ We practised essay questions from previous exam papers.
an essay title
▪ You will find a list of essay titles on the notice board.
an essay topic
▪ Students will be given six essay topics, from which they must choose two.
an essential component
▪ Controlling inflation is an essential component of the government’s economic strategy.
an essential difference
▪ The essential difference between the two boats lies in the design of the hull.
an essential feature
▪ A free press is an essential feature of a democracy.
an essential ingredient
▪ Most people believe that love is an essential ingredient in a marriage.
an essential requirement
▪ Confidence is an essential requirement for success.
an essential/fundamental difference (=a very basic one)
▪ The fundamental differences between the two sides slowly emerged.
an essential/important item
▪ Salt was an important item in the Roman economy.
an established convention (=one that has been used for a long time)
▪ There are established conventions for how you should end a letter.
an established custom
▪ He had criticized some of the school’s established customs.
an established fact (=a piece of information that has been tested and shown to be true)
▪ It is an established fact that 1 in 10 undergraduates leave university in their first year.
an established institution (=an official organization that has existed for a long time)
▪ The incoming prime minister was critical of many established government institutions.
an estate carBritish English (= one with a door at the back and folding seats)
▪ Once you have children, an estate car is very useful.
an estimate puts sth at sth
▪ Independent estimates put the number of refugees at 50,000.
an eternity ring (=a ring given as a sign of lasting love, especially one with stones all round it)
an ethical minefield
▪ The issue of animal testing is an ethical minefield.
an ethnic clash (=between people of different races)
▪ 20 people died in ethnic clashes before Christmas.
an ethnic community (=people of a particular race, usually one that is not white or not the majority in a country)
▪ Most members of ethnic communities in Britain were born here.
an ethnic group (=one whose members belong to a particular race or nation)
▪ The university welcomes enquiries and applications from all ethnic groups.
an ethnic group
▪ People of Ukrainian descent are Canada’s fifth largest ethnic group.
an ethnic identity (=the feeling of belonging to one race or national group)
▪ These small tribal communities share a common ethnic identity.
an ethnic minority (=a small ethnic group living within a much larger group)
▪ Ethnic minorities have tended to live together in the same areas of the city.
an ethnic mix (=a mixture of people from different ethnic groups who live in the same place)
▪ The city has a wonderful ethnic mix.
an ethnic Russian/Albanian etc (=someone whose family is Russian etc, but who is living in another country)
▪ Romania’s 1.6 million ethnic Hungarians make up about 7 percent of the country’s population.
an etymological dictionary (=showing the origin and history of words)
▪ Etymological dictionaries show how languages borrow words from each other.
an even number (=2, 4, 6, 8 etc)
▪ All even numbers can be divided by 2.
an evening bag (=a small bag that a woman takes out with her in the evening)
▪ She put her lipstick in a black velvet evening bag.
an evening breeze
▪ People were out walking, enjoying the evening breeze.
an evening class
▪ Mum goes to an evening class on Tuesdays.
an evening dress (=a formal dress to wear in the evening)
▪ She arrived in a red evening dress.
an evening meal
▪ I was just preparing the evening meal when the phone rang.
an evening newspaper/paper
▪ I bought an evening newspaper to read on my way home.
an evening paper
▪ Ian usually buys an evening paper on his way home.
an evening suit (=a formal suit that men wear to social events in the evening)
▪ He put on a black evening suit.
an evening/midday meal
▪ The evening meal is served at 7.30.
an event happens/takes place (also an event occursformal)
▪ The event took place last year.
an everyday/commonplace experience (=one that is typical of normal life)
▪ The sound of gunfire is an everyday experience in the city.
an evil spell
▪ The people still believe in evil spells.
an exact copy/replica (=something which has been made, that is exactly like another thing)
▪ The vessel is an exact replica of a Viking longboat.
an exact equivalent (=something that has exactly the same meaning, purpose, value etc as something else)
▪ There is no exact equivalent in English for the phrase.
an exact match (=something that is exactly the same as something else)
▪ The two DNA samples were an exact match.
an exam essay/script (=that someone has written during an exam)
▪ I’ve brought in some old exam scripts for us to look at.
an exam paper
▪ I’ve still got dozens of exam papers to mark.
an exam question
▪ Read the exam questions carefully before writing your answers.
an exam/a test question
▪ You have to answer twenty exam questions.
an examination paper
▪ There will be a choice of questions on the examination paper.
an examination pass
▪ To apply, you need at least two A-level examination passes.
an examination question
▪ Read the examination questions carefully before writing your answers.
an examination script (=everything that someone writes in an examination)
▪ I've just finished marking 200 examination scripts.
an examination shows (also an examination revealsformal)
▪ A second examination showed a small growth in his stomach.
an example shows/illustrates sth
▪ These examples show how the disease can be passed on to humans.
an exceptional case
▪ In the 1950s, some working class students went on to university, but these were exceptional cases.
an exceptional event
▪ If an exceptional event occurs, such as the death of a family member, you can ask for the court case to be postponed.
an excessive use of sth
▪ Farmers have been criticized for their excessive use of chemical fertilizers.
an exchange market (=a financial market where different currencies are bought and sold)
▪ The pound rose against the dollar on the world foreign currency exchange markets.
an exchange of views (=when people say what they think, especially when they disagree)
▪ There was a frank exchange of views at the meeting.
an exciting development (=a change that makes a product, situation etc better)
▪ This exciting development could mark the end of the long-running conflict.
an exciting discovery
▪ The existence of the new solar system was a very exciting discovery.
an exciting new sth
▪ There are many exciting new developments in cancer research.
an exciting opportunity
▪ The job offers an exciting career opportunity for the right individual.
an exciting possibility
▪ Penny allowed herself to consider the exciting possibility that Jack might be at the party.
an exciting prospect (=an event in the future, about which you feel excited)
▪ For the team, there’s the exciting prospect of travelling to many major cities.
an exciting prospect (=a person who has a good chance of success in the future)
▪ His pace and skill mark him as one of the most exciting prospects in Super League.
an exciting time
▪ It was the most exciting time of my life.
an exclusive club (=only open to particular people)
▪ Unfortunately, I’m not a member of the exclusive club of millionaires.
an exclusive deal/contract (=one that says that no other person or company can do the same job)
▪ Our firm has an exclusive contract to handle the company’s legal affairs.
an exclusive hotel
▪ With its marble columns and crystal chandeliers, the Crillon is one of the most exclusive hotels in Paris.
an exclusive neighbourhoodBritish English, an exclusive neighborhood AmE:
▪ Some of these kids are from the most exclusive neighbourhoods.
an exclusive report/interview/picture (=appearing in only one newspaper or magazine)
▪ The newspaper featured exclusive pictures of the couple’s new baby.
an exclusive school
▪ Marjorie went to an exclusive girls’ school.
an exclusive shop (also an exclusive store American English)
▪ I walked along Bond Street, past all the exclusive shops.
an exclusive suburb/area
▪ They live in an exclusive suburb on the north side of the city.
an execution takes place (=it happens)
▪ In Elizabethan times, the execution of traitors took place on Tower Hill.
an executive committee (=that manages an organization and makes decisions for it)
▪ He sat on the firm's Executive Committee.
an executive order (=an order from a president)
▪ President Grant issued an executive order establishing a reservation for the Nex Perce Indians.
an exercise bike (=used for exercising indoors)
▪ I usually go on the exercise bike and the rowing machine.
an exercise class
▪ I usually go to my exercise class on Wednesdays.
an exercise programme/routine/regimeBritish English, an exercise program American English (= a plan that includes different types of exercise)
▪ The athletes follow an intensive exercise programme.
▪ I’m finding it quite hard to stick to my exercise routine.
an exhausted sleep (=because you were very tired)
▪ He finally woke from an exhausted sleep.
an exhibition centre
▪ The exhibition centre has an interesting display of contemporary art.
an exhibition centreBritish English, an exhibition center American English (= a large building for holding exhibitions)
▪ The exhibition will be held in the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.
an exhibition hall
▪ There’s a large exhibition hall on the ground floor.
an exhibition of sculpture
▪ a large exhibition of modern sculpture
an exhibition stand (=a stand for showing things at an exhibition)
▪ He took up his position at the exhibition stand.
an exhibition venue (=a place where exhibitions can be held)
▪ We are still looking for suitable exhibition venues.
an existing client (=one that you already have)
▪ We are very keen to keep our existing clients happy.
an exit door
▪ Exit doors shouldn’t be blocked at any time.
an exit poll (=when people are asked how they have just voted)
▪ The exit polls said that 46 percent of women had voted for Obama.
an exit route (=a way out of a building, plane etc, used in an emergency or a fire)
▪ Staff must become familiar with the building’s exit routes.
an exit sign (=one showing where an exit is)
▪ There was a red glowing exit sign over the door.
an exit sign (=one showing the names of places or roads near an exit)
▪ Stay on the same road until you see an exit sign for Rhode Island.
an exotic flower
▪ We grow exotic flowers from all over the world.
an exotic pet (=from a foreign country and not seen or found very often)
▪ Often the owners do not know how to care for these exotic pets.
an exotic/far-off destination (=far away from where you are, and exciting)
▪ The company arranges tours to exotic destinations such as Nepal.
an expansion plan
▪ The city’s ambitious expansion plans will require major investment.
an expansion programme
▪ The company’s aggressive expansion program will double the size of the chain in the next four years.
an expansion programme
▪ Such an aggressive expansion programme could double the business in five years.
an expensive commodity
▪ Consumers began to find that they could afford more expensive commodities.
an expensive gift
▪ He was always showering Louise with expensive gifts.
an expensive mistake (=a mistake which results in someone having to spend a lot of money)
▪ Choosing the wrong builder turned out to be an expensive mistake.
an expensive/cheap restaurant
▪ He took her out to an expensive restaurant.
an experienced driver (=who has a lot of experience of driving)
▪ Young drivers are ten times more likely to be killed on the road than experienced drivers.
an experiment shows/proves/demonstrates sth
▪ His experiment showed that lightning was a kind of electricity.
▪ The experiment proved that fabrics treated with the chemical are much less likely to catch fire.
an experiment to test/measure/find out sth
▪ We did an experiment to test the acidity of the soil.
an expert witness (=someone who has special knowledge, for example of medicine, and who talks about it in court)
▪ The jury had to choose between the conflicting testimonies of expert witnesses.
an explosion destroys sth
▪ Seven people died when the explosion destroyed the bus.
an explosion kills sb
▪ Last year, an underground explosion killed 82 miners.
an explosion occursformal
▪ The explosion occurred just off the coast of Greece.
an explosion of anger
▪ The verdict was greeted by an explosion of public anger.
an explosion of colourliterary
▪ After the rain, the desert bloomed in an explosion of color.
an explosion of interest in something
▪ There has been an explosion of interest in networking websites in the last few years.
an explosion of violence
▪ The army had to cope with the explosion of violence that followed the elections.
an explosion shakes sth
▪ A series of explosions shook the building.
an explosion takes place/happens
▪ The largest explosion took place at the main post office.
an explosive bullet
▪ An explosive bullet is a very unpleasant weapon.
an export ban (also a ban on exports)
▪ During the crisis, France imposed an export ban on British beef.
▪ The ban on exports was lifted in June.
an export crop (=grown to be exported)
▪ Cocoa is the country's main export crop.
an export licence (=an official document giving you permission to sell something to another country)
▪ You will have to submit an application for an export licence.
an export market
▪ The US is Scotland’s second largest export market after France.
an export permit
▪ An export permit is required for the export of this timber.
an export/import ban
▪ The export ban on live cattle was brought in some years ago.
an express coach (=travelling quickly without stopping much)
▪ Express coach services run throughout the day.
an express train/a fast train (=one that does not stop at many places)
▪ He boarded the express train to London.
an expression of anger
▪ She tried to protect the children from his expressions of anger.
an expression of concern
▪ His release from prison provoked expressions of concern from members of the public.
an expression of regret
▪ The military has not offered any expression of regret over the civilian loss of life.
an expression of surprise (=one showing that you are surprised)
▪ He looked at me with an expression of surprise.
an expression of sympathy
▪ There was no apology, no expression of sympathy for what Anna had suffered.
an expression of sympathy
▪ I murmured an expression of sympathy.
an extensive range
▪ The winner will receive a brand-new kitchen from Magnet’s extensive range.
an extensive survey
▪ We conducted an extensive survey asking patients to suggest ways in which the service could be improved.
an extensive/wide-ranging review
▪ He is currently conducting a wide-ranging review of public spending.
an extra ten minutes/three metres etc
▪ I asked for an extra two weeks to finish the work.
an extra/added incentive
▪ The cash prize gives contestants an added incentive to do well.
an extra/added/additional/further dimension
▪ Movies soon had the added dimension of sound.
an extra/additional charge
▪ Breakfast may be served in your bedroom at no extra charge.
an extra/additional cost
▪ At the campsite, many activities are available at no extra cost.
an extradition treaty (=one which says that people can be brought back to a country for trial)
▪ The United States has had an extradition treaty with Mexico since 1978.
an extreme emergency (=a situation that is very worrying or dangerous)
▪ These weapons should be used only in an extreme emergency.
an extreme example
▪ To give you an extreme example, one lady called the police fifteen times in a single evening.
an extreme position
▪ Few people hold this extreme position today.
an extreme sport (=one that is dangerous)
▪ Many teenagers are attracted to extreme sports such as snowboarding.
an eye for detail (=skill at noticing all the small features)
▪ He's a brilliant photographer with a fantastic eye for detail.
an eye test (also an eye exam American English) (= to find out how well you can see)
▪ You should have an eye test every couple of years.
an eye test/a sight test
▪ All children starting school are given a sight test.
an eye-witness account (=an account of an event, given by the person who saw it happen)
▪ an eye-witness account of the attack
an eyesight examination/test
▪ The cost of the eyesight examination may be refunded.
an eyewitness/first-hand report (=from someone who saw what happened)
▪ Some were beaten and tortured according to first-hand reports from former prisoners.
an honest mistake (=a mistake, and not a deliberate action)
▪ Thomas admitted he had broken the law, but said that it had been an honest mistake.
an honest/straight answer
▪ The honest answer is that I don’t know.
an honorary member (=one who has been given membership as an honour)
▪ He was made an honorary member of the Botanical Society.
an honoured guest (=one who is given special respect and treatment)
▪ They were the honoured guests of the Queen at the Royal Garden Party.
an honours degree (=a British university degree that is above pass level)
▪ The ideal candidate will have an honours degree.
an hour/three hours etc ago
▪ He left an hour ago.
an hour/three hours etc earlier/before
▪ I had just seen him a few hours earlier.
an hour/three hours etc later
▪ An hour later she arrived home.
an hour’s walk/drive etc
▪ It’s about an hour’s drive away.
an hour’s/a two hour etc drive
▪ It’s a two hour drive from Calais to Thiepval.
an hour’s/six hours' etc work (=work that it took you an hour/six hours etc to do)
▪ I did two hours’ work before breakfast.
an ice cube (=a small square piece of ice that you add to a drink)
▪ She put a couple of ice cubes in her glass.
an icy/biting/bitter wind (=very cold)
▪ She shivered in the icy wind.
an idea comes to sb (=someone suddenly thinks of an idea)
▪ The idea came to me while I was having a bath.
an identity paradeBritish English (= when someone looks at a line of people to see if they recognize a criminal)
▪ The victim identified her attacker from an identity parade.
an identity/ID card (=one that proves who you are)
▪ All US citizens must carry an identity card.
an idiomatic expression (=an idiom )
▪ Try to avoid using idiomatic expressions in an essay.
an idyllic setting (=a very beautiful and peaceful place)
▪ Three artists have come together to paint and teach in an idyllic setting in West Sussex.
an illegal act
▪ Driving without insurance is an illegal act.
an illegal immigrant
▪ Large numbers of illegal immigrants have found their way into the country.
an illegal migrant
▪ Thousands of illegal migrants were caught trying to cross the sea to England.
an illegal substance (=an illegal drug)
▪ Customs officials found an illegal substance in Smith’s luggage.
an illegal weapon
▪ He was charged with carrying an illegal weapon.
an illegal/banned/prohibited substance (=used mainly to refer to illegal drugs)
▪ Any player found guilty of using banned substances faces the prospect of a lengthy suspension.
an illegitimate baby (=born to an unmarried mother)
▪ The number of illegitimate babies is rising.
an illustrated lecture (=a lecture with pictures such as slides)
▪ Mrs Robinson gave a fascinating illustrated lecture on Spanish history.
an image consultant (=one who advises people how to improve their style or appearance)
▪ The new Prime Minister was advised to see an image consultant.
an image problem
▪ Politicians have an image problem as far as many young people are concerned.
an immediate ban
▪ The group has called for an immediate ban on fur farming.
an immediate goal (=that you need to achieve very soon)
▪ Our immediate goal is to cut costs.
an immediate halt
▪ The government called for an immediate halt to the fighting.
an immediate threat (=the possibility that something bad will happen very soon)
▪ The volcano erupted on Thursday but there is no immediate threat to nearby towns.
an immigrant community
▪ There are shops catering for the various immigrant communities.
an immigrant family
▪ A quarter of the school’s students are from immigrant families.
an impending disaster (=one that is going to happen soon)
▪ She had a sense of impending disaster.
an impertinent question (=one which you have no right to ask)
▪ She did not answer the maid’s impertinent question.
an import ban
▪ The US imposed an import ban on several types of fish.
an important commodity
▪ Crude oil is the world’s most important commodity.
an important consequence
▪ This discovery was an important consequence of his research.
an important constraint
▪ Their religious beliefs were an important constraint on their behaviour.
an important decision
▪ My father made all the important decisions.
an important element
▪ This one fact is the most important element of the theory.
an important engagement
▪ He had an important engagement with his solicitor.
an important exhibition
▪ an important exhibition of twentieth century art
an important factor
▪ Human influence has been an important factor as regards climate change.
an important feature
▪ The final-year project is an important feature of all undergraduate courses.
an important habitat
▪ The island is an important habitat for exotic animals.
an important issue
▪ The committee met several times to discuss this important issue.
an important means
▪ Surveys are an important means of gathering information.
an important moment
▪ This was probably the most important moment in his life.
an important move
▪ I cannot decide on such an important move on my own.
an important part
▪ Fresh fruit is an important part of our diet.
an important point
▪ That’s an important point to bear in mind.
an important precedent
▪ By doing this, an important precedent was established.
an important principle
▪ One important principle is that you should give yourself plenty of reward for your success.
an important sector
▪ Sport is now recognized as an important sector of economic activity.
an important topic
▪ The legal team will discuss a number of important topics.
an important/big question
▪ The book raises important questions about nationality and the role of a citizen.
an important/crucial distinction
▪ There is an important distinction between these two types of cancer.
an important/crucial match
▪ Luckily, all their players are fit for such an important match.
an important/essential characteristic
▪ An essential characteristic of good teaching is that it must create interest in the learner.
an important/major industry
▪ Agriculture is still a major industry in Scotland.
an important/major role
▪ She played an important role in her husband’s political career.
an important/major/big step
▪ The move is seen as a major step forward for UK firms.
an important/significant aspect
▪ A person’s nationality is an important aspect of their identity.
an important/significant event
▪ It’s natural to be nervous before such an important event.
an important/significant exception
▪ The treaty was ratified by all the EU member countries, with one significant exception, Britain.
an important/significant/crucial difference
▪ A study of the two groups of students showed a significant difference.
an important/significant/major influence
▪ Parents have an important influence on children's development.
▪ He was a major influence on my musical tastes.
an important/useful/valuable clue
▪ The car used in the robbery may provide important clues.
an import/export business
▪ Kingwell had an export business in New Zealand.
an import/export licence
▪ An export licence was issued in August last year.
an impossible dream (=about something that cannot happen)
▪ Having a number one record had seemed an impossible dream.
an impossible dream (=something you want, but will never happen)
▪ For a small club, winning the cup final will always be the impossible dream.
an impossible feat (=something that is impossible to do)
▪ She achieved the seemingly impossible feat of breaking the world record.
an impossible job/task
▪ He faced the impossible task of paying back huge debts.
an impossible position (=a very difficult situation)
▪ She was furious with Guy for putting her in such an impossible position.
an impressive/imposing building
▪ the impressive buildings around the town’s central square
an improved version
▪ The manufacturers come up with new, improved versions each year.
an improvement/rise in standards
▪ There has been an improvement in living standards.
an impulse buy (=buying something without having planned it)
▪ She admitted that the necklace had been an impulse buy.
an in-depth analysis (=detailed analysis))
▪ an in-depth analysis of global warming
an in-depth article (=one that is detailed)
▪ Each issue contains in-depth articles and photographs.
an inauguration ceremony (=when someone becomes President, Chancellor etc)
▪ It was the nation's 53rd inauguration ceremony.
an incentive scheme (=in which people receive money to persuade them to work harder)
▪ There is a generous incentive scheme for the sales force.
an incentive scheme/system
▪ The incentive scheme was introduced to encourage companies to use renewable energy sources.
an inch/25mm etc of rain
▪ Two inches of rain fell in twelve hours.
an incident happens
▪ The incident happened as Mrs Edwards was walking her dog.
an incident occursformal:
▪ The tragic incident occurred just after midnight.
an income bracket (=income level)
▪ In general, people in higher income brackets live longer.
an income group
▪ The budget will affect people differently, according to their income group.
an income level/group
▪ The tax rate rises with the individual’s income level.
an incorrect/wrong diagnosis
▪ The doctors apparently made an incorrect diagnosis.
an incorrigible liar/rogue etc
an increased/reduced risk
▪ Those who smoke have an increased risk of heart disease.
an increase/growth in sales
▪ The company is expecting a 20% increase in sales next year.
an increase/rise in expenditure
▪ The government has announced a planned 4.4% increase in public expenditure.
an increase/rise in salary
▪ They were offered a 10% increase in salary.
an indefinite period (=with no fixed end)
▪ The painting had been loaned to the gallery for an indefinite period.
an indefinite strike (=with no end planned)
▪ Workers at the processing plant have begun an indefinite strike.
an indelible impressionformal (= lasting for ever)
▪ Alan’s wartime experiences had left an indelible impression on him.
an independent commission
▪ The plan requires approval by an independent commission.
an independent country (=not controlled by another country)
▪ Malaysia has been an independent country since 1963.
an independent expert (=someone who is not controlled by, or does not receive money from, an organization or the government)
▪ The authorities called in an independent expert to advise them.
an independent film (=a film made by a small film company)
▪ Young directors began making small independent films.
an independent inquiry (=one that is organized by people who are not involved in a situation)
▪ The Labour Party is calling for an independent inquiry into the conduct of the police.
an independent review
▪ Their findings have been confirmed by a recent independent review.
an independent state (also a sovereign stateformal)
▪ Croatia became an independent state in 1991.
an independent/sovereign nation (=one that rules itself, rather than being run by another country)
▪ Countries that were once colonies of Britain are now independent nations.
an Indian/Thai etc curry (=made from Indian, Thai etc recipes)
an indirect result
▪ Some job losses were the indirect result of cheap imports.
an indirect tax (=a tax on things you buy)
▪ The effect of indirect taxes is to raise the prices of goods.
an individual sport
▪ You have to be mentally tough to compete in individual sports.
an indomitable will (=a strong will which means you do not give in)
▪ The indomitable will of the people remains the core strength of democracy.
an indoor game
▪ There is a hall for indoor games and social functions.
an indoor toilet
▪ Many cottages lacked a bathroom or indoor toilet.
an induction course (=that you do when you start a new job or position)
an industrial area
▪ People living in industrial areas are exposed to these types of chemicals.
an industrial belt (=where there are a lot of factories etc)
▪ the northern industrial belt of the United States
an industrial city
▪ Sheffield is an industrial city in the north of England.
an industrial disputeBrE, a labor dispute American English (= between workers and employers)
▪ A lot of working days are lost through industrial disputes.
