Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Mock Exam. Listening. Vocabulary

trace: trace of something a very small amount of something. E.g. The post-mortem revealed traces of poison in his stomach. She spoke without a trace of bitterness.
haughtiness: the trait of behaving in an unfriendly way towards other people because you think that you are better than them. E.g. without the slight trace of haughtiness or indifference.
grapple: to try hard to find a solution to a problem. E.g. grapple with something The new government has yet to grapple with the problem of air pollution.
price tag: label on something that shows how much you must pay. E.g.  (figurative) There is a £2 million price tag on the team's star player.
gouge somebody/something /ɡaʊdʒ/ (North American English) to force somebody to pay an unfairly high price for something; to raise prices unfairly. E.g. Housing shortages permit landlords to gouge their renters. Price gouging is widespread.
tilt the playing field
tilt: to move, or make something move, into a position with one side or end higher than the other. E.g. Suddenly the boat tilted to one side.
There is a concept of the "level playing field", which means a fair environment in which both sides have the same chances. A playing field which slopes favours the side which is playing downhill.
level the playing field: to give everyone the same advantages or opportunities. E.g.  It was an effort to level the playing field and achieve greater equality between the sexes. Government funding can level the playing field for political candidates without money.
Tilting the playing field means to change things to make it harder for your opponent to win. The phrase comes from football. If one goal is higher than the other, the team attacking downhill has an unfair advantage.

sabre-rattling  also saber-rattling threatening behaviour which is intended to frighten someone. E.g. After months of sabre-rattling, the two sides have agreed to a peaceful resolution of their differences.
sabre or saber /ˈseɪbə(r)/ 1 a heavy sword with a curved blade 2 a light sword with a thin blade used in the sport of fencing. Sp sable.
rattle (something) to make a series of short loud sounds when hitting against something hard; to make something do this. Sp. repiquetear. E.g. Every time a bus went past, the windows rattled. He shook me so hard that my teeth rattled.
creep in/into something to begin to happen or affect something. E.g. As she became more tired, errors began to creep into her work.
rein somebody/something back/ rein something in to start to control somebody/ something more strictly. Keep under control; restrain. E.g. We need to rein back public spending. She kept her emotions tightly reined in. The government had failed to rein in public spending.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Mock Exam. Use of English. Vocabulary


Multiple Choice Cloze

taciturn: /ˈtæsɪtɜːn/ (said about men) tending not to say very much, in a way that seems unfriendly. E.g. a taciturn and serious young man.
0. goodly
goodly: physically attractive; of good quality

chivalrous: /ˈʃɪvəlrəs/ (of men) polite, kind and behaving with honour, especially towards women. Gallant. E.g. a chivalrous man is polite and kind and shows respect to women. I think you are the most chivalrous man I have ever met.

doting: /ˈdəʊtɪŋ/ (used of both, men and women but it usually collocates with dad or father) showing a lot of love for somebody, often ignoring their faults. E.g. a doting mother/father. E.g. Doting dad Seb is delighted with his beautiful new daughter. 

1. brandishing
brandish something to hold or wave something, especially a weapon, in an aggressive, threatening or excited way. E.g. a man leaped out brandishing a knife.

chuck in: quit. E.g. The simple truth is, if you chuck in your job and decide to write full time, unless you're very lucky, you're going to run out of cash pretty soon.

hang back: show reluctance to act or move. E.g. I do not believe that our Government will hang back from taking drastic measures.

draw back: choose not to do something that one was expected to do: the government hasn't drawn back from attempting  a new reform.

walk out (on somebody): (informal) to suddenly leave somebody that you are having a relationship with and that you have a responsibility for. E.g. How could she walk out on her kids?

scrounge: / skraʊndʒ/ (informal, disapproving) to get something from somebody by asking them for it rather than by paying for it. Sp. gorronear. E.g. scrounge (something) (off/from somebody) He's always scrounging free meals off us. Can I scrounge a cigarette from you? I don't want to spend the rest of my life scrounging off other people. Scrounge (for something) What is she scrounging for this time?

seethe: to be extremely angry about something but try not to show other people how angry you are. E.g. She seethed silently in the corner. Seethe with something He marched off, seething with frustration. Seethe at something Inwardly he was seething at this challenge to his authority.

2. clip clopping
clip-clop: (N) a sound like the sound of a horse's hoofs on a hard surface.
clip-clop: (V) move with a clip-clop. E.g. the horses clip-clopped slowly along the street

shady: /ˈʃeɪdi/ seeming to be dishonest or illegal. Sp. sospechoso. E.g. a shady businessman/deal. A shady character.

uncharitable: /ʌnˈtʃærɪtəbl/ unkind and unfair in the way that you judge people. Uncharitable thoughts. Sp. poco caritativo. E.g. I don't want to be uncharitable, but he isn't very intelligent, is he?

