This post is a follow-up to my last one Ten ways to improve vocabulary. Having outlined some ideas I thought I’d better ‘put my money where my mouth was’ and give a concrete example. So, his morning I spent 15 minutes perusing items on my breakfast table and in my bathroom and came up with the following list of sentences and words which, I think, are useful. I hope that among them will be some new things but also perhaps some that you may have overlooked and not brought into your own active vocabulary and usage.
There was one new word for me and a couple of phrases that I hadn’t really noticed before.
Here you are, my 15 minute vocabulary accumulator!!
1. Naturally rich in vitamin C, Vitafit (product) orange juice from concentrate is made entirely from specially selected juicy oranges.
- Did you notice this wonderful use of inversion of subject? Something I am always asking students to do in their essays! Great style!!
2. Once opened, store upright in the refrigerator and consume within 3-4 days.
- Look at this great use of imperatives for instructions – so economical and offering great clarity – next time you have to write a list of instructions remember – less is more!!
3. no artificial anything!
- I love this! I hadn’t though about using it before. Great phrase No….. for emphasis and here the use of no + anything gives great impact.
4. Who’d have thought such a tasty breakfast could fit so well into a balanced diet!
- Use of modal verbs, the opening phrase is definitely one to remember for your own writing!
5. If you’re as mad about X as Jo is then you‘ll love Y!
- Lovely combination of the first conditional and as….as
6. Slide finger under centre flap
- Did you know flap?
7. Insert tab under flap to close
- Did you know tab? Did you know about this combination of flap and tab for closing boxes?
8. Multigrain cereal coated with sugar and honey, fortified with vitamins and iron.
- Have you seen this use of to coat and to fortify before?
9. This product is packed by weight and not by volume.
- Did you know that you can use by …… by and add not to make it negative? Another simple phrase I hadn’t thought about much.
10. This container is fitted with a tamper-evident-seal
- This is a new word for me. OK perhaps it’s a bit obscure but you never know when you might need to say – “Does that have a tamper-evident-seal?”
11. Do not exceed the stated dose.
- Did you know this use of to exceed? Did you know dose? These are actually important words in this context.
12. Cod Liver Oil provides the recommended daily requirements of Vitamin A & D both of which are necessary for the maintainance of healthy skin, strong bones and teeth.
- Nice conjunction here to remember. Also use of vitamin in the singular but I think we need and after healthy skin! Use of maintainance makes the sentence very neat.
13. A stylish bamboo soap tray to use within any bathroom setting.
- Did you know that a soap container is called a tray (or dish) and how about the word setting? Very useful this as a synonym to area, place, venue …
14. Apply a ribbon of toothpaste across the head of the toothbrush.
- Did you know to use ‘ribbon’ for something squeezed from a tube, did you know that the brush part of a toothbrush was called the head?
15. For children under 7, use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
- It might be useful to collect words used to describe amounts and size, shape of items.
16. Daily rinsing will help combat germs.
- Have you seen this use of to combat before?
17. Apply to wet hair, lather, rinse and repeat.
- Do you know this word (lather)?
18. Pour under running water and swirl?
- Can you swirl?
Here are two which are not from my house but which if you visit London and the UK you will learn immediately.
19. Mind the gap
- What’s all that about? A strange phrase telling you to be careful when you get off the train as there’s a space between the train step and the platform. It takes 19 words to explain! What a great phrase!!
20. No trainers
- Another succinct phrase meaning – Don’t wear tennis shoes, training shoes or sneakers in this place – 11 words!