an industrial economy (=one that is based mainly on industries producing goods or materials)
▪ Expectations for growth in the main industrial economies remain low.
an industrial injury (=one that happens at work)
▪ He was the victim of an industrial injury.
an industrial site (=where factories are)
▪ The area is to be redeveloped as an industrial site.
an industrial society
▪ In complex industrial societies, different groups specialize in particular activities.
an industrial town
▪ Thousands moved to the newly forming industrial towns to work in the mills.
an industrial/industrialized nation
▪ The rich industrial nations dominate the global economy.
an industrialized country
▪ America and other industrialized countries
an industry declines (=becomes less successful)
▪ The shipping industry declined after World War II.
an industry grows/expands
▪ The clothing industry grew rapidly during the 1960s.
an industry leader (=one of the most successful companies in a particular industry)
▪ We are now a mature company and an industry leader.
an inevitable consequence (=that you cannot avoid)
▪ Loss of mobility is not an inevitable consequence of old age.
an inexperienced driver (=who does not have much experience of driving)
▪ Many accidents are caused by young or inexperienced drivers.
an infant schoolBritish English (= for children aged 5 to 7)
an infection clears up (=goes away)
▪ Although the infection cleared up, he still felt weak.
an infection spreads
▪ The infection spread to her chest.
an inferior position
▪ He argued that capitalism requires some people to be kept in an inferior position in society.
an infinite number/variety of sth
▪ There was an infinite variety of drinks to choose from.
an infinite/endless variety
▪ There is a seemingly infinite variety of beers to choose from.
an influential position
▪ It's useful if you have friends in influential positions.
an influx of migrants (=the arrival of people in a particular place)
▪ The growth of towns was due to an influx of migrants from the villages.
an informal chat
▪ Come and see me any time if you want an informal chat about jobs.
an informal/formal interview
▪ Applicants will normally have an informal interview with the manager.
▪ One out of every six candidates reached the formal interview.
an information centre
▪ For further details contact the Tourist Information Centre.
an informed choice (=a choice based on knowledge of the facts about something)
▪ The patient should have enough information to make an informed choice.
an inherent/innate tendency (=one that you are born with, which will not change)
▪ When attacked, some people have an inherent tendency to fight back.
an inherited characteristic
▪ Intelligence is an inherited characteristic.
an inhospitable desert (=not easy to live or stay in)
▪ The interior of the country is an inhospitable desert.
an inhospitable/harsh environment (=one where the conditions make life difficult)
▪ The freezing climate makes this one of the most inhospitable environments on the planet.
an initiation ceremony (=in which someone officially becomes an adult, a member of a group etc)
▪ tribal initiation ceremonies
an injection against sth
▪ You may need to be given an injection against tetanus.
an injury happens/occurs
▪ The injury occurred five minutes into the game.
an inner-city area (=the central part of a city, where many poor people live)
▪ When will something be done to improve our inner-city areas?
an innocent expression
▪ ‘It was so late,’ she continued with an innocent expression, ‘I had to stay the night.’
an innocent victim
▪ Children are the innocent victims of war.
an innovative scheme (=using new ideas)
▪ an innovative scheme to help the unemployed get back to work
an inorganic compound (=not containing carbon)
an inquest jury (=one that decides the cause of someone's death)
▪ The inquest jury decided that he died accidentally by falling out of a train door.
an insatiable desire (=a desire that cannot be satisfied)
▪ She had an insatiable desire for publicity.
an insect bite
▪ He was worried about a large red insect bite on his back.
an insect buzzes (=makes a continuous sound)
▪ Insects were buzzing around our heads as we walked through the forest.
an insect crawls (=moves along the ground )
▪ A tiny insect was crawling up his arm.
an insect flies
▪ Insects were flying around the food on the counter.
an insect species
▪ Large numbers of insect species are becoming extinct.
an insect sting (=a hole in your skin made by an insect)
▪ This cream is good for treating insect stings.
an inside pocket (=on the inside of a coat, jacket etc)
▪ Gregson pulled a photo from the inside pocket of his jacket.
an inside/a private joke (=that only a few people who are involved in something will understand)
▪ After I’d worked there a while, I started to understand some of the inside jokes.
an inspection reveals sth
▪ The inspection revealed several lapses in safety standards.
an inspection team
▪ The inspection team described the 1,688 pupil school as ‘outstanding’.
an inspection visit
▪ To date no inspection visit has been made.
an inspired guess (=a very good guess that you make suddenly)
▪ It’s hard to believe he got that right with just an inspired guess.
an inspiring example (=someone who makes other people want to do something great or good)
▪ Jenny’s story is an inspiring example of courage in the face of adversity.
an instinct tells sb sth
▪ Every instinct told her that he was telling the truth.
an instruction booklet/leaflet/sheet
▪ The washing machine comes with an instruction leaflet.
an instruction book/manual
▪ The instruction manual for the camera is over 150 pages long.
an insuperable/insurmountable obstacle (=one that it is impossible to find a solution to)
▪ The problem does not present an insurmountable obstacle.
▪ There are no insuperable obstacles to the purchase of the company.
an insurance broker (=a company or person that arranges and sells insurance to people)
▪ Bellingham practised as an insurance broker.
an insurance certificate/a certificate of insurance
▪ The courts recognize the insurance certificate as evidence of being insured.
an insurance claim
▪ She filed an insurance claim for the missing jewellery.
an insurance company
▪ Rachel works for an insurance company.
an insurance payment
▪ He'd fallen behind with his insurance payments.
an insurance policy
▪ Is the damage covered by your insurance policy?
an insurance policy (=an insurance agreement)
▪ This insurance policy represents excellent value for money.
an insurance premium (=money that you pay regularly to an insurance company)
▪ Your insurance premium is payable when you make your holiday booking.
an insurance salesman
▪ He offered me a post as a life insurance salesman.
an insurance scheme
▪ The costs involved in private medical insurance schemes have risen steeply.
an intake of breath (=when you breathe in very quickly and suddenly, especially because you are surprised)
▪ He gave a sharp intake of breath.
▪ His first response was a sharp intake of breath.
an integral garage (=part of a house and not a separate building)
▪ The house has huge gardens and an integral garage.
an integral part (=a necessary part of the whole thing)
▪ These workshops are an integral part of the course.
an intellectual/physical/technical etc challenge
▪ I love the physical challenge of climbing.
an intelligent guess
▪ Analysis of the archaeological site will help us make an intelligent guess as to what it was used for.
an intense desire
▪ Fred felt an intense desire to punch Max in the face.
an intense gaze (=when someone looks at someone or something with concentration)
▪ His intense gaze never left Delaney.
an intense interest in sth
▪ The police are aware of the intense interest in the case.
an intensive course (=in which you learn a lot in a short time)
▪ An intensive course in Russian is provided for those who do not already know the language.
an intercontinental flight (=a flight that goes from one continent to another, for example from Europe to Asia)
▪ Passengers on intercontinental flights can reserve seats with extra legroom.
an interest payment (=a payment of interest on a loan)
an interest-free loan (=on which you pay no interest)
▪ They offer an interest-free loan for two years.
an interesting comparison
▪ The exhibition provides an interesting comparison of the artists’ works.
an interesting contrast
▪ the interesting contrast between his early and later paintings
an interesting fact
▪ The research revealed some interesting facts about the behaviour of cats.
an interesting point
▪ He has made an interesting point.
an interesting proposition
▪ A further study focussing on older people is an interesting proposition.
an interesting/fascinating subject
▪ Fame is a fascinating subject.
an interim payment (=a payment that is made before something is finished or settled)
▪ It may be reasonable for the builder to ask for interim payments as the work progresses.
an interior designer (=for the colours, materials etc inside people's homes)
▪ The apartment's previous owners had hired an expensive interior designer.
an intermediate learner
▪ These exercises are designed for intermediate learners.
an internal review (=one that an organization carries out on itself)
▪ The Army is conducting an internal review.
an international agreement
▪ an international agreement on combating climate change
an international appeal
▪ The organization has now launched an international appeal for volunteers.
an international call
an international centre for/of sth
▪ Zurich is an international centre of finance.
an international championship
▪ It was the final game of the international championship.
an international charity (=one that operates all over the world)
▪ The Red Cross is a well-known international charity.
an international commission
▪ an international commission on climate change
an international company (=with offices in different countries)
▪ She works for a major international company.
an international dimension
▪ The foreign players bring an international dimension to the English Premier League.
an international embargo (=one that a group of countries agree to impose together)
▪ Under the terms of the international embargo, medical aid can still be flown into the capital.
an international festival
▪ an international festival of drama and dance
an international flight (=a flight between one country and another)
▪ The number of international flights increased by over 5% last year.
an international star (=a star who is famous in many countries)
▪ His performance in 'The Titanic' made him an international star.
an international terrorist
▪ The kidnap was carried out by a group of international terrorists.
an international treaty
▪ The US refused to sign any international treaty on cutting carbon emissions.
an international/European/British etc context
▪ We study the work of these artists in their European context.
an international/worldwide reputation
▪ The department has a worldwide reputation for its research.
an international/worldwide/global ban
▪ an international ban on trade in endangered species
an international/worldwide/global conspiracy
▪ Hitler believed there was a worldwide conspiracy to enslave Germany.
an Internet address (=the address of a website)
▪ The company charges $100 to register a new internet address.
an Internet broadcast
▪ An Internet broadcast can reach a truly global audience.
an Internet café (=a café with computers, where people can pay to use the Internet)
▪ The message had been sent from an Internet café in Leeds.
an Internet connection
▪ a high-speed Internet connection
an Internet service provider (=a company that allows you to connect to the Internet)
▪ Your Internet service provider should be able to solve the problem.
an Internet user
▪ The number of Internet users is doubling every six months.
an interracial marriage (=between people of different races)
▪ Interracial marriage is more common than it used to be.
an interview question
▪ Some of the interview questions were quite difficult to answer.
an intimate connection (=a very close connection)
▪ There is an intimate connection between political liberty and economic freedom.
an intolerable burden (=very hard to bear)
▪ Too many exams can place an intolerable burden on young people.
an intolerable strain (=too great to bear)
▪ The cost of these wars put an intolerable strain on the economy.
an intravenous injection (=into a vein)
▪ He had given the patient an intravenous injection to calm her down.
an introductory course (=for people who have never done a particular subject or activity before)
an intruder/a security alarm
▪ The house has a system of security alarms.
an invading army
▪ The towns were looted by the invading army.
an invaluable/outstanding contribution (=extremely useful)
▪ He won the award for his outstanding contribution over many years.
an invasion of privacy
▪ Random drug testing of employees is an invasion of privacy.
an inverse relationshiptechnical (= so that when one is great, the other is small)
▪ We concluded that there will be an inverse relationship between the market price of the bond and its true yield.
an investigative reporter (=one that tries to find out about something important)
▪ Two investigative reporters wrote an article linking the CIA to cocaine trafficking in Los Angeles.
an investigative/investigating commission
▪ An investigative commission was set up immediately after the incident.
an investment adviser
▪ He has served as an investment adviser for several major banks.
an investment banker
▪ He is an investment banker at a prestigious Wall Street firm.
an investment boom
▪ the investment boom of the past few years
an investment fund (=for buying shares, property, etc in order to make a profit)
▪ The building is currently owned by Argo Partnership, a Toronto-based investment fund.
an investment opportunity
▪ She took advantage of a unique investment opportunity.
an investment schemeBritish English, an investment program AmE:
▪ Most investment schemes are subject to tax.
an investment/merchant bank (=one that buys and sells stocks and shares etc)
▪ Goldman Sachs, the US investment bank
an invitation card (=a card with an invitation printed on it)
▪ Everyone entering will have to show an invitation card.
an iron will (also a will of iron) (= an extremely strong will)
▪ Her unassuming manner concealed an iron will.
an ironic twist
▪ In an ironic twist, the most trustworthy character in the film turned out to be the thief.
an iron/vice-like grip (=a very strong grip)
▪ Victor took hold of her wrist in an iron grip.
an irrational fear (=one that is not reasonable)
▪ He grew up with an irrational fear of insects.
an irresistible/uncontrollable/overwhelming urge (=very strong)
▪ I was overcome by an irresistible urge to laugh.
an irreversible coma (=a permanent one)
▪ He had been in an irreversible coma since the disaster.
an irrigation ditch (=taking water to fields, crops etc)
▪ The fields were separated by irrigation ditches.
an island chain
▪ the island chain from Asia to Australasia
an island paradise
▪ She had booked a beach house on the island paradise of Phuket.
an isolated incident (=one that happens on its own, not together with others)
▪ Luckily the attack turned out to be an isolated incident.
an issue comes up (also an issue arisesformal) (= people started to discuss it)
▪ The issue arose during a meeting of the Budget Committee.
an item of clothing
▪ She’d bought a few items of clothing for her trip.
an item of expenditure (=something a government or person spends money on)
▪ Housing is the biggest single item of expenditure in the budgets of most households.
an item of food/a food item
▪ Ice cream was probably her favourite item of food.
an item of furniture
▪ A few items of furniture had not yet been delivered.
an item of jewelleryBritish English, an item of jewelry American English
▪ Expensive items of jewellery should be insured.
an item of vocabulary/a vocabulary item (=a word or expression)
▪ Students are encouraged to write down useful vocabulary items in their notebooks.
an item on the agenda/list/menu
▪ The next item on the agenda is next month’s sales conference.
an item/article of clothingformal (= a piece of clothing)
▪ All items of clothing should be clearly labelled.
an item/piece of baggage
▪ How many pieces of baggage do you have?
an oak/vine/spinach etc leaf (=a leaf from a specific plant or tree)
▪ Vine leaves stuffed with rice is a typical Greek dish.
an oasis of calm/serenity/tranquillity etc
▪ The park was an oasis of peace.
an oath of loyalty (=a promise to be loyal)
▪ They swore an oath of loyalty to their king.
an oath of loyalty/allegiance/obedience
▪ They swore an oath of allegiance to the crown.
an oath of secrecy
▪ Anyone who joined had to swear an oath of secrecy.
an obituary column (=about the life of someone who has just died)
▪ I spotted Stephenson's name in the obituary column.
an object of desire (=someone or something you want very much)
▪ The store provides cheese lovers with the object of their desire.
an object of pity (=someone who people feel sorry for)
▪ He was a proud man and he didn't want to be treated as an object of pity.
an object of veneration
▪ The sun was an object of veneration.
an objective assessment (=that is based on facts, not on feelings or beliefs)
▪ The test results will provide an objective assessment of how much you have improved.
an objective criterion (=that is based on fact and not opinion)
▪ The label of 'carer' was defined by the objective criterion of someone who spends more than seven hours looking after someone.
an objective measurement (=one that is not influenced by your opinions or feelings)
▪ The test provides an objective measurement of the student’s listening skills.
an obligation arisesformal (= starts to exist)
▪ the obligations arising out of the treaty
an obligation to obey (=to have a duty to do something)
▪ Citizens have an obligation to obey the law.
an oblique reference (=not direct)
▪ He added, in an oblique reference to the US, that ‘some countries could do more’.
an obscene gesture (=extremely rude)
▪ The player was fined for making an obscene gesture at the referee.
an observation deck/platform/tower (=a structure that is built in order to observe something)
▪ The army built an observation tower on the top of the building.
an observation post/point (=a place from where you can observe something)
▪ The peak of the mountain was a natural location for an observation post.
an obstacle in the way/path
▪ There were still a number of obstacles in the way of an agreement.
an obvious conclusion
▪ All her symptoms led to the obvious conclusion – she was pregnant.
an obvious example
▪ Our climate is changing at an alarming rate. The melting of the polar ice caps is an obvious example of this.
an obvious example
▪ This case is an obvious example of what can go wrong.
an obvious exception
▪ The earliest historical records, with the obvious exception of Chinese, are written in Indo-European languages.
an obvious explanation (=one that is easy to see or notice)
▪ There is no obvious explanation for his strange behaviour.
an obvious question
▪ The obvious question is: why?
an obvious reason
▪ The plan, for obvious reasons, was being kept secret.
an obvious successor
▪ He doesn't have an obvious successor as leader.
an occasional reference
▪ During the interview, he made only occasional references to his forthcoming autobiography.
an occupational hazard (=a risk that always exists in a particular job or activity)
▪ Getting injured is an occupational hazard of the sport.
an occupied country (=controlled by an army from another country)
▪ For many years, Egypt was an occupied country.
an occupying army (=one that is in a foreign country which they control by force)
▪ There was constant resistance to the occupying army.
an ocean/sea/river current
▪ Ocean currents carry young fish out to sea.
an odd number (=1, 3, 5, 7 etc)
▪ You can’t work in pairs if you’ve got an odd number of people.
an offence punishable by/with sth
▪ Possession of the drug is an offence punishable by up to one year’s imprisonment.
an offensive weapon (=one that can be used to attack someone illegally)
▪ He was charged with carrying an offensive weapon.
an offer of friendship
▪ He turned down the King's offer of friendship.
an offer of help/support/friendship etc
▪ Any offers of help would be appreciated.
an office block
▪ She works in a 27-storey office block.
an office desk
▪ I got back from holiday to find piles of papers on my office desk.
an office party
▪ I danced with my boss at the office party.
an office/museum/hospital etc complex
▪ a 120-acre office complex near Las Vegas
an office/school/hospital etc building
▪ Our office building is just ten minutes’ walk from where I live.
an official announcement
▪ No official announcement is expected until next year.
an official apology
▪ The company has made an official apology and is offering compensation.
an official denial
▪ The Army has consistently issued official denials of involvement.
an official engagement
▪ This is the Prime Minister's first official engagement since the elections.
an official estimate (=accepted by people in authority)
▪ According to official army estimates, more than 500 rebels had been killed.
an official inquiry
▪ The outcome of the official inquiry will be eagerly awaited.
an official inspection
▪ Preparations were made in advance of the official inspection.
an official language (=the language used for official business in a country)
▪ Canada has two official languages: English and French.
an official letter
▪ I received an official letter thanking me for my enquiry.
an official position
▪ He has no official position in the government.
an official position (=one that a government or organization says officially that it has)
▪ This was the French government’s official position.
an official reception
▪ After an official reception at the Embassy, they visited the White House.
an official residence (=a house someone is able to use as part of their important job)
▪ the ambassador's official residence in London
an official statement
▪ The company is expected to make an official statement tomorrow.
an official visit/engagement etc (=one that relates to an important job or position)
▪ The Prime Minister was on an official visit to China.
an official website
▪ The International Olympic Committee’s official website has a lot of interesting information.
an official/administrative receiver
an official/formal report
▪ Black graduates still face discrimination from employers, according to an official report.
an official/state visit
▪ The president made an official visit to France this week.
an offshore island
▪ The turtles lay their eggs on the beaches of offshore islands.
an oil company
▪ YPF was the state oil company in Argentina.
an oil crisis (=situation in which there is not enough oil, and the price of oil is very high)
▪ The world is facing an oil crisis.
an oil producer (=a country which produces oil)
▪ The Soviet Union is the world's largest oil producer.
an oil refinery (=a place where oil is treated by an industrial process)
▪ an oil refinery in Perth
an oil rig (=structure on land or in the sea with equipment for getting oil out of the ground)
▪ an oil rig in the North Sea
an oil spill (=situation in which oil comes out of a ship or other container into the sea)
▪ a terrible oil spill near the Shetland Islands
an oil/kerosene/paraffin lamp (=lamps that you light with a flame)
▪ The large room was lit by a paraffin lamp on a table.
an old age pension
▪ State old age pensions were introduced in 1908.
an old cliché
▪ He seemed to believe that old cliché about a woman’s place being in the home.
an old friend (=someone who has been your friend for a long time)
▪ We went to see some old friends who had moved to Harlow.
an old grievance (=one that you have felt unhappy about for a long time)
▪ Years later, we became friends again and sorted out our old grievances.
an old joke
▪ It reminded me of the old joke about the chicken crossing the road.
an old movie
▪ She was watching an old movie on television.
an old quarrel (=one that has existed for a long time)
▪ Now is the time to patch up old quarrels.
an old rival
▪ Hindhead had a convincing victory over their old rivals, Frensham.
an old-fashioned/outdated expression
▪ The old-fashioned expression 'in the family way' means to be pregnant.
an old/ancient legend
▪ You will have heard the old legend about how the rocks were formed.
an old/ancient tradition
▪ In rural Wales, the old traditions persisted.
an old/ancient/age-old custom
▪ Here on the island, many of the old customs have survived.
an old/ancient/long-standing grudge
▪ He said they should celebrate their achievements, not nurse old grudges.
an older audience
▪ The programme mainly appeals to an older audience.
an older sister (also an elder sister especially BrE)
▪ He had two older sisters, Karen and Jacqueline.
an older/elder brother
▪ I have two older brothers.
an old/firm/particular favourite
▪ a sweater that’s an old favorite
an old/traditional enemy (=one you have had a long time)
▪ In 1548, Scotland moved towards an alliance with her traditional enemy, England.
an old/traditional stereotype
▪ Many people still believe that old stereotype.
an olive complexion (=the skin colour that is typical of Greek, Italian, Turkish etc people)
▪ These colours complement an olive complexion.
an Olympic champion
▪ She's a top international athlete and an Olympic champion.
an Olympic record
▪ He won a gold medal and broke the Olympic record by 44 records.
an ominous silence (=one that makes you feel that something bad is going to happen)
▪ ‘How long will she be ill?’ There was a short, ominous silence.
an on-off relationship (=happening sometimes and not at other times)
▪ Their on-off relationship seemed to have come to an end two years ago.
an on-off switch
▪ I couldn’t find the on-off switch.
an online chat (=one had with someone over the internet)
▪ With MSN you can have an online chat with your friends.
an online dictionary (=one you can use on the Internet)
▪ There are plenty of online dictionaries available free on the Internet.
an open competition (=that everyone can take part in)
▪ An open competition is to be held at the tennis club.
an open container (=that has been opened or that does not have a lid)
▪ Don't keep food in open containers in the fridge.
an open ditch (=not covered)
▪ The horse had to jump over an open ditch.
an open evening (=an evening when an institution invites the public to come in and see the work that is done there)
▪ We went to the open evening to find out more about the course.
an open field
▪ I saw a fox run across the open field.
an open fire (=a fire in a room that is not inside a stove etc)
▪ Sophie warmed herself by the open fire.
an open grave (=one that has not yet been covered in earth)
▪ He wept by her open grave.
an open prison (=one where prisoners are not restricted as much as usual)
▪ He was transferred to an open prison.
an open question
▪ The matter remains an open question.
an open secret (=something that a lot of people know, but do not talk about because it is supposed to be a secret)
▪ It was an open secret that he was having an affair.
an open secret (=it is supposed to be secret, but most people know about it)
▪ It is an open secret that she is having an affair with another man.
an open verdictBritish English (= stating that the facts about someone’s death are not known)
▪ The inquest jury recorded an open verdict because of conflicting evidence.
an open wound (=one where the skin has not yet healed)
▪ Sports players should not continue to play with open wounds.
an open-air/outdoor concert
▪ Clapton thrilled fans at a huge outdoor concert in New York.
an open-topped bus (=one without a roof, used for showing tourists a town etc)
▪ We took a tour on an open-topped bus.
an opening bid (=the first bid)
▪ The opening bid was only $10.
an opening/closing ceremony (=at the beginning or end of a special event)
▪ I stayed for the closing ceremony.
an open/standing invitation (=an invitation to do something at any time you like)
▪ Phillip kindly gave me an open invitation to stay at his villa in Tuscany.
an opinion poll (=that measures what people think about something)
▪ A recent opinion poll showed strong support for the government.
an opinion survey
▪ Opinion surveys showed consistently that unemployment remained a matter of concern.
an opportune moment (=a good time to do something)
▪ I was waiting for an opportune moment to leave.
an opportunity arises
▪ Perhaps she would explain later, if the opportunity arose.
an opportunity comes (along/up)
▪ We had outgrown our house when the opportunity came up to buy one with more land.
