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EG was to take a short test today, but we warmed up with a little conversation first, directed by him, of course. It so happened that his daughter had rung him to ask for advice on a decision she had to make. She’d just obtained her degree, and had started working, but the conditions were rather abusive. Now, only after a month or so into her job, she’s been offered a grant to do a master’s by an important company – what should she do?

As usual, I tried to focus on the language he used (or tried to use):

  • grant – scholarship – grant/scholarship holder
  • do/study a master’s (degree)
  • part time – full time
  • interview – interviewee /ˌɪntə(r)vjuːˈiː/ – interviewer
  • engineer – engineering
  • luxury /ˈlʌkʃəri/ – luxurious /lʌɡˈzjʊəriəs/ – deluxe
  • approve (a plan, decision, application) – pass (an exam)
  • the stock market – the stock exchange
  • charge – pay
  • tax – taxes – tax relief – tax rebate
  • greenhouse (this came from mentioning that some agriculturists wanted to build solar panels on top of their greenhouses to claim tax relief)
  • recoup /rɪˈkuːp/ (recover) losses, investment
  • repay (pay off) (redeem) a loan, a mortgage
  • (Note: the Spanish use ‘amortizar’ to mean recoup or repay. Although we have the equivalent ‘amortize’ /əˈmɔː(r)taɪz/, this is too formal in everyday usage)

    Problematic construction

  • the money is good for begin (the money is good to begin with)
  • this company is good for learn (this company is good for learning; this company is good for getting/gaining experience)
  • When you begin work as engineer (we use the article a/an when referring to a profession/job)
  • If you don’t study hard, you lost time (first conditional: if you don’t study hard, you’ll lose time, or 2nd: if you didn’t study hard, you’d lose time)
  • The girls is different (Article misuse, incorrect verb: Girls are different)
  • It’s hard to continue study when pass the time ( verb + to/-ing: It’s hard to continue to study/studying when you get older)
  • It’s possible pay a fixed price (It’s possible to pay a fixed price)
  • Each year it’s more cheap produce renewable energy (Each year, it gets cheaper to produce renewable energy/Each year, producing renewable energy gets cheaper).

  • future /ˈfjuːtʃə(r)/
  • government /ˈɡʌvə(r)nmənt/
  • agriculturist /ˌæɡrɪˈkʌltʃ(ə)rɪst/
    Irregular comparatives

  • good – better – the best
  • bad – worse – the worst
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