3. weary
weary: /ˈwɪəri/ making you feel tired or bored. E.g. a weary journey. Weary hours spent in negotiation.

grimy: /ˈɡraɪmi/ covered with dirt. E.g. grimy hands/windows. His clothes were grimy and bloodstained. 

tut: (also tut-tut) (V) to express disapproval by the exclamation of "tut-tut". E.g. I see other people tutting and staring in the supermarket when he is throwing a tantrum.
tut: (also tut-tut) (N) used as the written or spoken way of showing the sound that people make when they disapprove of something. E.g. Tut-tut, I expected better of you. Tut-tuts of disapproval.

4. collared
collar somebody: /ˈkɒlə(r)/ to stop somebody in order to talk to them. E.g. I was collared in the street by a woman doing a survey.

scrub: to clean something by rubbing it hard, perhaps with a brush and usually with soap and water. E.g. I found him in the kitchen, scrubbing the floor. He stepped into the shower and scrubbed himself all over.

crunch something up: to crush something completely. Sp. triturar. E.g. He crunched up the empty pack and threw it out of the window.

haunt: /hɔːnt/ 1. Haunt something/somebody if the ghost of a dead person haunts a place, people say that they have seen it there. E.g. A headless rider haunts the country lanes. I'll come back to haunt you!  2. Haunt somebody to continue to cause problems for somebody for a long time. E.g. That decision came back to haunt him. She has been haunted by her past during her career. 3. haunt somebody if something unpleasant haunts you, it keeps coming to your mind so that you cannot forget it. E.g. The memory of that day still haunts me. For years she was haunted by guilt.

mug a person who is stupid and easy to trick. A gullible person. E.g. They made me look a complete mug. He's no mug.

transpire: / trænˈspaɪə(r)/ transpire that… if it transpires that something has happened or is true, it is known or has been shown to be true. E.g. It transpired that the gang had had a contact inside the bank. This story, it later transpired, was untrue.

seasoned: having a lot of experience of a particular activity. E.g. a seasoned campaigner/performer/traveller, etc.

rant (on) (about something)| rant at somebody to speak or complain about something in a loud and/ or angry way. E.g. she was still ranting on about the unfairness of it all.

dilettante: /ˌdɪləˈtænti/ pl dilettanti /ˌdɪləˈtæntiː/ or dilettante: a person who does or studies something but is not serious about it and does not have much knowledge. E.g. a dilettante artist (Sp. de poca monta).

5. curmudgeonly
curmudgeonly /kɜːˈmʌdʒənli/ (adj) bad-tempered. E.g. I don't know, it's hard to explain how I feel without sounding curmudgeonly and bitter.
curmudgeon /kɜːˈmʌdʒən/ (N) a bad-tempered person, often an old one. E.g. Only the worst curmudgeon could dislike this site.

destitute: /ˈdestɪtjuːt/ without money, food and the other things necessary for life. E.g. When he died, his family was left completely destitute (Sp. quedó en la indigencia).

unsightly: /ʌnˈsaɪtli/ not pleasant to look at. Ugly. E.g. an unsightly scar. Unsightly factories.

rapt: so interested in one particular thing that you are not aware of anything else. Sp. embelesado. E.g. a rapt audience. She listened to the speaker with rapt attention. He watched her with a rapt expression. Jill stared at them blankly, rapt in thought.

ravage: /ˈrævɪdʒ/ ravage something to damage something badly. Devastate. E.g. a country ravaged by civil war. A recession that has ravaged the textile industry.

wide-ranging: including or dealing with a large number of different subjects or areas. E.g. The commission has been given wide-ranging powers. A wide-ranging discussion. A wide-ranging review of public spending.

6. rasping
rasp: /rɑːsp/ to make a rough unpleasant sound. E.g. a rasping cough/ voice

Tannoy: /ˈtænɔɪ/ (TM) a system with loudspeakers used for giving information in a public place. E.g. to make an announcement over the Tannoy.

officialdom /əˈfɪʃldəm/ (disapproving) (uncountable) people who are in positions of authority in large organizations when they seem to be more interested in following rules than in being helpful. E.g. The report is critical of attempts by officialdom to deal with the problem of homelessness.

Muzak: /ˈmjuːzæk/ (TM) continuous recorded music that is played in shops, restaurants, airports, etc. E.g. And apart from faint background muzak, it is awfully quiet, for the other diners don't say much to each other.

mellow: /ˈmeləʊ/ soft and pleasant. E.g. Mellow music and lighting helped to create the right atmosphere.

hangar: a large building in which aircraft are kept.

tip: an untidy place. E.g. Their flat is a tip! (Sp. pocilga)

7. hangout
hangout: a place where somebody lives or likes to go often. Haunt. E.g. This cafe is a popular hang-out for tourists.

stationery: /ˈsteɪʃənri/  materials for writing and for using in an office, for example paper, pens and envelopes. Sp. Artículos de papelería.

cheery: happy and cheerful. E.g. a cheery remark/smile/waveHe left with a cheery ‘See you again soon’. Soft music would now be heard on the background, and happy and cheery voices as well.