an opposition leader
▪ The opposition leader accused the government of not being able to control unemployment.
an opposition party (=a party that is not in power)
▪ The tax increase was criticized by opposition parties.
an opposition politician (=belonging to the party that is not in power – used in some political systems)
▪ Opposition politicians argued that there was not enough reason to go to war.
an oppressive/repressive regime (=powerful, cruel, and unfair)
▪ That country was held fast in the grip of an oppressive regime.
an option is open/available to sb (=a particular choice is available to someone)
▪ Giving a prison sentence is only one of the options open to the judge.
an oral exam (=in which you answer questions by speaking)
▪ I have my French oral exams next week.
an oral test
▪ The oral test will consist of a conversation of about 10 minutes in German.
an orchestral concert/a symphony concert (=one in which an orchestra plays)
▪ Tickets for orchestral concerts range from $15 to $35.
an orchestrated campaigndisapproving (= organized secretly to make political events happen in the way you want)
▪ This resulted in an orchestrated campaign of civil disorder.
an ordeal at the hands of sb (=used to say who has made someone go through something painful or difficult)
▪ She has only just revealed her ordeal at the hands of her stepfather.
an orderly queue (=with no bad behaviour or pushing in front of other people)
▪ She told the children to form an orderly queue.
an ordinal number (=a number such as 1st, 2nd, or 3rd that shows where something comes in a series or list)
▪ The children learn about position and ordinal numbers when they stand in a line.
an ordinary citizen (also a regular citizen American English)
▪ The government is not aware of the views of ordinary citizens.
an ordinary individual
▪ Ordinary individuals need no more than 3–5 grams of salt per day.
an Ordnance Survey mapBritish English (= a map showing the roads, paths, hills etc of an area in detail)
an organ donor
▪ There are not nearly enough organ donors.
an organ donor (=someone who gives an organ for an organ transplant)
▪ Not all patients who die are suitable as organ donors.
an organ transplant (=an operation to put an organ from one person’s body into another person’s body)
▪ Up to 5,000 people are waiting for an organ transplant.
an organic compound (=containing carbon)
▪ the organic compounds of which living things are made
an organic farm (=a farm where artificial chemicals are not used)
▪ Organic farms can be as productive as industrial farming.
an organic substance (=from a living thing)
▪ Despite being an organic substance, ivory is remarkably durable.
an ornamental pond (=a pond made to look pretty, rather than a natural one)
▪ They are ideal fish for the ornamental pond.
an Oscar/Emmy/Grammy etc nomination (=a nomination for a particular prize or award)
▪ The novel has received a National Book Award nomination.
an ounce of common sense (=a very small amount)
▪ Anyone with an ounce of common sense would have realised that was a silly thing to do.
an out-of-court settlement (=an agreement made to avoid a court case)
▪ The army denied liability but agreed on an out-of-court settlement.
an outbreak of a disease (=when a disease appears in a number of people or animals)
▪ There has been an outbreak of the disease in Wales.
an outbreak of unrest
▪ Troops usually respond to outbreaks of unrest with force.
an outbreak of violence
▪ There was a fresh outbreak of violence on March 24.
an outcrop of rock (=a mass of rock that sticks up above the ground)
▪ The gulls nested on a outcrop of rock.
an outdoor café
▪ The central square was full of outdoor cafés.
an outdoor game
▪ Outdoor games are affected by the weather.
an outgoing/extrovert personality (=liking to talk to people)
▪ The job requires someone with an outgoing personality.
an outline drawing/sketch
▪ Once I am happy with the outline sketch, I start painting.
an outline map
▪ an outline map of the island
an outpatient clinic (=for someone who does not need to stay in hospital)
▪ There's an outpatient clinic for people with diabetes.
an outright ban (=a complete ban)
▪ an outright ban on gun ownership
an outside toilet (=one that is outside a house, not in it)
▪ The house was small, with no hot water and an outside toilet.
an outside/a remote chance (=a very small chance)
▪ He still has an outside chance of winning the championship.
an outside/independent consultant (=one who does not belong to your organization)
▪ An educational programme was planned by outside consultants.
an outspoken/vocal opponent (=one who publicly expresses disagreement with something)
▪ He was a vocal opponent of closer relations with the United States.
an outstanding achievement (=an extremely impressive achievement)
▪ Eisenhower' s outstanding achievement was to avoid war.
an outstanding bill (=still unpaid)
▪ He still didn’t have enough to pay his outstanding bills.
an outstanding example (=extremely good)
▪ The garden is one of the most outstanding examples of traditional Japanese garden design.
an outstanding individual (=with unusually good qualities)
▪ We need a few outstanding individuals to act as leaders.
an outstretched hand (=stretched out towards someone or something)
▪ She took her father's outstretched hand and began to walk from the room.
an outward/visible sign (=one that people can see clearly)
▪ Kim received the news without showing any visible sign of emotion.
an oven gloveBrE:
▪ Paul used the oven glove to take the hot tray out of the oven.
an overactive/fevered imagination (=a mind that imagines strange things that are not real)
▪ These stories are the product of an overactive imagination.
an overall budget (=total)
▪ There has been an increase in the overall budget made available by the Government for training.
an overall majority (=more votes than anyone else)
▪ What happens if no candidate receives an overall majority?
an overall/general picture
▪ The study is intended to provide an overall picture of political activity in the nation.
an overhead cable (=attached to high posts)
▪ Overhead cables can be dangerous for birds.
an overnight bag (=a small suitcase or bag for a short stay somewhere)
▪ All you need to take is an overnight bag.
an overnight stay
▪ Business trips may involve an overnight stay.
an overwhelming majority (=a large majority)
▪ The resolution was passed by an overwhelming majority.
an own brandBritish English, a store brand American English (= sold by a particular store under its own name)
▪ A supermarket’s own brand should cost less than the nationally advertised brands.
an own goal (=when a player accidentally puts the ball into his/her own net)
▪ Dixon scored an unfortunate own goal against West Ham.
an ugly/nasty rumour (=a rumour about something bad)
▪ Ugly rumours persisted that there had been a cover-up.
an ugly/unsightly scar (=unattractive)
▪ The ugly scar spoiled and distorted his face.
an ulterior motive (=a hidden motive)
▪ Did you think I had an ulterior motive for coming here?
an unannounced visit (=one that someone makes without first telling the person that they are going to visit)
▪ The social worker made an unannounced visit.
an unborn baby (=not yet born)
▪ Drinking alcohol is bad for your unborn baby.
an unborn child (=a baby that is still inside its mother)
▪ Smoking can damage your unborn child.
an unborn infant
▪ Unborn infants can hear certain sounds while still in the mother’s womb.
an unbridgeable gap (=a gap that cannot be closed)
▪ He felt that there was an unbridgeable gap between the negotiating positions of the two sides.
an uncanny knack (=an ability that seems surprising or strange)
▪ She has an uncanny knack for knowing what you're really thinking.
an uncanny resemblance (=noticeable and difficult to explain)
▪ I'd always thought that Jo and Freddie had an uncanny resemblance.
an uncertain fate (=not clear, definite, or decided)
▪ The Bill faces an uncertain fate in the Senate.
an unconfirmed report (=not yet supported by official information)
▪ There are unconfirmed reports that up to 2,000 people have been killed.
an underdeveloped country (=poor and developing more slowly than others)
▪ The disease still exists, mainly in underdeveloped countries.
an undergraduate student (=one who is studying for a first degree)
▪ Most undergraduate students rely on student loans for finance.
an underground tunnel
▪ The prisoners escaped through an underground tunnel.
an underground/subterranean passage
▪ The air in these underground passages is cold and damp.
an underground/undersea cable
▪ The electricity will be transmitted by undersea cables.
an underlying assumption (=a belief that is used as the basis for an idea, but which may not be correct)
▪ There seems to be an underlying assumption in what he says that women are weaker than men.
an underlying assumption
▪ There is an underlying assumption that new technology is always a good thing.
an underlying message
▪ The underlying message of his speech was that the economic good times are over.
an underlying motive (=a motive that is not directly stated)
▪ The treaty’s underlying motive was to make Japan a strong ally of the US.
an underlying principle
▪ Their actions, he argued, went against the underlying principles of Christian morality.
an underlying problem
▪ Little is being done to correct the system's underlying problems.
an underlying theme
▪ Death and rebirth are underlying themes in all of his novels.
an underlying theme (=one that is important but not very noticeable)
▪ One of the book’s underlying themes is the struggle for human rights.
an undeserved reputation
▪ She has an undeserved reputation for being difficult, but really it's just her manner.
an undignified exit (=when someone leaves in a way that is embarrassing or makes them look silly)
▪ She made a rather undignified exit, tripping down the step.
an undisclosed sum (=an amount that is being kept secret)
▪ He sold the company for an undisclosed sum.
an uneasy alliance/relationship
▪ The government is based on an uneasy alliance between Christian Democrats and Socialists.
an uneasy calm
▪ Things seemed quiet enough, but it was an uneasy calm.
an uneasy compromise (=one that people are not very happy with)
▪ The deal represented an uneasy compromise.
an uneasy compromise
▪ The result was an uneasy compromise which no-one liked.
an uneasy peace (=when people have agreed to stop fighting, but the situation is not really calm)
▪ An uneasy peace prevails in the region.
an uneasy peace
▪ There was an uneasy peace in the region for nearly three years before the conflict flared up again.
an uneasy truce
▪ It was an uneasy truce, however, and tension was never far from the surface.
an unemployment blackspotBritish English (= an area where there is higher unemployment than in other places)
▪ The town became an unemployment blackspot after the factory closure.
an unenviable task (=unpleasant or difficult)
▪ He has the unenviable task of telling hungry people that there is no food.
an unexpected compliment
▪ John blushed at the unexpected compliment.
an unexplained absence
▪ Did he give a reason for his unexplained absence?
an unexploded bomb
▪ The workmen found an unexploded bomb.
an unfair advantage
▪ Companies that receive government subsidies have an unfair advantage.
an unfair/undue burden
▪ The new legislation put an unfair burden on employers.
an unfilled vacancy (=a job for which no one has been hired)
▪ The teaching unions estimate there are some 10,000 unfilled vacancies.
an unfortunate coincidence
▪ By a very unfortunate coincidence, she didn’t get either of his emails.
an unfortunate error
▪ An unfortunate error resulted in confidential information being released to the press.
an unfortunate incident (=involving an accident or argument)
▪ Disciplinary action may be taken over this unfortunate incident.
an unfortunate victim
▪ If you are the unfortunate victim of a tragic accident, this card will tell doctors that you are willing to donate your organs.
an unhappy childhood
▪ Stevens had a unhappy childhood in Manchester.
an unhappy knack (=a knack that you would not want)
▪ He had the unhappy knack of making enemies.
an unhappy marriage
▪ Her parents had had an unhappy marriage.
an unhealthy obsession (=an obsession that is not normal)
▪ Our society seems to have an unhealthy obsession with staying young.
an unholy rowinformal (= a very angry row)
▪ An unholy row broke out between two of the men drinking in the bar.
an uninvited guest
▪ She was surprised when an uninvited guest turned up at the door.
An unknown number of
An unknown number of people were killed.
an unlikely alliance/coalition
▪ Once he resigned as president, the unlikely coalition of former enemies fell apart.
an unlikely hero (=someone who you did not expect to be brave or did not expect to admire )
▪ Baxter was the unlikely hero of the game.
an unlikely possibility/prospect
▪ The most unlikely possibility was that she might resign.
an unlikely scenario
▪ I might get the job, but it is an unlikely scenario.
an unlikely scenario/occurrence
▪ They should build a new road, but that’s an unlikely scenario.
an unlikely setting
▪ This quiet suburb may seem an unlikely setting for a top restaurant.
an unmarked grave (=one that does not have anything to show where it is or who is in it)
▪ Until 1855, poor people here were buried in unmarked graves.
an unmarried couple
▪ She rented the room to a young, unmarried couple.
an unmitigated disaster (=a complete failure)
▪ The $24,000,000 movie was an unmitigated disaster.
an unnecessary expense
▪ Paying extra for leather seats seemed like an unnecessary expense.
an unnecessary expense/cost
▪ He thinks advertising is an unnecessary expense.
an unnecessary extravagance (=something that costs more than is necessary or more than you can afford)
▪ The chairman called first-class airline travel an unnecessary extravagance.
an unnecessary risk
▪ Neither team is likely to take any unnecessary risks, so the result will probably be a draw.
an unofficial report
▪ According to unofficial reports, the president had talks with Palestinian leaders.
an unofficial strike (=not organized by a trade union)
▪ Some workers had been sacked for taking part in unofficial strikes.
an unorthodox approach (=not the same as people usually use)
▪ It’s an unorthodox approach that her doctor doesn’t recommend for everyone.
an unpaid bill
▪ She had unpaid bills amounting to £3,000.
an unpleasant/nasty surprise
▪ We don’t want any unpleasant surprises.
an unprecedented move (=never having happened before)
▪ Barcelona began the unprecedented move of shipping in drinking water.
an unprecedented rate (=a rate that is faster than ever before)
▪ We are losing species at an unprecedented rate.
an unprovoked attack (=in which the victim did nothing to cause the attack)
▪ Their teenage son was knocked to the ground, kicked and punched in an unprovoked attack.
an unqualified success
▪ The experiment had not been an unqualified success.
an unresolved issue (=that has not been dealt with)
▪ A number of unresolved issues remain before the treaty can be signed.
an unshaven chin (=with short hairs on because a man has not shaved)
▪ His combed hair looked oddly neat against his unshaven chin.
an unskilled worker
▪ Some ex-miners now had jobs as unskilled workers in factories.
an unsolved murder (=for which the killer has never been found)
▪ Police questioned the man about two unsolved murders.
an unsolved mystery
▪ What happened to her is still an unsolved mystery.
an unsubstantiated rumour (=one that has not been proved to be true)
▪ These are only unsubstantiated rumours.
an unsuccessful attempt/bid/effort
▪ We made several unsuccessful attempts to tackle the problem.
an unsuccessful campaign
▪ He quit politics following his unsuccessful presidential campaign.
an unsuccessful/a successful attempt
▪ an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the government
an unsung hero (=someone whose bravery or effort is not noticed or recognized)
▪ These volunteers are the unsung heroes of the campaign.
an untenable position
▪ The scandal put the President in an untenable position.
an unusual feature
▪ The church’s most unusual feature is this window.
an unusual/unprecedented step (=something that is not usually done/has never been done before)
▪ Police last night took the unusual step of releasing photographs of him.
an unveiling ceremony (=to show the public something new, for example a work of art)
▪ He attended the statue's unveiling ceremony.
an unwanted baby
▪ Unwanted babies were frequently abandoned in the streets.
an unwanted gift
▪ You can take any unwanted gifts to charity shops.
an unwelcome guest (=someone who is not really a guest, and whom you do not want at an event)
▪ Security guards were employed to keep out unwelcome guests.
an unwritten constitution (=a constitution that is not formally written down as a separate document)
▪ Britain's unwritten constitution allows for flexibility when circumstances change.
an unwritten rule (=a rule of behaviour that everyone in a group understands)
▪ There’s an unwritten rule that you never call an actor before 10 a.m.
an updated version
▪ an updated version of the 'Best Pub' guide
an uphill battle (=one that is very difficult)
▪ For most people losing weight is an uphill battle.
an uphill slope
▪ It is harder to land on an uphill slope.
an upmarket imageBritish English, an upscale image American English (= expensive and good quality)
▪ The company is trying to promote an upmarket image.
an upper-class/middle-class/working-class accent
▪ Sebastian spoke with an upper-class accent.
an upper/lower limit (=the highest/lowest amount allowed)
▪ There is no upper limit on the amount you can borrow.
▪ Ensure the temperature in the aquarium does not fall below the lower limit.
an upright posture/stance (=a straight body position)
▪ He appears big because of his powerful shoulders and upright posture.
an upscale restaurantAmerican English (= where richer people go)
▪ It's interesting that rabbit has become so popular at upscale restaurants.
an upset stomach (=a stomach affected by illness)
▪ Debbie was at home because she had an upset stomach.
an upstanding/upright citizen (=honest and responsible)
▪ The rest of his family are honest upright citizens.
an upward/downward curve
▪ She stood watching the upward curve of the bird's flight.
an urban area (=in a town or city)
▪ 90% of the English population live in urban areas.
an urban district (=in a town)
▪ In 1911 over three-quarters of the British people lived in urban districts.
an urgent appeal
▪ The fire service has made an urgent appeal for more part-time firefighters.
an urgent appointment
▪ I can’t talk now – I have an urgent appointment to get to.
an urgent matter (=something that needs to be dealt with quickly)
an urgent meeting
▪ Health chiefs have called an urgent meeting to discuss the problem.
an urgent message
▪ I have an urgent message for Sam – where is he?
an urgent need (=one that must be dealt with quickly)
▪ The most urgent need was for more teachers.
an urgent need
▪ There is an urgent need for stricter regulation.
an urgent priority
▪ He sees these negotiations as an urgent priority.
an urgent problem
▪ It’s an urgent problem, and needs tackling straight away.
an urgent request
▪ The family made an urgent request on television for help in finding their daughter.
an urgent task/job
▪ I’ve got some urgent tasks to finish before I leave tonight.
an urgent whisper
▪ ‘Daddy!’ he said in an urgent whisper.
an urgent/important message
▪ an urgent message for the commanding officer
an à la carte menu (=a menu listing many separate dishes which you choose from)
▪ In the evening there is a full à la carte menu.
answer an advertisement
▪ I answered an advertisement in the paper for volunteers.
answer an inquiry (also respond to an inquiryformal)
▪ The government has not yet answered our inquiry.
answer/reply to an email
▪ She did not bother replying to his email.
appeal to an audience (=be interesting to them)
▪ They brought new fashions into their designs to appeal to a wider audience.
arrange/organize an exhibition
▪ The trust arranged an exhibition of his drawings in New York.
ask for an explanation
▪ When he asked for an explanation, no one could give him an answer.
ask for/demand an explanation
▪ When I asked for an explanation, the people at the office said they didn't know.
▪ Furious parents are demanding an explanation from the school.
at an alarming rate
▪ The rainforest is disappearing at an alarming rate.
at an early/late stage
▪ I can’t change my plans at this late stage.
at an early/young age
▪ Kids can start learning a second language at a young age.
at an ungodly hour (=very early in the morning or very late at night)
▪ Why did you wake me up at such an ungodly hour?
attract an audience (=make people want to watch)
▪ The first show attracted a television audience of more than 2 million.
avoid an argument
▪ I was anxious to avoid an argument.
avoid/evade an issue (also dodge/duck an issueinformal) (= avoid discussing an issue)
▪ There is no point in evading the issue any longer.
base an estimate on sth (=use something as information to give an estimate)
▪ The government based its estimate on data from the 2008 census.
be a bit of an exaggerationinformal (= be a slight exaggeration)
▪ It's a bit of an exaggeration to say he's handsome.
Be an angel
Be an angel and get me my glasses, will you?
be an improvement (on sth)
▪ This version of the software is a clear improvement on its predecessor.
be an object/a subject of curiosity (=be something or someone that makes people curious)
▪ Anyone new was always the object of our curiosity.
be an obstacle
▪ This issue is a major obstacle to a successful peace treaty.
be based on an analysis of sth
▪ This work has been based entirely on an analysis of large mammals.
be based on/rest on an assumption
▪ Our plans were based on the assumption that everyone would be willing to help.
be bound by an agreement (=have to obey the conditions of an official agreement)
▪ India is bound by the agreements signed under the World Trade Organisation.
be bound by an oath (=have sworn an oath)
▪ These chiefs were bound to him by oaths of loyalty.
be called/invited for (an) interview
▪ Applicants who are called for interview may be asked to have a medical exam.
be close to an agreement (=have almost reached an agreement)
▪ Management and unions are close to an agreement about pay.
be committed to an ideal (=believe in it strongly)
▪ Everyone in the party is committed to the same socialist ideals.
be considered an embarrassment (=be thought of as embarrassing)
▪ He may be popular abroad, but he's considered an embarrassment at home.
be diagnosed with an illness (=be found by doctors to have an illness)
▪ Her husband had just been diagnosed with a terminal illness.
be exposed to an infection
▪ He was exposed to the infection while he was travelling in India.
be glad of an opportunity/chance/excuse to do sth
▪ They were glad of the chance to finally get some sleep.
be in (an) uproar
▪ The house was in an uproar, with babies crying and people shouting.
be in the grip of an obsession (=have extreme feelings of interest in something or someone)
▪ At 15 I met Heather and instantly fell into the grip of an obsession.
be involved in an accidentformal:
▪ Your son has been involved in a car accident.
be involved in an activity
▪ The men were involved in terrorist activities.
be involved in an incident
▪ All those involved in the incident were sacked.
be nominated for an award (also be up for an awardinformal) (= to be chosen as one of the people, films etc that could receive an award)
▪ Four films have been nominated for the award.
▪ The book is up for an award.
be quite an achievement (=be an impressive achievement)
▪ Working and bringing up kids on your own is quite an achievement.
be something of an obsession (=be almost as strong as an obsession)
▪ The case became something of an obsession with him.
be under an obligation (=have an obligation)
▪ The landlord is under an obligation to repair the house.
be/become an embarrassment
▪ Your behaviour is becoming an embarrassment to the school.
be/become/prove an attraction
▪ The organisers hope the event will become an annual attraction.
become an obsession
▪ For Rosie, losing weight had become an obsession.
becoming an uncle (=your sister or your brother’s wife has a child)
▪ I was very excited about becoming an uncle.
believe in an ideal
▪ We believe in the ideal of justice for all.
believe/accept an excuse
▪ She didn’t believe his excuse for one minute.
be/mark the end of an era (=be the end of a period of time in history that is known for a particular event, or for particular qualities)
▪ The principal’s death marked the end of an era at the college.
bite into an apple
▪ Sue bit into her apple with a loud crunch.
block an entrance
▪ A large stone blocked the entrance to the tomb.
book an appointmentBritish English, schedule an appointment American English (= make an appointment)
▪ Have you booked another appointment at the clinic?
▪ I’ve scheduled your appointment for 9.30.
boycott an election (=refuse to take part in an election as a protest)
▪ Opposition parties have threatened to boycott the elections.
boycott an event (=refuse to go to an event as a protest)
▪ The games went ahead despite threats to boycott the event.
break an agreement
▪ This action broke the international agreement of 1925.
break an embargo (=trade with a country illegally when there is an embargo)
▪ It has been almost impossible to stop countries breaking the embargo.
break (off) an alliance (=end it)
▪ The Athenians broke off the alliance with Sparta and made alliances with Argos and Thessaly.
break/violate an agreement
▪ The UN accused the country's leaders of breaking international agreements.
bring an accusation against sb
▪ The accusations against him were brought by two 18-year-old women.
bring an end to sth/bring sth to an end (=make something end)
▪ They began peace talks aimed at bringing an end to the civil war.
bring an end to sth/bring sth to an end (=make something end)
▪ They began peace talks aimed at bringing an end to the civil war.
bring sth to an end/halt (=especially sth bad)
▪ It is our resonsibility to discuss how this conflict can be brought to an end.
broker an agreement (=arrange an agreement between two or more opposing groups)
▪ The US has been trying to broker an agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
budge an inch
▪ The horse refused to budge an inch.
build (up) an empire
▪ She built her clothing empire from one small shop to an international chain.
buy/rent an apartment
▪ Tom rented an apartment at the top of the building.
call an ambulance (=phone to ask an ambulance to come)
▪ Do you think we need to call an ambulance ?
call an election (=arrange for an election to happen)
▪ The Prime Minister would be unwise to call an election now.
call for an end to sth
▪ Demonstrators have called for an end to the fighting.
call for an inquiry/investigation
▪ Relatives have called for an inquiry into the causes of the plane crash.
call for/demand an end to sth (=publicly ask for something to happen or be done)
▪ The union is calling for an end to discrimination.
came within an ace of
▪ The team came within an ace of winning the championship.
cancel an appointment
▪ He had to cancel all his afternoon appointments.
cancel an engagement
▪ He instructed his secretary to cancel all his engagements.
carry out an assessment
▪ The company is carrying out an assessment of staff training needs.
carry out an assessment
▪ The company is carrying out an assessment of staff training needs.
carry out an attack
▪ It became clear that terrorists had carried out the attack.
carry out an attack
▪ The man who carried out the attack has been described as white and 25 to 32 years old.
carry out an attack
▪ It became clear that terrorists had carried out the attack.
carry out an engagement
▪ Last year, the princess carried out over 300 official engagements.
carry out an examination (also conduct an examinationformal) (= examine sth)
▪ The police are carrying out an examination of the crime scene.
carry out an execution
▪ The order to carry out his execution was sent to the prison.
carry out an experiment
▪ Many schools need better facilities for carrying out scientific experiments.
carry out an experiment
▪ Many schools need better facilities for carrying out scientific experiments.
carry out an explosion (=cause one deliberately)
▪ By 1942, the United States had carried out test explosions with nuclear bombs.
carry out an inquiry
▪ A formal inquiry into the cause of death will be carried out.
carry out an inquiry
▪ A formal inquiry into the cause of death will be carried out.
carry out an inspection
▪ Engineers had carried out an inspection on the plane.
carry out an investigation
▪ The police will carry out an investigation into what actually happened.
carry out an investigation
▪ The police will carry out an investigation into what actually happened.
carry out/commit an assault
▪ She admitted to committing the assault.
cause an accident
▪ 75% of accidents are caused by speeding.
cause an explosion
▪ The police do not yet know what caused the explosion.
cause an incident
▪ His carelessness caused a major incident.
cause an injury
▪ The injury was caused by flying glass from the car windscreen.
cause/bring about an increase
▪ The heatwave brought about a massive increase in water consumption.
causing an obstruction
▪ Police can remove a vehicle that is causing an obstruction.
celebrate an occasion
▪ To celebrate the occasion, a small party was held at his home.
celebrate/commemorate/mark an event (=do something to show that you remember it)
▪ Fans observed a minute’s silence to commemorate the tragic event.
challenge a view/an idea/an assumption etc
▪ Viewpoints such as these are strongly challenged by environmentalists.
challenge a view/an idea/an assumption etc
▪ Viewpoints such as these are strongly challenged by environmentalists.
charge sb with an offence
▪ In that year, 367 people were charged with terrorist offences.
cheat in an examBritish English, cheat on an exam AmE:
▪ She was caught cheating in the exam.
cheat in an examination
▪ Any student caught cheating in an examination will be suspended.
cherish a hope/an idea/a dream etc
▪ willingness to re-examine cherished beliefs
choose an occupation
▪ Young people need help with choosing a suitable occupation.
choose an option
▪ Fewer women are choosing the option of motherhood.
cite an example (=mention an example )
▪ The report cites the example of Sweden, where there is a complete ban on advertising on children's television.
come to an abrupt end/halt etc
▪ The bus came to an abrupt halt.
come to an end (=end)
▪ Arsenal’s ten-match unbeaten run came to an end with a 3–2 defeat at United.
come up with an answer (=find a way of dealing with a problem)
▪ The government is struggling to come up with answers to our economic problems.
come up with an idea (=think of an idea)
▪ He’s always coming up with interesting ideas.
come/go/pass etc through an entrance
▪ People passed in single file through the narrow entrance.
commit an act of violence/terrorism/aggression etc
▪ Anyone committing an act of terrorism will be severely punished.
commit an actformal (= do something wrong or illegal)
▪ Anyone committing an illegal act deserves to be punished.
commit an atrocity (=commit a terrible and violent act)
▪ During the civil war both sides committed numerous atrocities.
commit an errorformal (= make an error, especially a serious one )
▪ He knew he had committed a grave error of judgement.
commit an offence (=do something that is against the law)
▪ He had committed the offence of dangerous driving.
complete/finish an inspection
▪ The inspection was completed and the relevant forms filled in.
compound a crime/an offence etc
▪ He compounded the offence by calling his opponents liars.
compound an error (=make it worse)
▪ He refused to listen to our advice, which compounded the error.
concentrate/focus on an aspect
▪ Accountants often concentrate on one aspect of accounting.
conduct an inspectionformal (= carry out an inspection)
▪ He was conducting an inspection in the factory.
conduct an interview
▪ Here are a few guidelines on how to conduct an interview.
conduct an investigation/inquiry
▪ Experts conducted an investigation into the causes of the crash.
conduct/perform an examination
▪ The doctor will perform an examination in order to assess the problem.
consider an appeal
▪ The US Supreme Court could refuse to consider the appeal.
consider an application (=think carefully about it before making a decision)
▪ All applications will be considered on their own merits.
contain/include an example
▪ The exhibition also contains some examples of his book illustrations.
contract an illnessformal (= get an illness by catching it from another person)
▪ He contracted the illness while he was working abroad.
convey a sense/an impression of sth
▪ The music conveys a senses of sadness and despair.
convey an idea
▪ Art can be used to convey an idea.
convey an image
▪ At an interview, make sure your clothes convey the right image.
convict sb of an offence (=say officially that they are guilty)
▪ The number of women convicted of serious offences is fairly small.
cope with an emergency (=succeed in dealing with an emergency)
▪ Do you think that you could cope with an emergency?
core an apple (=remove the middle part containing the seeds)
▪ Core the apples and cut into quarters.
correct an error (also rectify an errorformal)
▪ We will rectify the error as soon as possible.
cost an arm and a leg (=have a price that is much too high)
▪ A skiing holiday needn’t cost you an arm and a leg.
counter an argument/an allegation/a criticism etc
▪ He was determined to counter the bribery allegations.
counter an argument/an allegation/a criticism etc
▪ He was determined to counter the bribery allegations.
create an image
▪ The company is trying to create an image of quality and reliability.
create an impression (also convey an impressionformal)
▪ Arriving late won’t create a very good impression.
create an incentive
▪ We need to create an incentive for people to recycle their rubbish.
cultivate an image (=try to encourage or develop an image)
▪ He was trying to cultivate an image of himself as an intellectual.
damage an industry
▪ Financial scandals have damaged the industry in recent years.
deal with an aspect
▪ International banks have departments to deal with this aspect of trade.
deal with an emergency
▪ All our ambulance drivers are trained to deal with emergencies.
deal with an emergency
▪ Several fire crews were called to deal with the emergency at the power plant.
deal with an enquiry
▪ Our staff will be able to deal with any enquiries.
deal with an issue/matter/question
▪ New laws were introduced to deal with the issue.
deal with/handle an incident
▪ The police were criticized for the way in which they handled the incident.
deal with/tackle an issue (also address an issueformal)
▪ The government must deal with the issue of gun crime.
▪ The company said that it will address the issue at the next scheduled board meeting.
decide/settle/resolve an issue (=solve it)
▪ The issue was settled after some tough negotiations.
▪ No deadline has been set to resolve the issue.
decline an offer/invitation etc
▪ Mary declined Jay’s invitation to dinner.
deepen/broaden an understanding
▪ It is hoped that the research will broaden our understanding of the disease.
defeat an opponent
▪ She came within three points of defeating her opponent.
delete an email
▪ I accidentally deleted your email.
demand an apology
▪ China continued to demand a full apology from the US.
deny/dismiss an accusation
▪ The government denied accusations of corruption.
describe an incident
▪ Police asked the victim to describe the incident.
develop an industry
▪ More investment is needed to develop new industries such as tourism.
devise an experiment/test
▪ He devised a series of experiments to test his theory.
discuss an aspect
▪ Police are reluctant to discuss any aspect of the investigation.
discuss/debate an issue
▪ They met to discuss the issue of working conditions at the factory.
dismiss an allegation/charge
▪ She claimed that she was honest and dismissed the allegations against her.
dismiss an idea/suggestion
▪ Both actors dismissed any idea of a romantic relationship between them.
dismiss/sack an employee (=stop employing them because they have behaved badly or broken a rule)
▪ Seven employees were dismissed for misconduct.
dismiss/throw out/turn down an appeal (=not give permission for a decision to be changed)
▪ The taxpayer's appeal was dismissed and the penalty upheld.
disobey/ignore an order
▪ Anyone who disobeys these orders will be severely punished.
do an activity
▪ He doesn't do a lot of physical activity.
do an exercise (also perform an exerciseformal)
▪ Try to do these exercises at least three days a week.
do an inspectioninformal:
▪ We did the inspection last Friday.
do an interview (also conduct an interviewformal)
▪ The interview was conducted in French.
do well/badly in an examBritish English, do well/badly on an exam AmEː
▪ Maria always did well in her exams at school.
do well/badly in an examination
▪ He did well in his examinations, and went on to study at MIT.
do yourself an injuryBritish Englishinformal (= accidentally hurt yourself)
▪ Be careful with that knife or you’ll do yourself an injury.
do/carry out an assessment
▪ A teacher does a yearly assessment of each child’s progress.
do/carry out an experiment
▪ They carried out a series of experiments to test the theory.
▪ He did some experiments with bats.
do/carry out an operation (also perform an operationformal)
▪ The operation was carried out by a team of surgeons at Papworth Hospital.
▪ I’ve done this operation hundreds of times.
do/carry out/perform/conduct an analysis
▪ No similar analysis has been done in this country.
dodge an issue/question
▪ Senator O'Brian skilfully dodged the crucial question.
do/have an MBA
done an honest day’s work
▪ I bet he’s never done an honest day’s work in his life!
draft an agreement (=write the conditions of an agreement, which may be changed)
▪ The legal team will draft a second agreement incorporating these changes.
draw an outline
▪ First, I draw out the outline of the leaf onto paper, and start adding areas of colour.
draw to an end (=to reach the end)
▪ My holiday was drawing to an end.
draw/make an analogy (=make a comparison)
▪ She drew an analogy between childbirth and the creative process.
earn an honest living
▪ I’m just trying to earn an honest living.
earn £30,000 a year/$200 a week/£5 an hour etc
▪ Newly qualified teachers earn a minimum of £24,000 a year.
eat an apple
▪ Some people say that you should eat an apple every day.
encounter an obstacle (=find that there is an obstacle)
▪ People should not encounter obstacles because of their age, sex, race, or religion.
endorse a proposal/an idea/a candidate etc
▪ The Prime Minister is unlikely to endorse this view.
endure an ordeal
▪ In his book, he describes how he endured the ordeal of prison life.
enforce an agreement
▪ The president called for UN action to enforce the agreement.
engage in an activityformal (= take part)
▪ Police suspect he may have engaged in criminal activities.
enter an era
▪ We have entered an era of instant global communication.
enter into an agreementformal (= make an official agreement, which has legal responsibilities)
▪ In 2006 the city authorities entered into an agreement with a private firm to operate the gardens.
establish/create/provide an agenda (=begin to have an agenda)
▪ We need to establish an agenda for future research.
exert an influenceformal (= have an influence)
▪ Technology exerts a powerful influence over our lives.
express an emotion (=show or talk about)
▪ He had always found it difficult to express his emotions.
express an interest in sth (=say that you are interested in something)
▪ A number of well-known film directors have expressed interest in the script.
express an interest in sth
▪ Many property developers have expressed an interest in buying the land.
face an accusation (=have an accusation made about you)
▪ The police faced accusations of using excessive force.
face an issue (=accept that an issue exists and deal with it)
▪ Politicians seem to be reluctant to face the issue.
face an obstacle (=have to deal with an obstacle)
▪ The investigation has faced numerous obstacles.
face an opponent
▪ The team were facing their final opponent of the season.
face an ordeal
▪ He faced the ordeal of caring for his dying wife.
face an uncertain/difficult future
▪ The company is facing an uncertain future.
fail an exam
▪ If you fail the exam, you can retake it.
fail an examination
▪ Michael had never yet failed an examination.
fail an inspection
▪ He couldn’t join the army because he failed the medical inspection.
feel an effect (=notice it)
▪ Small companies will feel the effect of the recession first.
feel an obligation
▪ When his mother died, he felt an obligation to continue her work.
feel/experience an emotion
▪ Seeing him with his new wife, she felt emotions that she did not want to feel again.
feel/have an urge
▪ I still sometimes feel an urge to have a cigarette.
fight an electionBritish English (also contest an election British Englishformal) (= take part in it and try to win)
▪ Three independent candidates are also planning to contest the election.
fight an election/a campaign
▪ The prime minister decided to fight an early general election.
fight/combat an infection
▪ A new drug is being developed to combat the infection.
fill out/fill in an application (=write all the necessary information on it)
▪ I would like to fill out an application for the position.
▪ You can fill in the application form online.
finalize an agreement (=agree the last part)
▪ The developer hopes to finalise an agreement this week with the local authority.
find an alternative
▪ The program is directed to finding alternatives to oil and natural gas.
find an answer
▪ The aim is to find a long-term answer to poverty.
find an example
▪ We found examples of people being overcharged by as much as 50%.
find/spot/notice an error
▪ His accountant spotted several errors in his tax return.
find/think of/come up with an explanation
▪ Scientists have been unable to find an explanation for this phenomenon.
fire off an emailinformal (= send it quickly, especially because you are angry about something)
▪ I fired off an email to the hotel, saying how disgusted I was with their level of service.
five minutes/an hour etc fast
▪ I always keep my watch 15 minutes fast.
flunk an examAmerican Englishinformal (= fail it)
▪ I flunked all my first year exams.
flying at an altitude
▪ We’re flying at an altitude of 40,000 feet.
foil/thwart an attemptformal (= make it fail)
▪ Troops loyal to the general foiled the assassination attempt.
follow an occupationformal (= do one)
▪ The third son followed his father’s occupation.
for an instant
▪ She caught his eye for an instant.
force an entry (=get into a building by breaking a door, window etc)
▪ The church was locked, but he managed to force an entry.
forge an alliance (=develop a new or strong alliance)
▪ They won the election by forging an alliance with the Social Democrats.
form an opinion (=gradually decide what your opinion is)
▪ Olson had not yet formed an opinion as to Mark’s reliability.
formulate an idea/theory
▪ Darwin formulated the theory of natural selection.
forward an email (=send an email you have received to someone else)
▪ Can you please forward this email on to Chris?
found an empire (=start an empire)
▪ The Persian empire was founded by Cyrus the Great.
from an early/young age
▪ She’d been playing the piano from a very early age.
from an economic/financial/business point of view
▪ From a financial point of view, the concert was a disaster.
fulfil an aim/a goal/an objective
▪ an analysis of how different countries are attempting to fulfill their political goals
fulfil an aim/a goal/an objective
▪ an analysis of how different countries are attempting to fulfill their political goals
gain an insight (into sth) (=get a chance to understand more about something)
▪ You can gain an insight into horses’ feelings by the physical signs they give out.
gain an understanding (=get knowledge based on learning and experience)
▪ Drama is one of the key ways in which children can gain an understanding of themselves and of others.
gain/get/develop an understanding
▪ Scientists continued to gain a greater understanding of the effects of radiation.
generate an income (=provide one)
▪ He decided to invest the money to generate an income for the future.
get an allowance
▪ Do you get an allowance for clothes?
get an appointment (=succeed in arranging one)
▪ It’s difficult to get an appointment on Monday morning.
get an idea
▪ She got the idea from an article in a magazine.
get an impression
▪ What sort of impression did you get of the city?
get an injuryinformal (= suffer an injury)
▪ He couldn’t take the chance of getting an injury.
get an interview
▪ He was one of only five people to get an interview out of more than 100 people who applied.
get an opportunity
▪ I decided to go, as I might never get this opportunity again.
get an overview
▪ I wanted to get an overview of the main environmental concerns.
get into an argument/become involved in an argument
▪ She didn’t want to get into another argument about money.
▪ I left to avoid becoming involved in an argument.
get into an argument/become involved in an argument
▪ She didn’t want to get into another argument about money.
▪ I left to avoid becoming involved in an argument.
get/be given an airing
▪ an issue that wasn’t given an airing during the campaign
get/develop an illness
▪ She developed the illness when she was in her 50s.
get/develop an infection
▪ She got a nasty throat infection which meant she couldn’t sing.
get/gain an advantage
▪ Both teams tried to get an advantage.
get/gain an edge over sb/sth (=gain a small advantage over someone or something else)
▪ A well trained workforce is a key factor in gaining a competitive edge over our rivals.
get/have an inquiry (=receive it)
▪ We’ve already had a lot of inquiries about membership of the new sports centre.
get/obtain/seek advice from an expert (=ask an expert for information or advice)
▪ Don’t make big financial decisions without first seeking advice from an expert.
get/receive an answer
▪ She wrote to him but she never got an answer.
get/receive an apology
▪ He received a formal apology from the company.
get/receive an award
▪ He is the youngest person ever to receive the award.
get/receive an education
▪ Some children grow up without receiving any education.
get/receive an email
▪ Within seconds, I got an email confirming the booking.
get/receive an invitation
▪ Did you get an invitation to Janet's party?
get/receive an offer
▪ He received the offer of a place at Cambridge University.
give an account
▪ Marshall gave the police his account of how the fight started.
give an account/description
▪ He gave a disturbing account of the murder.
give an estimate
▪ The builder gave me an estimate of £10,000.
give an excuse
▪ I'll have to give my boss some kind of excuse.
give an explanation
▪ The police gave no explanation for their actions.
give an impression
▪ Her speech definitely gave the impression that she was enthusiastic about the project.
give in to an urge (=do what you feel you want to do, when this is wrong)
▪ I try not to give in to the urge to gossip.
give in/hand in an essay
▪ Half the class failed to hand in their essay on time.
give sb an advantage
▪ His height gives him a big advantage.
give sb an answer
▪ I’ll give you an answer tomorrow.
give sb an appetite (also stimulate your appetiteformal)
▪ The exercise and fresh air had given us an appetite.
▪ The aroma of the herbs and spices helps stimulate the appetite.
give sb an award
▪ The award is given each year to the best new artist.
give (sb) an example
▪ Let me give you an example of how this might happen.
give sb an idea
▪ What gave you the idea for the book?
give sb an injection
▪ The nurse gave him an injection.
give sb an interview (=interview someone)
▪ We gave her an interview, but decided not to offer her the job.
give sb an invitation (also issue/extend an invitationformal)
▪ He has issued an invitation to the Chinese president to come to Washington.
give sb an outline
▪ The leaflet gives you an outline of the Party's main policies.
give sb an outlook
▪ June's new job gave her a fresh outlook.
give sb an ultimatum
▪ My boss gave me an ultimatum: get better results or find another job. airing
▪ Put your houseplants outside to give them an airing.
give/create an illusion
▪ The mirrors in the room gave an illusion of greater space.
give/express an opinion (=say what your opinion is)
▪ He gave his opinion only when asked.
give/issue an order
▪ Do not fire until I give the order.
give/offer sb an incentive
▪ If you want people to change their behaviour, it's a good idea to offer them some kind of incentive.
give/offer sb an option
▪ Some employees were given the option of retiring early.
▪ Buyers will usually be offered the option of paying in instalments.
give/provide an education
▪ The school aims to provide a good general education.
give/provide/offer an overview
▪ The report provides an overview of the recent policy changes.
give/seek/receive an assurance (that)
▪ He gave an assurance that the work would be completed by Wednesday.
go back on an agreement (also renege on an agreementformal) (= not do what you agreed to do)
▪ Republican leaders accused Democrats of trying to renege on an agreement to have a House vote.
go for an interview (also attend an interviewformal)
▪ I went for an interview at a software company yesterday.
go for an option (=choose an option)
▪ Which option do you think they'll go for?
go into/enter into an alliance with sb
▪ Spain then entered into an alliance with France.
go on an expedition
▪ We decided to go on a shopping expedition to London.
go on an expedition
▪ After the war, Swainson went on an expedition to Patagonia.
go through an ordeal (also undergo an ordealformal) (= experience something that is very bad or difficult)
▪ I'd already gone through the ordeal of a divorce once.
▪ The girl will not have to ungergo the ordeal of giving evidence in court.
go to an event (also attend an eventformal)
▪ Unfortunately, the prime minister will not be able to attend the event.
go to an exhibition (also attend/visit an exhibitionformal)
▪ We went to an exhibition of Russian art at the National Gallery.
gone on an outing
▪ They had gone on an outing to the pool for Robert’s birthday.
grant/approve an application (=give permission to do or have sth)
▪ What are the reasons for not granting this application?
granted an amnesty
▪ The government granted an amnesty for all former terrorists.
greet an announcementformal (= react to it in a particular way)
▪ The announcement was. greeted with cheers on both sides of the House.
grounds for an appeal (=reasons for making an appeal)
▪ You need to have reasonable grounds for your appeal.
had an inkling
▪ I had an inkling that she was pregnant.
had an orgasm
▪ women who have never had an orgasm
half an hour (also a half hour) (= thirty minutes)
▪ I’ll meet you in half an hour.
hammer out an agreementinformal (= decide on an agreement after a lot of discussion and disagreement)
▪ Traders are focused on Washington, where Republicans and Democrats are hammering out an agreement to balance the federal budget.
handle an emergency (=deal with and make decisions about an emergency)
▪ There is always a doctor on call to handle emergencies.
handle/deal with an inquiry
▪ Staff will be available to deal with inquiries.
have an accent
▪ The man had a Spanish accent.
have an accident
▪ I had an accident on my way to work.
have an advantage (also enjoy an advantageformal)
▪ Our parents didn’t have all the advantages that we have.
▪ Western countries enjoyed considerable advantages in terms of technology.
have an agenda
▪ Brown has an agenda for the university’s future.
have an agreement
▪ They have an agreement that all workers should be union members.
have an aim
▪ His trip to Milan, his third in two weeks, had a precise aim.
have an air of authorityapproving (= look like you have authority, in a way that makes people obey you)
▪ The commander had an unmistakeable air of authority.
have an allergy
▪ I have an allergy to cats.
have an alternative
▪ You have a few alternatives to choose from.
have an ambition
▪ He had an ambition to be a top cello player.
have an answer
▪ Doctors are supposed to have all the answers.
have an appetite
▪ There’s lots of food – I hope you have a good appetite.
have an appointment
▪ She has an appointment with the dentist at 5 o'clock.
have an approach
▪ In the US they have a somewhat different approach.
have an argument
▪ I could hear my parents having an argument downstairs.
have an audience
▪ The programme has a massive audience, ranging from children to grandparents.
have an easy time of it
▪ You can have an easy time of it now that the kids have all left home.
have an education
▪ The women have had little education.
have an effect on sth/sb
▪ Eating junk food will eventually have an effect on your health.
have an engagement
▪ I don't have any engagements tomorrow.
have an equivalent
▪ This institution has no equivalent in any other European country.
have an even chance
▪ I think we have an even chance of winning.
have an examination
▪ He was examined by Dr Bower yesterday and will have another examination today.
have an excuse
▪ Companies have no excuse for breaking the law.
have an exhibition
▪ The college is having an exhibition of the students’ work in April.
have an explanation
▪ Does the hospital have any explanation for why he died?
have an expression on your face
▪ He had a very serious expression on his face.
have an expression
▪ His face had a puzzled expression.
have an idea
▪ I’ve had an idea. Why don’t we walk into town?
have an illness
▪ When did you first find out that you had the illness?
have an image
▪ The product has a rather downmarket image.
have (an) imagination
▪ Her poems show that she has a lot of imagination.
have an impact
▪ New technology has had a massive impact on our lives.
have an incentive
▪ Companies have an incentive to maximize efficiency.
have an income (also receive an incomeformal)
▪ We have an income of over $100,000 a year.
have an infection
▪ I think you’ve got an infection, so you need to rest.
have an influence on sb/sth
▪ His works have had an influence on many modern writers.
have an injection
▪ He had to have an injection to relieve the pain.
have an injury
▪ Tom was OK, and had just a few minor injuries.
have an inspiration (=suddenly have an idea)
▪ He had an inspiration while he was taking a walk in the countryside.
have an interest in sth
▪ Steve has a keen interest in bird-watching.
have an interview
▪ She has an interview next week for a teaching job in Paris.
have an invitation
▪ The following week, I had an invitation to give a talk in Cambridge.
have an objection
▪ Does anyone have any objections to the proposal?
have an objective
▪ Our main objective is to reduce road accidents.
have an obligation
▪ Citizens have an obligation to obey the law.
have an obsession
▪ The poet seems to have an obsession with death.
have an occupation
▪ The people in the region have a variety of occupations.
have an operation (also undergo an operationformal)
▪ Harris had a hip operation in October.
▪ She has undergone 50 operations since birth.
have an option
▪ At the moment, children have the option of leaving school at 16.
▪ In a situation like this, you have two options.
have an outcome
▪ The meeting had a very satisfactory outcome.
have an outlook
▪ He has quite a conventional outlook.
have an overview
▪ We need someone who will have an overview of the whole system.
have an understanding
▪ The authorities don’t seem to have a clear understanding of the problem.
have/contain an error
▪ If the data contains errors, the results will be wrong.
have/feel an impulse to
▪ Rosa had an impulse to tell Henry the truth.
have/get an erection
have/hold an election
▪ The government plans to hold an election in November.
have/hold an evening (=organize an event in the evening)
▪ The college is holding an open evening on May 6th for year 9 to 11 pupils.
have/hold an opinion
▪ Everyone seemed to have a different opinion.
▪ He holds strong opinions on these issues.
have/take/adopt an attitude
▪ Not everyone takes a positive attitude towards modern art.
having an off day
▪ Brian never usually loses his temper – he must be having an off day.
having an open house
▪ We’re having an open house Sunday, noon to 5 pm.
hear an announcement
▪ Everyone was shocked when they heard the announcement.
hear an appeal (=listen to all the facts)
▪ The FA will hear Chelsea's appeal against the fine next week.
hear an explosion
▪ Marie was reading in bed when she heard the explosion.
highlight an issue (=bring attention to it)
▪ The minister used his speech to highlight the issue of global warming.
hire an instrument
▪ You could hire an instrument from a music shop.
hit a peak/an all-time high etc
▪ Earnings hit a peak in the early 1980s.
hit on an ideainformal (= suddenly think of an idea)
▪ Then we hit on the idea of renting a cottage.
hit rock-bottom/an all-time low etc
▪ Oil prices have hit rock-bottom.
hold an execution (=carry one out)
▪ The executions will be held later today.
hold an inquiry
▪ The government has refused to hold an inquiry into the incident.
hold sb up as an example (=use someone as a good example of something)
▪ He was held up as an example to the younger athletes.
hold/mount/stage an exhibition formal (= have an exhibition)
▪ Hayward Gallery is mounting an impressive exhibition of new British artists.
hold/stage an event (=organize a public event)
▪ The charity plans to stage several fund-raising events this year.
host an exhibitionformal (= provide the place for an exhibition)
▪ Boston’s Museum of Fine Art hosts temporary exhibitions alongside its permanent collection.
impose an obligationformal (= put someone in the position of having an obligation)
▪ A contract imposes certain obligations on employees and employers.
in an easterly direction
▪ We drove off in an easterly direction.
In an ideal world
In an ideal world there would be no need for a police force.
in an instant (=immediately)
▪ When the rain started, the crowd vanished in an instant.
in an orderly fashion
▪ The elections were conducted in an orderly fashion.
in case of emergency/in the event of an emergency (=if there is an emergency)
▪ The fire-exit doors should only be opened in case of emergency.
incur an expenseformal (= have to pay for something)
▪ Potential buyers incur the expense of a survey and legal fees.
inflict an injury on sbformal (= make someone have an injury)
▪ Jenkins was accused of inflicting a head injury on one of his former colleagues.
introduce an act
▪ In 1961, before the Divorce Law Reform Act was introduced, the divorce rate was only 2.1%.
involved in an accident (=he is one of the people in an accident)
▪ I’m afraid your son’s been involved in an accident.
is an understatement
▪ To say the movie was bad is an understatement.
is quite an art (=it is difficult to do)
▪ Writing advertisements is quite an art.
issue an apology (=make an official public apology)
▪ North Korea issued an official apology for the incident.
issue/deliver an ultimatum (=officially give someone an ultimatum)
▪ The authorities issued an ultimatum to the students to end their protest or face arrest.
It is an illusion that
It is an illusion that the Arctic is dark in winter.
it is an offence to do sth
▪ It is an offence to carry a weapon in a public place.
keep an appointment (=go to an appointment that you have arranged)
▪ Please let us know if you cannot keep your appointment.
keep an open mind
▪ It’s important to keep an open mind as you study the topic.
keep sth/get sth back on an even keel
▪ Now that the crisis is over, we must try to get things back on an even keel.
keep/honour an agreement (also stick to an agreementinformal) (= do what you have agreed)
▪ It’s important to keep to your student loan agreement.
keep/stay away from an area
▪ The police ordered people to stay away from the area.
last an hour/ten minutes etc
▪ Each lesson lasts an hour.
▪ The ceasefire didn’t last long.
last (for) an hour
▪ The meeting lasted almost two hours.
launch an attack
▪ In April the French army launched an attack.
launch an attack/assault/offensive
▪ The press launched a vicious attack on the President.
launch/set up an inquiry (=start it)
▪ Police launched an inquiry yesterday after a man was killed by a patrol car.
lead an attack/assault
▪ Nelson preferred to lead the attack himself from the front.
lead an investigation/inquiry/campaign
▪ The investigation will be led by Inspector Scarfe.
▪ They are leading a campaign to warn teenagers about the dangers of drug abuse.
lead to an increase
▪ They argue that the abolition of the death penalty has led to an increase in the number of murders.
lead/mount an attack
▪ The King now prepared to mount an attack on Granada.
learn to play an instrument (also learn an instrument)
▪ All students at the school have the opportunity to learn an instrument.
leave an impression on sb (=make someone remember a person, place, or thing )
▪ Janet certainly left an impression on him.
lessen/reduce an effect (=make an effect smaller or less severe)
▪ The government must take action to reduce the effects of pollution.
level an accusation against/at sb (=bring an accusation against someone)
▪ As a result, some outrageous accusations were levelled at her.
lift a restriction/an embargo/sanctions etc
▪ The government plans to lift its ban on cigar imports.
lift/end an embargo (=stop an embargo)
▪ Britain favours lifting the embargo on humanitarian grounds.
live in an apartment
▪ He lived in a small apartment on the third floor.
locked in an embrace (=holding each other very tightly in a loving or friendly way)
▪ A moment later they were locked in an embrace.
lodge an objection (=formally make an objection)
▪ Residents have lodged an objection to the new development.
lodge/file/bring an appeal (=make an appeal)
▪ Mr Sarhadi, who has lived here for three years, has lodged an appeal against extradition.
look at an option (=consider an option)
▪ You have to look at every option as your business develops.
look at/consider/examine an aspect
▪ Managers were asked to look at every aspect of their work.
look for an excuse
▪ I began to look for excuses to avoid seeing him.
lose an arm/leg/eye etc
▪ He lost his leg in a motorcycle accident.
lose an election
▪ If the party loses the election, they may decide they need a new leader.
lose/shed an image (=get rid of it)
▪ The party struggled to lose its image of being somewhat old-fashioned.
make an accusation
▪ You’ve made a lot of accusations but you haven’t got any evidence.
make an agreement
▪ We made an agreement not to tell anyone.
make (an) allowance/make allowances (for sth)
▪ The budget makes allowances for extra staff when needed.
make an apology
▪ I hope you are going to make an apology.
make an appeal
▪ My client is planning to make an appeal.
make an appearance
▪ The President made a dramatic appearance on nationwide television to announce a fresh peace initiative.
make an application
▪ Candidates are advised to make an early application to the university.
make an ass of yourself (=do something stupid or embarrassing)
make an assessment
▪ I had to make a quick assessment of the situation and act accordingly.
make an assumption
▪ You’re making a lot of assumptions for which you have no proof.
make an attempt
▪ She made several attempts to escape.
make an effort (=try)
▪ She made an effort to change the subject of the conversation.
make an error
▪ We made too many errors, and that cost us the game.
make an estimate
▪ Insurers have to make an estimate of the risk involved.
make an exception (=deal with someone or something in a different way from usual on a particular occasion)
▪ We usually require a 10% deposit, but I'll make an exception in this case.
make an expedition (=go on an expedition)
▪ The men made expeditions to Spain, Greece and Asia Minor to find fossils.
make an impact
▪ The product quickly made an impact on the market.
make an impression
▪ Think about what sort of impression you want to make.
make an inquiry
▪ The police are making inquiries to discover the cause of the accident.
make an investment (in sth)
▪ We have made a huge investment in our website.
make an objection (=say what your objection is)
▪ The Parish Council made several objections to the changes.
make an order (=used of a court)
▪ The court made an adoption order.
make sth an offence/make it an offence to do sth
▪ The Act made it an offence to sell cigarettes to children under 16.
make sth an offence/make it an offence to do sth
▪ The Act made it an offence to sell cigarettes to children under 16.
make up/think up/invent an excuse
▪ I made up some excuse about my car breaking down.
▪ We’d better think up an excuse, fast.
make/arrange an appointment
▪ Can you phone the hairdresser and make an appointment?
make/form an alliance
▪ In 1902, Japan made an alliance with Britain.
make/issue an announcement
▪ The next day an announcement was issued to staff, saying the company would be closing.
▪ The government issued an announcement saying that it was not prepared to negotiate with terrorists.
make/issue/launch an appeal
▪ Detectives are making an urgent appeal for information.
▪ The hospital has launched an appeal to raise money for new equipment.
mark an essayBritish English, grade an essay AmE:
▪ I went home knowing that I still had a pile of essays to mark.
mark an occasion (=do something special to celebrate an event)
▪ The bells were rung to mark the occasion.
meet/fulfil/honour an obligation (=do something that you have a duty to do )
▪ The company has been unable to meet its financial obligations.
▪ All member states must fulfil their obligations according to the EC treaty.
▪ The government failed to honour its obligations under the terms of the agreement.
miles/kilometres an hour (=used in speeds)
▪ The speed limit is 65 miles an hour.
miss an appointment (=not go to an appointment you have arranged)
▪ The train was late so I missed my appointment.
miss/lose an opportunity (=not do something you have a chance to do)
▪ Dwyer never missed an opportunity to criticize her.
mount an assault/attack
▪ Guerrillas have mounted an attack on the capital.
mount/launch an expedition (=plan, organize, and begin an expedition)
▪ Ornithologists are mounting an expedition to the island in order to study the birds.
move an amendmentBritish English (= suggest a change)
▪ They want to move an amendment to the bill.
move into/out of an apartment (=start living in a new apartment, or leave an apartment in order to live somewhere else)
▪ They moved into the apartment last Easter.
move into/out of an area
▪ She had just moved into the area and knew very few people.
▪ Many young people are moving out of rural areas.
mumble/mutter an apology (=say it quietly, especially because you are embarrassed)
▪ He bumped into me and mumbled an apology.
munch on an apple (=eat it)
▪ He was munching on an apple.
nationalize an industry (=make it owned by the state)
▪ The rail industry was nationalized in the 1950s, with disastrous results.
need/require an explanation
▪ We think the minister’s decision requires an explanation.
negotiate an agreement (=discuss particular things in order to reach an agreement)
▪ They have been trying to negotiate an agreement with a Chinese company.
negotiate an agreement/contract etc
▪ Union leaders have negotiated an agreement for a shorter working week.
not trust sb an inch/not trust sb as far as you can throw them (=not trust someone at all)
nurse/harbour/cherish an ambition (=have it for a long time, especially secretly)
▪ He had nursed an ambition to become a writer for many years.
obey an impulseformal (also yield to an impulseliterary) (= do something because you have a sudden very strong desire to do it)
▪ Yielding to an impulse, she called him on her mobile phone.
obey an order
▪ He refused to obey this order.
obey an order/command/instruction
▪ The first duty of a soldier is to obey orders.
offer an apology
▪ We would like to offer our sincere apologies for the delay.
offer an opportunity/chance/possibility
▪ The course offers the opportunity to specialize in the final year.
offer/provide an alternative
▪ If your first choice is not available, we always have alternatives to offer.
on an ad hoc basis
▪ decisions made on an ad hoc basis
on an equal footing (with sb/sth)/on the same footing (as sb/sth) (=in the same state or condition as other people or things)
▪ The new law puts women on an equal legal footing with men.
▪ Many of the old polytechnics are now on the same footing as universities.
on an international scale (=involving more than one country)
▪ Preparations to deal with an outbreak of the disease are being made on an international scale.
on an unprecedented scale (=more than ever before)
▪ Propaganda techniques were used on an unprecedented scale.
on an unprecedented scale
▪ Crime has increased on an unprecedented scale.
on the back of an envelope (=used to describe a calculation or plan that is written down quickly on any available small piece of paper)
▪ She scribbled a few ideas on the back of an envelope.
open an envelope
▪ I opened the envelope, pulled out the document and read it.
outfox/outwit/outmanoeuvre an opponent (=gain an advantage over an opponent by being more intelligent or skilful than they are)
▪ Football is all about outwitting your opponents.
overcome an obstacle (also surmount an obstacleformal) (= find a solution to an obstacle)
▪ We need to help young people overcome the obstacles that poverty puts in their way.
owe an obligation to sbformal (= have an obligation to support, help etc someone)
▪ He owed an obligation of loyalty to his king.
owe sb an apology
▪ I’m afraid I owe you an apology.
owe (sb) an explanation
▪ I think you owe me some kind of explanation.
own an apartment
▪ My parents own an apartment in Madrid.
pass an act
▪ Once Parliament has passed an act, it becomes the law of the land.
pass an exam (=succeed in it)
▪ Did you pass your final exam?
pass an examination (=succeed in it)
▪ I really hope that Suzie passes the examination.
pass an inspection
▪ The supermarket can only trade if it passes the cleanliness inspection.
peel an apple (=remove the skin)
▪ Peel the apples and slice them finely.
perform an act (=do something, especially something difficult or useful)
▪ The nurses performed many small acts of kindness.
perform an action
▪ The children sing and perform the actions to nursery songs.
perform an experiment/study etc
▪ Part of the Chemistry exam involves performing an experiment.
perform an operation
▪ The surgeon who performed the operation said it had gone well.
perform/conduct an experimentformal (= do an experiment)
▪ The laboratory began conducting experiments on rats.
perform/play to an audience
▪ The band played to huge audiences in Mexico City and Buenos Aires.
pick up an accent
▪ During his stay in England, he had picked up an English accent.
pick up/scoop up an award (=to get an award – used especially in news reports)
▪ Angelina Jolie scooped up the award for best actress.
place/impose an embargo on sth (=start an embargo)
▪ The UN imposed an embargo on trade with the military regime.
plan an escape
▪ We planned our escape carefully and waited for just the right moment.
plank of an argument/policy/campaign etc
▪ the main plank of their argument
▪ a central plank of our policy
play an active role in sth
▪ Do you play an active role in your community?
play an instrument
▪ Can you play a musical instrument?
play/perform an essential role in sth
▪ Antibiotics play an essential role in controlling infection.
post an advertisement (=put it on a website)
▪ The agency has posted an advertisement on its website for graduates to work overseas.
prefer/favour an approach
▪ I prefer a traditional approach.
present an obstacle (=cause a problem that is difficult to deal with or solve)
▪ The lack of money presented a massive obstacle.
present sb with an award (=give someone an award at a formal ceremony)
▪ She cried when she was presented with her award.
present sb with an ultimatum
▪ Iraq was presented with an ultimatum by the UN to cease the invasion of Kuwait.
present/pose an obstacle (=cause an obstacle to exist)
▪ Serious differences continue to present obstacles to an agreement.
▪ Our reliance on fossil fuels poses an obstacle to achieving these targets.
present/project/promote an image (=behave in a way that creates a particular image)
▪ He presented an image of himself as an energetic young leader.
prevent an accident
▪ Steps have been taken to prevent a similar accident happening again.
prevent an escape (also foil an escapeformal) (= stop an escape)
▪ Walker grabbed her firmly by the wrist, preventing any chance of escape.
privatize an industry (=make it privately owned, rather than owned by the state)
▪ The water industry was privatized in the 1980s.
process an application (=officially deal with it)
▪ Your application for British citizenship will be processed by the Immigration Service.
process an application/claim/transaction etc
▪ All university applications are processed through this system.
produce an effectformal
▪ If we combine these sounds, they produce an effect that is almost jazzy.
produce/bring out an edition (=of a book, newspaper, or other product)
▪ This special edition of the VW Beetle was produced in the 1970s.
promote an exhibition (=tell the public about it)
▪ Our press officer contacted the local radio and TV stations to promote the exhibition.
prove an embarrassment (=be an embarrassment)
▪ The publication of the documents proved a severe embarrassment to the company.
prove an obstacle (=be an obstacle)
▪ The weather proved an obstacle, with nonstop rains flooding the field.
prove/support an accusation
▪ There were very few facts to support the accusation against him.
provide an account
▪ Freud has provided an account of the human psyche’s stages of development.
provide an example
▪ Our brochure provides examples of the different villas on offer.
provide an income
▪ The properties he rented out provided him with an income.
provide an outline
▪ The first chapter provides an outline of the theory of evolution.
provide (sb with) an estimate
▪ Could you ask him if he can provide us with an estimate?
provide sb with an incentive
▪ Good teachers provide their students with incentives to learn.
provide/offer an explanation
▪ This theory may provide an explanation for the origins of the universe.
provide/present/open up an opportunity
▪ The course also provides an opportunity to study Japanese.
provide/produce an analysis
▪ The report provided an analysis of the problems we need to address.
provoke protest(s)/an outcry
▪ Not surprisingly, the new rules have provoked protests from gun owners.
▪ The crackdown provoked an international outcry.
provoke/spark off an incident (=cause it to happen suddenly)
▪ It is claimed that the police provoked the incident.
publish an apology (=print it in a newspaper)
▪ The newspaper group was forced to publish a full apology.
publish an edition (=of a book or newspaper)
▪ The first edition of the book was published in 1982.
publish/carry/run an article (=print it in a newspaper or magazine)
▪ The magazine carried an article on the dangers of being overweight.
pursue an interest
▪ Always encourage children to pursue their interests.
pursue an objective (=try to achieve something you want)
▪ War has always been a means of pursuing national objectives.
put an end to sth (=make something end)
▪ A shoulder injury put an end to his baseball career.
put an estimate on sth (=say the amount that you think something is)
▪ It is impossible to put an estimate on the value of the manuscript.
put forward an argument
▪ He rejected the arguments put forward by the company’s lawyers.
put forward an idea
▪ In 1829 he put forward the idea that the Earth is contracting.
put in/submit an application
▪ The company has submitted a planning application.
put on an accent (=deliberately speak with a different accent from your usual one)
▪ When mum’s on the phone, she puts on a funny accent.
put on an exhibition (=have an exhibition)
▪ Last summer the museum put on some wonderful exhibitions for children. an awkward position (=made it difficult for her to know what to do)
▪ Philip’s remarks put her in an awkward position.
put/place an advertisement in a paper/newspaper
▪ I tried putting an advertisement for lodgers in the local paper.
quoted as an example of
▪ The nurses’ union was quoted as an example of a responsible trade union.
raise an issue/bring up an issue (=say an issue should be discussed)
▪ Some important issues were raised at the meeting.
raise an issue/bring up an issue (=say an issue should be discussed)
▪ Some important issues were raised at the meeting.
raise/voice an objection (=make an objection)
▪ His father raised no objections when John told him that he wanted to become a dancer.
ratify a treaty/an agreement/a decision etc
▪ We hope that the republics will be willing to ratify the treaty.
reach an age
▪ The payments will be made until the child reaches college age.
reach an agreement/compromise/settlement (=decide on an arrangement that is acceptable to both groups)
▪ Substantial progress was made toward reaching an agreement.
reach an audience
▪ For an advertiser who wants to reach a large audience, television news easily surpasses other news media.
reach/come to an agreement (also conclude an agreementformal)
▪ It took the two sides several weeks to reach an agreement.
▪ The two sides failed to come to an agreement.
reach/meet an objective (=achieve an objective)
▪ We need to control spending in order to meet our financial objectives.
read an account
▪ Have you read his account of the journey?
read an email
▪ It took most of the morning to read my emails.
read an essay
▪ Did you read her essay on ‘The Waste Land’?
read/see an article
▪ It was good to see such an intelligent article on censorship.
receive an injectionformal
▪ The boxer received an injection of the drug before the fight.
receive an inquiryformal:
▪ The television station has received several inquiries from viewers requesting a repeat of the programme.
receive an order
▪ The general says he received no order to withdraw.
receive an ultimatum
▪ We received an ultimatum from the army demanding our surrender.
record an event (=write down or photograph what happened)
▪ Two photographers recorded the events.
recorded an open verdict
▪ He said there was some doubt over the way Grant had died, and recorded an open verdict.
recover from an illness
▪ It took several months for him to recover from his illness.
recover from an injury
▪ It took her six months to recover from the injury.
recover from an operation
▪ A man is recovering from an emergency operation after his pet dog attacked him.
recover from an ordeal
▪ She is recovering from her ordeal after a bomb went off on the train she was on.
refuse/reject/turn down an application (=say no to an application)
▪ Their planning application was rejected because of a lack of parking facilities.
refuse/turn down an invitation (also decline an invitationformal)
▪ She turned down an invitation to take part in a televised debate.
refute a hypothesis/a claim/an idea etc
▪ an attempt to refute Darwin’s theories
refute an allegation/a suggestion etc
▪ She refuted any allegations of malpractice.
regulate an industry (=control an industry so that it does not make unfair profits)
▪ A new agency was created to regulate the telecommunications industry.
remove an obstacle
▪ Opening the border removed all obstacles to trade and travel between the two countries.
renew an appeal (=make an appeal again)
▪ Detectives renewed their appeal for help from the public.
repeal an act (=officially end it)
▪ The Act was repealed by the incoming Labour government.
represent a change/an advance/an increase etc
▪ This treatment represents a significant advance in the field of cancer research.
represent a change/an advance/an increase etc
▪ This treatment represents a significant advance in the field of cancer research.
represent an improvement (=be an improvement)
▪ A pre-tax profit of 4.3 million pounds represents a 5% improvement on last year.
resist an attempt to do sth
▪ The rest of the board resisted his attempts to change the way things were done.
resist/control an impulse (=not do something, even though you have an impulse to do it)
▪ Derek resisted the impulse to eat any more cake.
resist/fight/suppress an urge
▪ She had to resist a constant urge to look back over her shoulder.
resolve an issue/matter/question
▪ Has the issue been resolved yet?
retake an exam (also resit an exam British English) (= take it again because you did not do well the first time)
▪ If you don’t do well, you’ll have to resit the exam in January.
returned an open verdict
▪ The jury returned an open verdict.
rev (up) an engineBritish English, gun an engine American English (= make an engine go very fast)
▪ As the lights turned green, Chris gunned the engine and we surged forward.
rig an election (=dishonestly arrange the result)
▪ He accused the ruling party of rigging the elections.
run an empire (=be in charge of it)
▪ She now runs a whole media empire.
run/carry an advertisement (=print or broadcast an advertisement)
▪ Broadcasters are no longer allowed to run cigarette advertisements.
sail though an exam (=pass it easily)
▪ Don’t worry - I'm sure you’ll sail through all your exams.
satisfy an urge
▪ Her urge to travel had never been satisfied.
satisfy an urge (=do want you feel you want to do)
▪ He satisfied his urge to travel by going to India.
sb has an attitude problem (=someone is not helpful or pleasant to be with)
▪ Some of the male students have a real attitude problem.
scrape through an exam (=only just pass it)
▪ He managed to scrape through the exam and stay on the course.
seal an envelope (=close it)
▪ She sealed the envelope and stuck on a stamp.
see an exhibition
▪ We also saw an exhibition of paintings by Sydney Lough Thompson, a New Zealand artist.
seek an alternative
▪ People are seeking alternatives to meat-based dishes.
see/notice an improvement
▪ After taking the tablets, he noticed some improvement in his energy levels.
seize/grasp an opportunity (=do something very eagerly when you have the chance)
▪ She saw an opportunity to speak to him, and seized it.
send (sb) an email
▪ Can you send me an email with all the details?
send (sb) an invitation
▪ We sent out the invitations last week.
set an agenda (=decide on the problems you want to deal with)
▪ The new government set an agenda for constitutional reform.
set an example (=show by your own behaviour how other people should behave)
▪ You should be setting an example for your little brother.
set an example (=behave well in a way that other people can copy)
▪ Parents should try to set a good example to their teenagers.
set an objective (=decide what you are trying to achieve)
▪ Pupils should be encouraged to set their own objectives.
set off on an expedition (also embark on an expeditionformal) (= leave at the start of an expedition)
▪ Trent set off on an expedition to collect plants with fellow botanical students.
set off/trigger an explosion (=cause an explosion)
▪ Investigators believe a fuel leak may have triggered the explosion.
share an apartment
▪ I’m sharing the apartment with a group of friends.
shatter an image (=make people realise the idea they have about something is wrong)
▪ The book shattered the image of the contented American housewife.
shed an image (=change people's opinion about someone or something)
▪ Has the industry finally shed its negative image?
show an improvement
▪ The sales figures show a major improvement.
sign an agreement
▪ The two countries have signed an agreement on military co-operation.
slit open an envelope (=open it by cutting it)
▪ I quickly slit open the envelope.
solve an equation
▪ For homework, solve the equations on page 56.
solve an equation
▪ At the age of six, he could solve complicated mathematical equations.
spare sb ten minutes/an hour etc
▪ Could you possibly spare me a few moments in private used to ask someone if they have time to quickly talk to you?
speak with an accent
▪ She spoke with an accent that I couldn’t understand.
spend an evening (=use an evening doing a particular thing)
▪ He spent many evenings alone in his room.
spend an hour
▪ I spent an hour reading.
sponsor an event (=give money to an event, especially in exchange for the right to advertise)
▪ The event is sponsored by the Royal Bank of Scotland.
spread an infection (also transmit an infectionformal)
▪ Pregnant women can transmit the infection to their unborn child.
start/cause an argument
▪ He was deliberately trying to start an argument.
▪ Money often causes arguments.
sth is not an easy task sth is no easy task (= something is difficult)
▪ Recruiting experienced people is no easy task nowadays.
sth represents an achievement (=something is an achievement)
▪ Few people realised what an enormous achievement Concorde represented.
study for an exam (also revise for an exam British English)
▪ She has to study for her exams.
study for an exam/diploma etc
▪ I’ve only got three weeks left to study for my exams.
study for an examination (also revise for an examination British English)
▪ I have been studying all week for the examination.
stumped for words/an answer/a reply
▪ Travis seemed absolutely stumped for words.
subject sb to an ordeal (=make someone suffer something very painful or frightening)
▪ Simon Collier was subjected to a horrifying ordeal at gunpoint.
subject sb to an ordeal/abuse/harassment
▪ Barker subjected his victim to awful abuse.
submit an application/claim/proposal etc
▪ All applications must be submitted by Monday.
suffer an assault
▪ The lawyer claimed she was drunk when she suffered the assault.
suffer an injury
▪ He suffered a serious leg injury in a motorcycle accident.
suffer an injury
▪ Ten people suffered minor injuries.
suffer from an illness
▪ She suffers from a rare illness.
suffer from an infection
▪ He was suffering from an infection of the lungs.
suggest an alternative
▪ Do you have an alternative you can suggest?
support an event (=pay to attend a charity event in order to encourage it )
▪ I’d like to thank everyone who came tonight for supporting the event.
survive an operation
▪ Only one person has survived an operation to implant an artificial heart.
survive an ordeal
▪ The woman survived her ordeal and identified her attacker.
sustain/receive an injuryformal (= suffer an injury)
▪ She sustained an injury to her hip.
swear/take an oath
▪ As children, they took an oath of friendship.
switch off/turn off/stop an engine
▪ Maggie pulled over and switched off the engine.
switch on/turn on/start an engine
▪ I fastened my seat belt and turned on the engine.
sworn an oath
▪ Remember that you have sworn an oath and so must tell the truth.
take an active interest in sth
▪ Not many young people take an active interest in gardening.
take an active part in sth
▪ Most of the students take an active part in sports.
take an examination (also sit an examination British English)
▪ Do you have to take an examination in every subject?
take an example (=consider it or talk about it)
▪ Let’s take the example of a family with two school-age children.
take an exit/turn off at an exit
▪ Take the next exit, junction 15.
take an exit/turn off at an exit
▪ Take the next exit, junction 15.
take an hour (=something needs an hour to do)
▪ It took about three hours to paint the whole room.
take an interest in sth (=be interested in something)
▪ Jacky first took an interest in golf when he was about six years old.
take an overview
▪ In business, you take an overview of a problem and then think of the best solutions.
take out an advertisement (=arrange for an advertisement to be in a newspaper or magazine)
▪ Their record company took out full-page advertisements in the music press to promote the album.
take part in an activity (also participate in an activityformal)
▪ The children were encouraged to take part in several different activities.
take sb up on an offer/a promise/a suggestion etc
▪ I’ll take you up on that offer of a drink, if it still stands.
take someone on an expedition
▪ He’s taking the boys on a camping expedition next weekend.
take up an occupation (also enter an occupationformal) (= start doing one)
▪ Many of his colleagues have taken up another occupation.
▪ Our recent graduates have entered a wide range of occupations.
take up an offer/take sb up on their offerBritish English (= accept someone's offer)
▪ I might take him up on his offer.
take (up) an option (=choose an option )
▪ America was persuaded not to take up the option of military action.
take/adopt an approach (=use an approach)
▪ There were concerns that Beijing would take a tougher approach.
take/do an exam (also sit an exam British English)
▪ We have to take exams at the end of each year.
takes an...approach
▪ This book takes an unorthodox approach to art criticism.
talk to/consult an expert (=ask an expert for information or advice)
▪ If cracks appear in your house, you should consult an expert to find out what is causing the problem.
tarnish an image (=damage it slightly)
▪ His behaviour has tarnished the image of the sport.
tear/rip open an envelope (=open it quickly and roughly)
▪ My fingers trembled as I tore open the envelope.
thank sb for an invitation
▪ I'll have to write a letter thanking Martha for the invitation to her wedding.
the beginning/end of an era
▪ The closure of the last coal mine marked the end of an era in Wales.
the collapse of an empire
▪ He left the country after the collapse of his construction empire.
the decline of an empire (=the gradual decrease in an empire's power)
▪ The next two hundred years saw the gradual decline of the Roman empire.
the depth of an emotion (=how strong an emotion is)
▪ She was surprised by the depth of her emotions.
the edge of an abyss
▪ At that time Bosnia was standing on the edge of an abyss.
the fall/collapse of an empire (=the sudden end of an empire)
▪ After the battle of Waterloo, the collapse of Napoleon's empire was inevitable.
the left-hand/right-hand side of an equation
▪ Add up what you've got on the right-hand side of the equation.
the magnitude of an earthquake (=how powerful it is)
▪ Measuring stations identify the location and magnitude of an earthquake within a few minutes of the event.
the police arrest sb/make an arrest
▪ The police arrested Mr Fox as he tried to leave the country.
▪ Officer Singer said the police have made no arrests in the robbery.
the (rate of) return on an investment (=profit from an investment)
▪ We expect a high return on our investment.
the scene of an accident (=the place where it happened)
▪ Police were at the scene of the accident within minutes.
the source of an infection
▪ Doctors are trying to locate the source of the infection.
the symptoms of an illness
▪ Symptoms of the illness include vomiting and severe headaches.
the terms of an agreement (=the conditions that people agree on)
▪ Under the terms of the agreement, the debt would be repaid over a 20-year period.
the terms of an ultimatum
▪ The terms of the ultimatum required them to withdraw by noon.
the tip of an island (=the thin pointed end of an island)
▪ We live on the northernmost tip of the island of Barbados.
the victim of an attack
▪ She was the victim of an attack in her own home.
think of an answer
▪ She couldn’t think of a suitable answer to his question.
three quarters of an hour (=forty-five minutes)
▪ The journey takes three quarters of an hour.
three quarters of an hour (=45 minutes)
▪ She arrived three quarters of an hour late.
through an interpreter (=using an interpreter)
▪ Speaking through an interpreter, Ahmed said, ‘I’m very worried about my wife and children.’
tighten an embargo (=make an embargo stricter and more difficult to break)
▪ We are taking further action to tighten the embargo.
to such an extent that/to the extent that (=so much that)
▪ He annoyed her to such an extent that she had to leave the room.
to such an extent/degree that
▪ Her condition deteriorated to such an extent that a blood transfusion was considered necessary.
took an instant dislike to (=they disliked each other immediately)
▪ They took an instant dislike to each other .
took an overdose
▪ She took an overdose and died two days later. an insult (=thought it was meant to be an insult)
▪ Their offer was so low I took it as an insult .
toy with an ideainformal (= think about using an idea, but not very seriously)
▪ I’m toying with the idea of going back to college.
trace an outline (=draw the outline of something, usually with your finger or toe)
▪ She traced the outline of his lips with her fingers.
treat an infection
▪ Antibiotics are used to treat the infection.
treat an injury
▪ The injury was treated at the local hospital.
treat sb as an individual
▪ Each student must be treated as an individual.
try an approach
▪ Some scientists have been trying an alternative approach.
tune an instrument (=make it play at the right pitch)
▪ The musicians were tuning their instruments before the concert began.
turn down/refuse/reject/decline an offer (=say no to it)
▪ She declined the offer of a lift.
undergo an examination (=have one)
▪ All new employees are required to undergo a medical examination.
undergo treatment/surgery/an operation
▪ The cyclist underwent emergency surgery yesterday after a collision with a car.
uphold/allow an appeal (=give permission for a decision to be changed)
▪ Judge Gabriel Hutton upheld Smith's appeal against a £250 fine.
use an approach
▪ This approach has been used for a number of major investigations.
use an entrance
▪ It's quicker to use the side entrance.
use an example
▪ He used several examples to illustrate his point.
use an exit
▪ In the event of a fire, please use the emergency exit nearest to you.
use sth as an excuse
▪ She never complained or used her illness as an excuse.
usher in an era (=to be the start of a new era)
▪ His death ushered in an era of political instability.
venture an opinion/question/word etc
▪ If we had more information, it would be easier to venture a firm opinion.
▪ Roy ventured a tentative smile.
view a house/an apartment/a property (=go to see a house etc that you are interested in buying)
violate/break an oath (=do something you promised not to do)
▪ I do not expect you to violate your oath.
voice/state an opinionwritten (= give your opinion, especially in a formal situation)
▪ She has every right to voice her opinion.
wait for an answer
▪ Kate was looking at me, waiting for an answer.
wait for an explanation (=expect an explanation)
▪ She continued to stare at him in silence, waiting for an explanation.
wear an expression
▪ Their pilot wore an expression of extreme relief.
wear sth to a party/a dance/an interview etc
▪ I’m wearing a scarlet dress to the party.
welcome an announcement (=say that you are pleased about it)
▪ Environmental groups welcomed the announcement.
what seemed like an eternity
▪ Here she waited for what seemed like an eternity.
win an award
▪ Caprio won the award for best actor.
▪ an award-winning novel
win an election
▪ Who do you think will win the election?
win an election
▪ Which party is likely to win the election?
win/lose an appeal
▪ Unless she wins her appeal she will be imprisoned.
win/lose an argument
▪ The party hopes to win the argument about how to reform the health system.
▪ The first one who resorts to violence is usually the one who’s lost the argument.
with an easy mind
▪ I can leave the children with my mother with an easy mind.
withdraw an objection (=stop objecting to something)
▪ The FBI withdrew its objections to publishing the information.
withdraw an offer
▪ They suddenly withdrew their offer at the last minute.
witness an event (=see it happen)
▪ Luckily, a film crew were on the spot to witness the event.
work on an assumption (=act according to something that may not be true)
▪ The police seemed to be working on the assumption that he was guilty.
work out an equation
▪ I spent over an hour trying to work out the equation.
write an account
▪ He later wrote an account of his experiences during the war.
write an email
▪ Jack spent the evening writing emails and surfing the Internet.
write/do an article
▪ The Times have asked me if I will do an article on the election.
write/do an essay
▪ I’ve got a 3,000 word essay to write before Friday.
you’re an angel
▪ Thanks for mailing those letters, you’re an angel.
£10/$7 etc an hour (=used to say how much someone is paid or how much you pay to use something)
▪ The babysitter charges £5 an hour.
There'll always be an England
a harsh/a cross/an angry etc word
a means to an end
▪ Technology is not a magic wand, but only a means to an end.
▪ Admittedly, policy is important: but it is only a means to an end.
▪ All in all, everything I did was a means to an end -- my own.
▪ Don't think of computers as a daunting modern technology; they're only a means to an end.
▪ Protection is vital: but as a means to an end, not as an end in itself.
▪ Showbiz was a means to an end.
▪ The separation into sequential categories of response is merely a means to an end.
▪ The young man was merely a means to an end and, in both cases, that end had now been served.
▪ These should be viewed as a means to an end, rather than as ends in themselves.
a year/a week/a moment/an hour etc or two
adopt an approach/policy/attitude etc
▪ Can a school board adopt a policy prohibiting dancing at school?
▪ He also agreed to adopt policies on affirmative action and ethics.
▪ It is essential that these countries, too, adopt policies that will help to protect the Ozone Layer.
▪ It is very hard convincing powers like the World Bank to adopt policies that truly help the poorest.
▪ No-Layoff Policies Perhaps the best way to secure union cooperation is to adopt a policy of no layoffs.
▪ Their purpose is to influence government to adopt policies favourable to them.
▪ This structure can neither impose law upon its members nor force one of them to adopt a policy with which it disagrees.
▪ Ultimately, planners adopted a policy of non-violence.
an A student
▪ I was an A student, on my way to medical school.
an Aladdin's Cave
an Englishman's home is his castle
an accident waiting to happen
▪ A student helicopter pilot wallowing around in a hover in a tight clearing is an accident waiting to happen.
▪ Another way of putting it would be that the dollar is an accident waiting to happen.
▪ Mr Stewart said that there was an accident waiting to happen and he feared lives would be lost.
▪ People living near the site say it was an accident waiting to happen.
▪ Unless, of course, it was an accident waiting to happen.
an accomplished fact
▪ At first, the Soviets refused to accept Lithuania's secession as an accomplished fact.
an acquired taste
▪ For many people, her dry humor is an acquired taste.
▪ But the Moodies, propelled by pseudo-symphonic arrangements and mysticism, always were and always will be an acquired taste.
▪ Curry is an acquired taste and heavily spiced food is surely not suitable for the stomachs of very young children.
▪ It is an acquired taste but very refreshing.
▪ It is an acquired taste for sensitive palates but a lot of hungry people are only too happy to tuck in.
▪ Much of this is actually linguistics, however - something of an acquired taste.
▪ Protective poison, an acquired taste.
▪ They are like sushi, maybe an acquired taste.
▪ They are rich in proteins and vitamins of the B group, but they are an acquired taste.
an act of faith
▪ Allowing Ken to be in charge of the project was a total act of faith.
▪ It is, even, a bit of an act of faith comparing two concurrent campaigns' performance.
▪ It was an act of faith to open up and know that we might not have any money two weeks later.
▪ It was by an act of faith in his science that a trim Shepelev crawled into the chamber and sealed the door.
▪ Six were at sea, on the business of trade - an act of faith that he might have cause to regret.
▪ The objection to the claim is that it is mere assertion or, more kindly, an act of faith.
▪ There is no continuous evolution towards it; it requires, somewhere along the line, an act of faith on the part of management.
▪ This is where boating turns into an act of faith.
▪ To conclude that the universe exists because it permits us to exist is an act of faith, not reason.
an actor turned politician/a housewife turned author etc
an affiliated organization/club/member etc
an albatross (around your neck)
▪ The project became a financial albatross for the city.
▪ But what began as an enlightened innovation has become an albatross around the neck of the free enterprise system.
▪ Their wingspan exceeds that of an albatross.
an apology for sth
▪ A taxi brought us to a boarding house she knew, and we're shown into an apology for a bedroom.
▪ Dear Maggie, I feel I owe you an apology for abandoning your esteemed Victorian values.
▪ Proponents of such a view owe us an apology for three avoidable Tory victories.
▪ Rawls's work is an apology for the weak, atomistic and relativistic culture which we see all around us.
▪ Then he gave a little nod, an apology for interrupting, and leaned the bike against the back porch.
▪ Thornton included an apology for Blake's designs.
▪ Yet again, it is an apology for failure.
▪ You owe him an apology for misjudging him and suspecting his motives at every turn.
an apt pupil/student
▪ But once at university I was an apt student.
▪ With every move she gave a little gasp, as her body, previous experience or not, proved an apt pupil.
an article of faith
▪ But the idea is practically an article of faith among Republicans elected in the 1990s.
▪ It was an article of faith to Be There, with or without the goods.
▪ It would be an article of faith with him to believe that.
▪ One must accept it as an article of faith, sufficient unto itself, for all time.
▪ That is an article of faith for him.
▪ When only seeing is believing the unseen reproductive anatomy of the female can not be an article of faith.
an attempt on sb's life
an avalanche of sth
▪ A milestone on the way was the onset at Pirelli in the summer of 1968 of an avalanche of wildcat strikes.
▪ Neighborbood filling stations, laundries, and print shops suddenly find themselves facing an avalanche of rules and reporting requirements.
▪ Nevertheless, the article provoked an avalanche of reaction.
▪ Often the right stuff is buried under an avalanche of garbage.
▪ Once an avalanche of bills has you buried, it seems impossible to dig your way out again.
▪ The wave had had its ropes cut and was erupting in an avalanche of fury that would bury everything in its path.
▪ Watching the television for mindless comfort, trying to blot out loneliness with an avalanche of distraction.
▪ Whatever it was precipitated an avalanche of other objects which thundered down around him as Charles fell sprawling to the ground.
an early night
▪ Below once more, with everything as secure as she could make it, she decided she might as well have an early night.
▪ Cancel any evening plans - have an early night.
▪ Everyone is contemplating an early night - it has been a long day, one of the busiest for a while.
▪ He himself had drunk one quick light beer before excusing himself for an early night.
▪ I should have left you to fix your light snack and have an early night.
▪ I was planning on an early night.
▪ In any case, after dinner you will need an early night.
▪ She tidied up the sitting-room, promising herself an early night with a book.
an early start
▪ After an early start we were soon out of the city and climbing.
▪ Dennis excused himself, saying he had to make an early start the following morning.
▪ Everything must be ready for an early start tomorrow.
▪ Good judgement of conditions, an early start and a fast, efficient ascent are essential to avoid such torrid descent.
▪ Have you got an early start?
▪ Or get an early start on that long weekend commute, then catch up from home.
▪ Surely an early start on atoms and molecules must somehow be brought about.
▪ We had an earlier start than I expected and now we are taking more time to turn the corner.
an either-or situation
an embarrassment of riches
▪ I look forward to having the letter you wrote tonight before you called-altogether an embarrassment of riches!
▪ If there is not quite an embarrassment of riches, there is enough to make the small investor blush at the choice.
▪ The Prado's problem is an embarrassment of riches, with nowhere to put most of them.
▪ They eventually suffered from an embarrassment of riches: they laughingly killed all their enemies and created their worst nightmare.
▪ We have an embarrassment of riches here!
an eternity
▪ We only waited five minutes, but it seemed like an eternity.
an even chance
▪ There is a suggestion that offspring do not have an even chance of inheriting a trait from either parent.
▪ There was always better than an even chance of something like this happening.
an extra pair of hands
▪ But an extra pair of hands is still needed, especially during busy periods.
▪ The clinical teacher should be part of the ward team, but must resist becoming an extra pair of hands.
▪ We could visit a theatre, and there would be an extra pair of hands in the garden.
an eye for an eye
▪ The government's eye-for-an-eye justice could lead to further human rights abuses.
▪ The Old Testament ideal of an eye for an eye speaks to that need.
an eye for/on/to the main chance
an eyeful
an independent/a positive/a free etc thinker
an inquiring mind
an object of pity/desire/ridicule etc
▪ A spendthrift with a regular, secure income is an object of desire among bankers.
▪ Because of this, a household obliged to sponsor many feasts gains no prestige, but becomes rather an object of pity.
▪ He left Downing Street in 1963 almost an object of ridicule, condemned in Gibbonian terms as the symbol of national decay.
▪ Mitch's image alone does not make clear that he will be mocked rather than taken seriously as an object of desire.
▪ She became an object of ridicule.
▪ Unfortunately Piggy had been demoted to an object of ridicule by this point in the book so nobody listened to him.
▪ Yet he is held up as an object of ridicule and loathing throughout the land.
an old chestnut
an old head on young shoulders
an old soak
▪ She doesn ` t want to end up an old soak.
▪ The father's nice enough, but a bit of an old soak and the grandmother was a dragon.
an only child
▪ And I was an only child.
▪ E is for Ethel For most of my life I was an only child.
▪ I was brought up by adoptive parents as an only child.
▪ It must be terrible to lose an only child; to lose any child.
▪ Maman had given the impression she was an only child, she thought, but was that the truth?
▪ Shared nannies are becoming more popular and other children can provide stimulation and company if yours is an only child.
▪ Sometimes I think I was intended to be an only child, and got born into a large family by a mistake.
▪ The princess grew up thinking she was an only child but one day discovered she had twelve brothers.
an open invitation
▪ An unlocked car is an open invitation to thieves.
▪ I extend to the hon. Gentleman an open invitation to join me on any subsequent occasion.
▪ If a thief steals it, you could be giving him an open invitation to your home!
▪ In my opinion, a skip should be regarded as an open invitation to selective plundering.
▪ Is there an open invitation to abuse even in some of the innocent parts?
▪ It would also have been an open invitation to civic disturbance.
▪ The Carter team feared that the remark and the attitude it conveyed would be an open invitation to execute Kim.
▪ The latter is not an open invitation to intervention or a threat to sovereignty.
▪ The wizards designing Macintosh considered it an open invitation to childlike play, and judged that ability among its chief attributes.
an open mind
▪ And later she was going to try to get herself to that meeting with an open mind.
▪ Before he resolves a problem, he keeps an open mind on how that problem might be resolved.
▪ But officially as least the police are still keeping an open mind.
▪ He insists he has an open mind on the players he wants to keep.
▪ In interviews after their inaugural meeting last Thursday, all vowed to keep an open mind on whoever comes before the panel.
▪ Police say they're keeping an open mind.
▪ Until the Profitboss makes a decision, he keeps an open mind as to what that decision might be.
▪ While keeping an open mind, most archaeologists remain extremely doubtful.
an opportune moment/time
▪ For those who are waiting for the most opportune time to invest in a home, this is an excellent time to do that.
▪ This seemed like an opportune moment to ask the government to mount a tree-planting program.
▪ His work - and his mission - comes at an opportune time.
▪ I waited, hoping for an opportune moment to discuss the possibility of my earning a little money.
▪ Meanwhile, he would take up the matter with Archbishop Perier at an opportune time.
▪ Porter bought Goat Island and Preserved it at an opportune moment.
▪ The announcement Tuesday may have come at an opportune time.
▪ To her now he was just a young fellow who happened to be in the house at an opportune time.
▪ Would this be an opportune time to suggest a move to help reduce the fragmentation of the industry?
an orgy of sth
▪ a orgy of violence and looting
an ounce of prevention (is worth a pound of cure)
an ounce of sense/truth/decency etc
▪ Anyone with an ounce of sense knows that results depend on factors other than staff efficiency. - T. Baines, Oxford.
an outside chance
▪ Here are two more from the downs with an outside chance and one from Wendover in Buckinghamshire.
▪ Norman pitched his into the heart of the green and had an outside chance for birdie.
▪ Some shrewd Iowa pols also see an outside chance for former Gov.
▪ There is also an outside chance Cadbury may itself be a bid target.
an outside figure/estimate etc
an undischarged bankrupt
▪ On his release from prison as an undischarged bankrupt, he changed his name from Bowesfield to Sinclair.
an unfilled order
an unguarded moment
▪ In an unguarded moment, he admitted taking the file.
▪ As he stepped to one side, Christina had a clear view of Stephen's face in an unguarded moment.
▪ Had his anti-female attitude been weakened during an unguarded moment?
▪ The only human explanation was that one of us had said something in an unguarded moment.
▪ You caught him at an unguarded moment.
an unholy alliance
an unmitigated disaster/failure/pleasure etc
▪ On health and safety issues, however, deregulation has been an unmitigated disaster.
▪ She had to admit that he would almost certainly not see the situation as an unmitigated disaster.
▪ So far, the tour had been an unmitigated disaster.
▪ The raid itself was an unmitigated disaster.
▪ What is happening in Assam is an unmitigated disaster.
an uphill struggle/battle/task etc
▪ However, each parlor faces an uphill battle because the city hired a financial consulting firm to review the applications.
▪ It proved to be an uphill struggle, and was far from successful.
▪ Kopp said he faced an uphill battle in winning approval for the bill.
▪ Rehabilitation will be an uphill struggle.
▪ Smith said gay-rights advocates still believe they are fighting an uphill battle in opposing the bill.
▪ Unless you have a goal your learning will be an uphill struggle.
▪ Voice over Police are hoping to trace original owners but admit it's an uphill task.
▪ While critics of his decision gained momentum Thursday, the record shows they face an uphill battle.
an/the answer to sb's prayers
▪ Excel 4 has the answer to my prayers in the Scenario Manager.
▪ If so, a 100 per cent mortgage may look like the answer to your prayers.
▪ If so, Lands' End may have the answer to your prayers.
▪ She, she is the answer to my prayers.
▪ The letter seemed to be the answer to her prayers.
▪ To Jacqueline this was the answer to her prayers.
at an angle
▪ The portrait was hanging at an slight angle.
▪ He was sitting at an angle which allowed him to watch the door.
▪ Inch by inch we tilted the cabin on its side until it leaned at an angle.
▪ Papers are missing from each and the sheets inside have been turned back to front, and at angles.
▪ Planes of soap solution have the property that only three can intersect along an edge at an angle between them of 120°.
▪ She draws a man in a tuxedo, places him at an angle on the page.
▪ They stood at angles, not quite facing each other.
▪ This could result in the blind and pleats falling at an angle to the window.
▪ We took the left-hand cut, which runs into the Thames at an angle.
at/from an early age
▪ Both Maddy and Patrick were professionally successful at an early age, secure, and surrounded by helpful family.
▪ But what about alteration of brain chemistry at an early age?
▪ Did you start painting at an early age?
▪ I worry about cholesterol, because my father died of a heart attack at an early age.
▪ If you get to know about these things at an early age you lose your shame and shyness.
▪ Robin adds that as a boy he saw both the Graf Zeppelin and R-101, obviously an enthusiast from an early age.
▪ Spong does not advocate marriage at an early age.
▪ Women learn at an early age that most men do not like angry women living in the same house.
be an advertisement for sth
▪ Ben is a walking advertisement for the benefits of regular exercise.
▪ This is an advertisement for handguns.
be an effort
▪ I was so weak that even standing up was an effort.
▪ Congress's effort to ban indecent materials on the Internet comes to the court March 19.
▪ There will be efforts at the maintenance of the house or apartment, but not much interest in improvement of housing level.
be an honour to sb/sth
▪ And one which, don't get me wrong, I was honoured to stand against.
▪ It would be an honour to have a memorial on the site.
▪ She also felt it would be an honour to have custody of the machine.
▪ Sir Walter Scott once said he was honoured to be a mere twig on the Swinton family tree.
▪ We should be honoured to see you at dinner one evening soon.
be an indictment of sth
▪ Steinbeck's novel "The Grapes of Wrath" was an indictment of agricultural labor relations.
▪ Every adult illiterate... is an indictment of us all...
▪ That in itself is an indictment of the Government.
▪ The fact that, for the past four weeks, Ireland has barely been mentioned is an indictment of them all.
▪ This list, by no means complete, is an indictment of a careless society.
be an inspiration to sb
▪ He is an inspiration to writers everywhere.
▪ Karen Woolley, 20, was an inspiration to many.
▪ Secondly, our Gift Day in September was an inspiration to us all.
be an institution
▪ The Sea Dolphin Café is not just a restaurant; it's an institution.
▪ Cattle stealing was an institution which provided benefits to different groups.
▪ Punch is an institution as it will probably be so remembered.
▪ The biggest things in the normative order are institutions.
▪ The results of such changes are institutions which concentrate very largely on advanced vocational and general courses.
▪ The Salvation Army is an institution that performs good works, and it is entitled to its views of homosexuality.
▪ Think-tanks, sitting uneasily half-way between government and universities, are institutions that embody this ambiguity.
▪ Until this month, they were an institution, just like the White House.
▪ What Brown inherited when he became speaker in December 1980 was an institution well down the road toward gridlock.
be an insult to sb's intelligence
▪ It is an insult to our intelligence.
be an item
▪ They're not an item any more.
▪ All of the solos are items from original Sousa programs.
▪ Assets A financial institution's assets are items it owns and its claims on others.
▪ Here is an item he told me today.
▪ Specials are items that are priced less than their regular price for a period of time, perhaps only one day.
▪ The motivation issue is not an easy one to discuss, since it is an item which is seldom adequately defined.
▪ Third, there are items that are not measured because of shortcomings of the data sources.
▪ This is an item which should not be used.
be an old hand (at sth)
▪ Helms is an old hand at backroom politics.
▪ Blue is an old hand at such compositions and has never had any trouble with them.
▪ Habitat is an old hand at changing habits of a lifetime.
▪ Pete Zimmerman is an old hand at water initiatives.
▪ These were old hands, and Dawn Run was effectively still a novice.
▪ We are old hands in the public-school system.
be an open book
▪ I'd always thought of Jeff as an open book.
▪ Our foreign dealings are an open book generally a check book.
▪ To them my future was an open book.
be an open invitation for/to sb
▪ Leaving the car unlocked is just an open invitation to thieves.
▪ The Carter team feared that the remark and the attitude it conveyed would be an open invitation to execute Kim.
be an overture
be an unknown quantity
▪ Barnes was an unknown quantity, without any clear prejudice on the nuclear issue.
▪ Swales said he had a lot of flair, but admitted he was an unknown quantity.
▪ These arrangements are an unknown quantity and the administration may not turn out to be up to scratch.
▪ Whatever it was they were after, it was an unknown quantity, unknown, that is, except for a lethal ferocity.
be something of a gardener/an expert etc
▪ Alfred Walter is something of an expert on Viennese music particularly that of the Johann Strauss era.
▪ In his own way he is something of an expert on the private lives of actresses.
▪ Richard Holmes was something of an expert at the game, but he ended up as a down-and-out by the end.
beat/thrash etc sb to within an inch of their life
cast an eye on/over sth
▪ Since marrying her he hadn't cast an eye on anyone else.
▪ The professor shrugged, casting an eye over Davide's good jacket, to inform him that his information was unnecessary.
close an account
cock an ear/eye
▪ She cocked an eye at Léonie, grunted.
conclude an agreement/treaty/contract etc
▪ As an alternative to this bloc policy Khrushchev offered to conclude treaties of non-aggression and friendship with the states concerned.
▪ States which did not consider a customs union to be necessary could conclude agreements with the customs union on a free-trade zone.
cop an attitude
declare an interest
▪ If you have strong feelings about a situation declare an interest and suggest that some one else temporarily takes the chair.
▪ It's probably best to declare an interest.
▪ Leeds manager Howard Wilkinson has already declared an interest in him after he spent a week training at Elland Road.
▪ Mr. Adley: I have already declared an interest.
▪ Mr. Adley: I thank my right Hon. Friend for that reply and declare an interest in the industry.
declare an interest (in sth)
▪ If you have strong feelings about a situation declare an interest and suggest that some one else temporarily takes the chair.
▪ It's probably best to declare an interest.
▪ Leeds manager Howard Wilkinson has already declared an interest in him after he spent a week training at Elland Road.
▪ Mr. Adley: I have already declared an interest.
▪ Mr. Adley: I thank my right Hon. Friend for that reply and declare an interest in the industry.
describe a circle/an arc etc
▪ Chen saw the knife describe an arc through the air and felt himself flinch.
do sb an injustice
▪ Cutting the benefits of war veterans would be doing them a great injustice.
▪ But they do themselves an injustice.
▪ Indeed, it may well serve to do some injustice and violence to the integrity of the substantive phenomena.
do sth on an empty stomach
▪ I overslept and had to go to class on an empty stomach.
▪ You shouldn't take the pills on an empty stomach.
▪ Alendronate must be taken only with a full glass of plain water, first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
▪ I mean, neither of us had eaten since the early hours, and drinking on an empty stomach is dodgy.
▪ I tend to be very short-tempered on an empty stomach.
▪ No use mourning on an empty stomach.
▪ The next two got off more lightly: two spoonfuls of vinegar three times a day, also on an empty stomach.
▪ The sensation of nausea on an empty stomach was peculiarly unpleasant.
▪ There was little point, Manville decided, on a man eating on an empty stomach.
▪ They report to work at 8.30am on an empty stomach.
do sth on an empty stomach
▪ Alendronate must be taken only with a full glass of plain water, first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
▪ I mean, neither of us had eaten since the early hours, and drinking on an empty stomach is dodgy.
▪ I tend to be very short-tempered on an empty stomach.
▪ No use mourning on an empty stomach.
▪ The next two got off more lightly: two spoonfuls of vinegar three times a day, also on an empty stomach.
▪ The sensation of nausea on an empty stomach was peculiarly unpleasant.
▪ There was little point, Manville decided, on a man eating on an empty stomach.
▪ They report to work at 8.30am on an empty stomach.
enter into an agreement/contract etc
▪ Brunell and the team will enter into contract negotiations next week.
▪ David Holton and Hughes already have entered into an agreement with the local state attorney to settle criminal charges.
▪ How different it might have been if Edelman had proposed that politicians enter into a Contract With Children.
▪ It will be entering into contracts to both buy and sell specific currencies on or between specific dates.
▪ Similarly, business has to enter into agreements.
▪ Traders must consider domestic and foreign exchange control regulations when entering into contracts and seeking settlement.
▪ We have entered into agreements in good faith.
entertain an idea/hope/thought etc
▪ He had entertained thoughts of marrying her and raising a family, but he entered the Society instead.
▪ Most significantly on my sense of a distant but still valid national identity-until then I had entertained hopes of return.
extend/offer/hold out etc an olive branch (to sb)
feed an addiction/need etc
▪ The feed needs to be as iron-free as possible in order that the eventual meat will be the light colour preferred by consumers.
fill an order
form an opinion/impression/idea
▪ Members of the jury must not have formed opinions from publicity before the trial.
▪ Among those who have formed an opinion, more say public projects should go on the ballot than not.
▪ He conceded to Franceschelli that actually being present during the autopsy might have given him better information to form an opinion.
▪ He was in no state to form an idea of what we were talking about.
▪ It is the auditor's responsibility to form an opinion on the truth and fairness of the accounts.
▪ Nor that we should not form opinions or make evaluations.
▪ So gather information about your child, rather than forming opinions and judgments.
▪ Yet, along with journalists, poets, literary figures, and agitators, they do help form opinions.
▪ You should try to form an impression of the person the adjectives describe.
gain an understanding/insight/impression etc
▪ By analysing simple situations, with essential features in common, we can gain insight into the behaviour of these complicated beams.
▪ It is difficult to see how avoiding teaching about what is distinctive of religion can help people gain an understanding of it!
▪ One way to gain insight into these issues is to view them through the work of some of the main protagonists.
▪ Pupils use drama to gain insights into moral and social issues in works of literature.
▪ Self-assessment Building self-esteem is about appreciating strengths and developing them as much as it is about gaining an understanding of weaknesses.
▪ The trust wants to gain an insight into the county's butterfly population.
▪ This guidance helped them gain insight into the characteristics that inhibited their own ability to persist and to complete schoolwork.
▪ To visit them is to gain an insight into what many of our own wetlands must have been like.
get hold of an idea/an impression/a story etc
give (sb) an impression/a sense/an idea
give sb an earful
▪ The chancellor got an earful when he asked the students for feedback.
▪ Clairvoyantes distress me, Commuters depress me - Met Stetson and gave him an earful.
give sb an inch and they'll take a yard/mile
grasp an opportunity
▪ One person will grasp an opportunity with enthusiasm, whereas another will recoil from the same chance with anxiety and fear.
▪ Perhaps only Chandos boss Brian Couzens would grasp an opportunity like that.
half an eye/ear
▪ Allen kept half an eye on the path as he worked.
▪ Always half an ear, half a mind.
▪ Anyone with half an eye could see Susan's antagonism towards her.
▪ He has half an eye on where the gun went.
▪ He told me this and that, but I listened with only half an ear.
▪ Of course, no government with half an eye on re-election would ever legalise anything it didn't have to.
▪ She always had half an eye for him; sometimes I thought she watched him as a tamer does a tiger.
▪ With only half an ear for Grigoriev's response, Rostov stared across the room.
have an ace up your sleeve
have an axe to grind
have an easy time (of it)
▪ She hasn't had an easy time of it since Jack left.
▪ Hu did not have an easy time of it at first.
have an eye/a good eye for sth
▪ Greene has an eye for detail.
▪ Confidence men always have an eye for extra exits.
▪ She says women have an eye for minutiae, they see the curtain hasn't been drawn or the untied shoelace.
▪ They also have an eye for a catchy phrase.
have an idea (that)
▪ But whenever I have an idea, I need to act on it as soon as possible.
▪ I have an idea of her.
▪ Now that we have an idea how hyperinflation gets started we can look at the causes of run-of-the-mill inflation.
▪ Some have ideas for lyrical language.
▪ This is because I have ideas.
▪ We can have ideas of things we have not experienced.
▪ We need to have an idea of what perceptions we are triggering. 141 selling Selling is one stage further than communication.
▪ We write the first two chapters together so we have an idea of the characters.
have an off day
▪ His work isn't usually this bad - he must have had an off day.
▪ They must now get a result against free scoring Glenavon next Saturday and hope Bangor have an off day at Comrades.
▪ You will have off days when you are tired or a bit under the weather.
in a good/an ill/a bad humour
in the blink of an eye
▪ A full volley will rip through the toughest regiment causing immense casualties in the blink of an eye.
▪ He went from frozen stillness to liquid and menacing movement in the blink of an eye.
▪ He would be up and after them in the blink of an eye.
▪ How often does it lose a week's work in the blink of an eye?
▪ I had read somewhere that all the greatest discoveries had been made in the blink of an eye.
▪ It was the uncertainty, the thought that all my happiness could be smashed in the blink of an eye.
in the twinkling of an eye
▪ But in the supernatural universe the Great Battle was won in the twinkling of an eye.
▪ But stop pushing me, stop expecting me to change in the twinkling of an eye.
it's an ill wind (that blows nobody any good)
keep an eye on sth/sb
▪ But they can still learn a remarkable amount by keeping an eye on the east.
▪ He said Kaczynski would keep an eye on his property.
▪ I decided that I would keep an eye on Tom after that.
▪ Mark: No, but the doctor is keeping an eye on her.&.
▪ Meanwhile we shall keep an eye on him.
▪ The doctor thought it best if she checked into a small, private facility where he could keep an eye on her.
▪ Those with Internet access should keep an eye on a series of Usenet discussion groups that cater to Windows 95 issues.
▪ You keep an eye on her, and me or Nanny Ogg will drop in when we can.
keep an eye open/out (for sb/sth)
▪ Always keeping an eye out in case of thieves.
▪ And we had to keep an eye open for police patrols.
▪ For months, he kept an eye out.
▪ He will keep an eye out, but he can not promise anything.
▪ Male speaker All you got to do is keep an eye open and watch the break lights.
▪ Though he works hard with all the kids, he keeps an eye out for the special ones.
▪ Valueoriented consumers should keep an eye out for the name FabreMontmayou.
keep your/an ear to the ground
▪ I haven't heard any more news, but I'll keep my ear to the ground.
keep/have one eye/half an eye on sb/sth
kill time/an hour etc
lay an egg
▪ The first episode of the series laid an egg.
▪ A few species laid eggs beneath mounds of rotten vegetation that warmed as it decayed.
▪ Adults grow to varying sizes, depending on food available, and lay eggs in late summer.
▪ Female brush turkeys visit the males' mounds, lay eggs in them, and depart.
▪ Gravid female fig wasps enter figs, lay eggs and die.
▪ In turn the later reptiles could diversify on land when they could lay eggs away from a watery environment.
▪ The wasp lays eggs inside the eggs laid by the whitefly, thereby destroying the whitefly eggs.
▪ These mate, fly away and the females find new plants to lay eggs on.
▪ Within it, they copulate and lay eggs.
lend an ear
like an oven
▪ I wish they'd turn off the heat. It's like an oven in here.
▪ It's like an oven in here. Let's open some windows.
▪ The heat of the day made the gymnasium feel like an oven.
▪ Makes it like an oven, spoiling the negatives.
▪ The room is like an oven already.
make an example of sb
▪ But because of the publicity they had to make an example of Corey.
▪ By making an example of Holy Trinity he could punish his Jesuit adversaries and demonstrate his orthodoxy in a single swoop.
▪ Campbell believed he could strengthen his hand by making an example of a council member in order to demonstrate where power lay.
▪ Canine, on the other hand, was strongly in favor of making an example of Petersen.
▪ He had to make an example of the old man's insubordination, and make others fear to follow in his footsteps.
▪ He makes examples of a few to scare the rest.
▪ I think they wanted to make an example of me.
▪ If muggers can be deterred by punitive sentencing, then some of them must be made an example of.
make an exhibition of yourself
▪ Sam got drunk and made an exhibition of himself as usual.
▪ Even the mouse and the cynic are constantly making an exhibition of themselves.
▪ I didn't want you making an exhibition of yourself.
▪ It would be dreadful if one ran out while the children were present and she made an exhibition of herself by screaming!
▪ Somehow or other he must surely be making an exhibition of himself.
make an honest woman (out) of sb
▪ If dishonoured her, must then make an honest woman of her?
make an issue (out) of sth
▪ There's nothing wrong with your hair, so stop making an issue out of it.
▪ For example, the government might make an issue of 100,000 ninety-one-day bills, each at a discount of 1,000.
▪ He would make an issue of his right to certain beliefs.
▪ However, do not make an issue of refusing a drink.
▪ I have not chosen to make an issue of such distinctions here.
▪ The secretary of state occasionally complains in public about this; no other official makes an issue of it.
▪ Try not to make an issue of it, Dubner said.
make your/an entrance
▪ The hero doesn't make his entrance until Act II, Scene 2.
▪ With her long fur coat, she always made a dramatic entrance.
▪ Dominic used to love making an entrance.
▪ Drunk or crazy, the tall man had made an entrance worthy of Henry Irving.
▪ Frankie tells the audience how the Producers had wanted him to make an entrance by sliding down a fireman's pole!
▪ With the separation and distinction, light and life can make an entrance.
make/turn sth into an art form
▪ Ronald Reagan turned it into an art form.
▪ To avoid simultaneous borrowing and depositing you should monitor how accurate your forecasting is, without turning this into an art form.
meet with an accident
▪ You're going to meet with an accident, Mr Chan, and so is your son.
not an ounce of fat (on sb)
▪ He was surprised, there was not an ounce of fat on him, but he had shed five pounds.
▪ Under their chestnut coats there was not an ounce of fat and their muscles moved without effort.
not bat an eye/eyelid
▪ He used to tell the worst lies without batting an eye.
not give/budge an inch
▪ And even with his size he didn't know what to do with Braden standing over him and not giving an inch.
▪ I was just a novice and he was fairly frightening, not giving an inch until he had sounded you out.
▪ Once on the ground again she tried pulling the horse, but still it would not budge an inch.
not one/an iota
▪ It was none of her business and it mattered to her not one iota.
▪ There is not an iota of evidence that such standardised testing has improved education anywhere in the world.
▪ We have heard not one iota of evidence or heard any defense the suspect may have in this case.
of an evening/of a weekend etc
on an even keel
▪ Confusion seems to reign in many areas of your life at present, so try to get on an even keel.
▪ I was supposed to be a caretaker, charged with setting the branch back on an even keel.
▪ In Chapter 11, companies' management usually remains in place while the company tries to get back on an even keel.
▪ So when we got up here, I was really enjoying sort of keeping things on an even keel at home.
▪ That Nigel was on an even keel again was a double comfort.
▪ Then maybe they are on an even keel.
▪ These two kept her on an even keel.
on equal terms/on an equal footing
open an account
▪ A similar procedure is followed for all other open accounts.
▪ Instead, they buy these items on open account from their suppliers on whatever credit terms are available.
▪ Now such sales are on open account and paid mainly by cheque.
▪ Only £1 is needed to open an account.
▪ Only those people who live near by are allowed to open accounts.
▪ Our friend Joan strolls into the bank and plops down $ 100 to open an account.
▪ Roosevelt Principal Mike Price opened an account, and the checks went directly to the bank.
▪ To open an account, children need just £1.
owe sb an explanation/apology
▪ At the same time I felt I was owed an explanation.
▪ At the very least a clear case is owed a clear explanation if it is rejected.
▪ I guess I owe her an apology.
▪ I think these people who said those hateful things about him owe him an apology.
▪ I think you owe an apology to Clegg.
▪ In light of this, do you feel you owe the world an apology?
▪ Of course, a decision not to have children is a legitimate choice, and whoever makes it owes no explanation.
▪ You owe him an apology for misjudging him and suspecting his motives at every turn.
pay/settle an old score
▪ Oh, I heard plenty of rumours, but they were nearly all based on settling old scores.
▪ There was no place like the thick of battle for settling an old score.
▪ With the championship having been decided, this was likely to be their last chance to settle old scores.
plant an idea/doubt/suspicion (in sb's mind)
▪ Their conversation had planted doubts in Dennis' mind about the partnership.
put a figure on it/give an exact figure
put a stop/an end to sth
▪ It's time the community worked together to put an end to the violence.
▪ Her old feeling for him had returned; she was determined to put an end to his sufferings and bring him home.
▪ It was Gloucester who chose to put an end to it.
▪ Judge Frossard, it seems, wanted to put an end to the inertia.
▪ Swiftly introduce new legislation to put an end to the trauma and misery suffered by child witnesses in court proceedings.
▪ That put an end to any stunt deemed risky, Weiss says.
▪ This trite communication put an end to Emma's overtures and she began to fade from their lives.
▪ Thus the event of her puberty puts an end to her pure childhood.
▪ To put an end to such exalted talk, I asked Mendl to tell me about Spats-making machinery.
put down a motion/an amendment
put in an appearance
▪ A few more attempts convinced him that nobody was going to put in an appearance.
▪ He always had their maid squeeze some fresh juice when Lorna Lewis was scheduled to put in an appearance.
▪ He wondered what time Howarth usually put in an appearance.
▪ Napkins and old cigarette packets did not, sadly, put in an appearance.
▪ Others, semi-sightseers, put in an appearance.
▪ She always tried to put in an appearance at the funerals of patients who had the misfortune to die.
▪ There was an hour yet before she need put in an appearance in the restaurant for the evening meal.
▪ We tour a lot in late winter and early spring, too, when sleet likes to put in an appearance.
put in an appearance/make an appearance
realize an asset
receive an injury/blow
▪ Agnes went to pick her up and received a blow from an elbow that sent her across the room.
▪ As they straighten, curve the spine and pull in the tummy, as if you have just received a blow.
▪ Ben stood transfixed with disbelief, his mouth open, as if he had received a blow across it.
▪ For his outspokenness, he received a blow to the skull which sent him reeling.
▪ He went down to protest and himself began to receive blows.
▪ His adventure began during a practice game against the Minnesota Vikings when he received a blow to the head.
▪ It was almost as if I had received a blow to the heart.
▪ Wilson received an injury in the third minute, but that didn't hamper his stand on the game.
renege on an agreement/deal/promise etc
▪ Amid an increasingly hostile war of words, Finley has criticized Racicot for reneging on a promise to cooperate with federal authorities.
▪ They had been bitten too often by Congress reneging on agreements negotiated in good faith by the White House.
rule sb with an iron fist/hand
scramble an egg
▪ He makes the best grilled cheese sandwiches and scrambled eggs because of his fearless use of butter.
▪ I am the one scrambling eggs for dinner and sitting on porches with friends while the kids roam the neighborhood on bikes.
▪ Instant scrambled eggs, frozen fried eggs, canned eggnog, and many other convenient egg foods are being market tested.
▪ Precooked and frozen scrambled eggs with sausage are one combination of ready-to-eat breakfasts being marketed.
▪ The year before he'd had scrambled eggs for Christmas dinner and no presents.
seize a chance/an opportunity/the initiative
serve an apprenticeship
▪ I served an apprenticeship, worked hard and now I am in the wrong and it is not my fault.
▪ When he was older, Taylor did serve an apprenticeship and did work as a laborer and machinist.
sign an agreement/contract/treaty etc
▪ Clients sign contracts to become participants and agree to adhere to a rigorous schedule.
▪ It took more than a month to find and sign a contract with another company to complete the remaining work.
▪ Kiptanui rushed off, saying he was going to make Kimeli sign a contract.
▪ Paup had wanted to sign a contract extension with Green Bay during the 1994 season, but the Packers never approached him.
▪ Pre-season David Campese signed a contract with commercial broadcaster Channel Ten.
▪ The lead police detective signed a contract with a television movie production company.
▪ You must stop your ears whenever you are asked to sign a treaty selling your home.
stay an order/ruling/execution etc
▪ Rivals got a stay order from the courts, though after a backroom deal in mid-March the government got its way.
sth is not an exact science
▪ Opinion polling is hardly an exact science.
▪ Therapy is not an exact science because everyone responds differently.
▪ Diagnosing power in organizations is not an exact science.
▪ The truth is that eating is not an exact science and never will be.
sth is not an exact science
▪ Diagnosing power in organizations is not an exact science.
▪ The truth is that eating is not an exact science and never will be.
tear up an agreement/a contract etc
that is not an option
that's/there's an idea
the germ of an idea/theory/feeling etc
▪ It represents the germ of an idea which someday might explode into a national objective.
the/an anatomy of sth
▪ Elkind's book is an anatomy of one man's discussion with his son about life.
▪ For the first time, we have a chance to examine the anatomy of a secret government operation.
▪ First, the anatomy of an ice dam; how it happens and why.
▪ Her best-known work concerned the anatomy of seedlings.
▪ It is hard to work out the anatomy of the brain.
▪ Many such debatable questions raised by the anatomy of these creatures still await universally agreed answers.
▪ These high rates reflect the anatomy of the cervical spine and the dynamic forces that act on it.
▪ This is now widely accepted, but Mr.X, strangely, never pursued it further with reference to the anatomy of the individual golfer.
the/an incarnation of sth
▪ De Gaulle was perceived and perceived himself as the incarnation of both revolution and restoration.
▪ I can not remember all the incarnations of this place, but the current one is offering up some terrific food.
▪ Once again we are reminded most powerfully of the significance of this Christmas event, the incarnation of the eternal word.
▪ She was the incarnation of everything that had gone amiss in Sylvie's own life.
▪ The Lone Ranger, the incarnation of the individual problem solver, is dead.
▪ Yet the artists engaged in these works were in no mood to present the barbarians as the incarnation of evil forces.
the/an obvious choice
▪ Duncan Sandys was the obvious choice.
▪ Given the nature of the project, Pontus Hulten was an obvious choice to direct the artistic activities of the new Kunsthalle.
▪ Mentheus of Caledor, the obvious choice, was dead.
▪ Most frequently the group had several alternative plants to consider for closure rather than an obvious choice.
▪ No problem, Mr Hinds had said, the obvious choice was Renie LaChance.
▪ Says Ted: My father was the obvious choice.
▪ That they have everybody back, another year bigger, stronger and smarter, makes them the obvious choice.
top an offer/a bid etc
with an eye to (doing) sth
▪ Departments with an eye to the ratings tend to appoint established researchers with proven records, rather than younger, unpublished candidates.
▪ Each side was building its forces with an eye to gaining military supremacy.
▪ He had the personality for it, strong, aggressive and with an eye to a bargain.
▪ He recently shed a number of pounds, which even some friends say he lost with an eye to a national race.
▪ Lord Taylor's main point is to suggest that judges should pass sentence with an eye to the public's expectations.
▪ So she works with an eye to adjusting the Outside world too.
▪ These are also designed with an eye to reassuring those who did well out of the switch from rates to poll tax.
within an ace of (doing) sth
▪ I came within an ace of slapping her around.
won't take no for an answer
work up an appetite/a thirst/a sweat
you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs
you can't teach an old dog new tricks
The Collaborative International Dictionary

An \An\, conj. [Shortened fr. and, OE. an., and, sometimes and if, in introducing conditional clauses, like Icel. enda if, the same word as and. Prob. and was originally pleonastic before the conditional clause.] If; -- a word used by old English authors.

Nay, an thou dalliest, then I am thy foe.
--B. Jonson.

An if, and if; if.


An \An\ ([a^]n). [AS. [=a]n one, the same word as the numeral. See One, and cf. A.] This word is properly an adjective, but is commonly called the indefinite article. It is used before nouns of the singular number only, and signifies one, or any, but somewhat less emphatically. In such expressions as ``twice an hour,'' ``once an age,'' a shilling an ounce (see 2d A, 2), it has a distributive force, and is equivalent to each, every.

Note: An is used before a word beginning with a vowel sound; as, an enemy, an hour. It in also often used before h sounded, when the accent of the word falls on the second syllable; as, an historian, an hyena, an heroic deed. Many writers use a before h in such positions. Anciently an was used before consonants as well as vowels.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

indefinite article before words beginning with vowels, 12c., from Old English an (with a long vowel) "one; lone," also used as a prefix an- "single, lone;" see one for the divergence of that word from this. Also see a, of which this is the older, fuller form.\n

\nIn other European languages, identity between indefinite article and the word for "one" remains explicit (as in French un, German ein, etc.) Old English got by without indefinite articles: He was a good man in Old English was he wæs god man. Circa 15c., a and an commonly were written as one word with the following noun, which contributed to the confusion over how such words as newt and umpire ought to be divided (see N).\n

\nIn Shakespeare, etc., an sometimes is a contraction of as if (a usage first attested c.1300), especially before it.


Etymology 1 article (form of Form, used before a vowel sound, a English) Etymology 2

conj. 1 (context archaic English) if, so long as. 2 (context archaic English) as if; as though. Etymology 3

n. The first letter of the Georgian alphabet, ა (Mkhedruli), Ⴀ (Asomtavruli) or ⴀ (Nuskhuri). Etymology 4

prep. In each; to or for each; per.


An is an indefinite article in the English language; see also: a and an.

An, AN, aN, or an may also refer to:

An (surname)

The surname An literally means "peace" or "tranquility". It also serves as an abbreviation of Anxi (安息), meaning " Arsacid" in Chinese and can be romanized as On. Visitors to China who came from Arsacid-held territories often took the name An. In 2008, it was the 110th most common surname in the People's Republic of China, shared by over 1.7 million citizens. The surname is most common in Northern China.

During the Song Dynasty, another An (俺) was a Jewish Chinese surname.

An (deity)

An in Sumerian mythology is a goddess, possibly a female principle of the creator god An. Early iconography suggests a celestial sky goddess in the form of a cow whose udders produce rain and who becomes Antu in the Akkadian pantheon.

An (Shinto)

The is a small table, desk or platform used during Shinto ceremonies to bear offerings. It may have four, eight or sixteen legs; the eight-legged variety, called , is the most common.

An (cuneiform)

The cuneiform an sign, (or sumerogram AN), is a common, multi-use sign, a syllabic for an, and an alphabetic sign used for a, or n; it is common in both the Epic of Gilgamesh over hundreds of years, and the 1350 BC Amarna letters, and other cuneiform texts. It is also used for the designation of a "god", and is sometimes represented as a superscript: , or capitalized: , for " dingir", English language, "god". The example photo at right shows (2nd list), a list of 14 named gods, all with "an"; the first pair on the list AN-UTU, or UTU, refers to the "sun-god", using Ud (cuneiform), as the sumerogram, namely UTU (sun Sumerogram).

Cuneiform an can also be found in compound form with another cuneiform sign, an example being DAGAL, . The older version of DAGAL used the 'god symbol' as a star within the sign: ; (older version of DAGAL, incorporating "star": ).

Usage examples of "an".

The title of the seven Sons of Muspell: Adad, An, Enki, Enlil, Marduk, NAnnar, Utu.

Apres dix-sept ans de travaux et de combats, Adjutor de Vernon fut pris par les Turcs, et enferme dans Jerusalem.

He brings us the news that we are to move further east to an, airfield near Terek.

Et voici que le chanoine Trevoux, trente ans apres sa belle mort, entre, coiffe de son tricorne, sa tabatiere a la main, dans mon ame surprise.

Pwyll sah in seine eigenen grauen Augen, und Arawn sah ihn mit ihnen an.

Vers trois heures du matin on voulut bien encore le remplacer, et il monta a son cabinet ou, apres avoir retire habit et gilet, il atteignit une vieille valise en cuir, qui ne lui avait pas servi depuis quinze ans.

Cteeost ps birle wt fnve ans to lh establrtmeyH b sonicl tsdmbnotrinan r.

Maths Kammer verlassen hatten und ins Sonnenlicht getreten waren, starrte Gilvaethwy seinen Bruder mit aufgerissenen Augen an.

Reims, il y a dix-huit ans, les chevaux des princes et de la compagnie du roi!

Les articles sous le coup desquels elle vous place sont les 354, 355, 356, 357 du code penal, qui disent que quiconque aura enleve ou detourne une fille au-dessous de seize ans subira la peine des travaux forces a temps.

Elle dit aussi que, quand meme la fille aurait consenti a son enlevement ou suivi volontairement son ravisseur, si celui-ci est majeur de vingt-un ans ou au-dessus, il sera condamne aux travaux forces a temps.

CHAPTER V When I woke, feeling as refreshed as though I had been dreaming through a long night, An, seeing me open-eyed, helped me to my feet, And when I had recovered my senses a little, asked if we should go on.

Madame Mathias, Madame Mathias, que ne donnerais-je point pour vous revoir telle que vous futes, ou du moins pour savoir ce que vous etes devenue, depuis trente ans que vous avez quitte ce monde ou vous aviez si peu de joie, ou vous teniez si peu de place et que vous aimiez tant.

Juillet 1830, trois cent quarante-huit ans six mois et dix-neufs jours, etc.

Herren, ich kenne Sie nicht, und Sie kennen meinen Vater nicht, wissen Sie, denn er ist schon lange durchgebrannt, und geht nicht beim Tage in einen Laden hinein, wissen Sie--und ich habe keinen Schwiegervater, Gott sei Dank, werde auch nie einen kriegen, werde uberhaupt, wissen Sie, ein solches Ding nie haben, nie dulden, nie ausstehen: warum greifen Sie ein Madchen an, das nur Unschuld kennt, das Ihnen nie Etwas zu Leide gethan hat?