8. garish
garish /ˈɡeərɪʃ/ very brightly coloured in an unpleasant way. Gaudy. E.g. garish clothes/ colours. It's a little too garish for my taste.

convoluted: /ˈkɒnvəluːtɪd/ extremely complicated and difficult to follow. E.g. a convoluted argument/ explanation. A book with a convoluted plot.

conceal: /kənˈsiːl/ to hide somebody/something. E.g. The paintings were concealed beneath a thick layer of plaster. Tim could barely conceal his disappointment. For a long time his death was concealed from her.

intricate: /ˈɪntrɪkət/ having a lot of different parts and small details that fit together. Sp. complejo. E.g. intricate patterns. An intricate network of loyalties and relationships.

riot of something (formal) a collection of a lot of different types of the same thing. E.g. The garden was a riot of colour. The market was a riot of unfamiliar sounds and smells. A riot of emotions raged through her.

9. joints
joint a place where people meet to eat, drink, dance, etc, especially one that is cheap. E.g. a fast-food joint. The joint was jumping (= full of people and activity).

fuddy-duddy: /ˈfʌdi dʌdi/ a person who has old-fashioned ideas or habits. Sp. Carca. E.g. You're such an old fuddy-duddy!  (Adjective) fuddy-duddy ideas.

swirl: / swɜːl/ the movement of something that twists and turns in different directions and at different speeds. Sp. Remolino E.g. The dancers left the stage in a swirl of skirts. Swirly (adj) 

somersault: /ˈsʌməsɔːlt/ a movement in which somebody turns over completely, with their feet over their head, on the ground or in the air. E.g. to do/ turn a somersault. He turned back somersaults. (figurative) Her heart did a complete somersault when she saw him.

scrumptious: /ˈskrʌmpʃəs/ tasting very good. E.g. a scrumptious chocolate tart. You can never go wrong by serving chocolate chip cookies - they work as well in a scrumptious dessert with ice cream as a school lunchbox.

bliss extreme happiness. E.g. married/wedded/domestic bliss. My idea of bliss is a month in the Bahamas. Swimming on a hot day is sheer bliss.

route march
route march: a long march for soldiers over a particular route, especially to improve their physical condition. E.g. About 1,000 feet below us there was a squad of soldiers on a mountain route march.

10. neck of the woods
neck of the woods (informal) a particular place or area. E.g. He's from your neck of the woods (= the area where you live). What are you doing in this neck of the woods?

fathom: / ˈfæðəm/  to understand or find an explanation for something. E.g. It is hard to fathom the pain felt at the death of a child. He couldn't fathom out what the man could possibly mean.

11. schlepping
schlep: to go somewhere, especially if it is a slow, difficult journey, or you do not want to go. E.g. The restaurant's supposed to be great but I don't feel like schlepping all the way out there.

tuck in/ tuck into something (British English, informal): to eat a lot of food, especially when it is done quickly and with enthusiasm. E.g. Come on, tuck in everyone! He was tucking into a huge plateful of pasta.

latch onto sb/ sth: to become attached to somebody/something. Sp. Agarrarse. E.g. antibodies that latch onto germs.

sustenance: /ˈsʌstənəns/ the food and drink that people, animals and plants need to live and stay healthy. E.g. There's not much sustenance in a bowl of soup.

St Bernard
St Bernard: /ˌsnt ˈbɜːnəd/ a large strong dog, originally from Switzerland, where it was trained to help find people who were lost in the snow. It was originally kept to rescue travellers by the monks of the Hospice on the Great St Bernard. E.g. St Bernards were used as rescue dogs.

in store
in store (for somebody) waiting to happen to somebody. E.g. We don't know what life holds in store for us. If she had known what lay in store for her, she would never have agreed to go. They think it'll be easy but they have a surprise in store.

horde: a large crowd of people. E.g. There are always hordes of tourists here in the summer. Football fans turned up in hordes

flukey (also fluky) /ˈfluːki/ a lucky or unusual thing that happens by accident, not because of planning or skill. Sp. Chiripa. E.g. a fluky goal.

puff: a small amount of air, smoke, etc. that is blown from somewhere. E.g. a puff of wind.

12. whiff
whiff: /wɪf/ whiff (of something) a slight amount, sign or feeling of something. E.g. a whiff of danger.

onslaught /ˈɒnslɔːt/ an overwhelmingly large number of people or things. E.g. in some parks the onslaught of cars and people far exceeds capacity. 

turnstile: /ˈtɜːnstaɪl/ a gate at the entrance to a public building, stadium, etc. that turns in a circle when pushed, allowing one person to go through at a time.

glint a sudden flash of light or colour shining from a bright surface. Sp. Destello. E.g. the glint of the sun on the water. Golden glints in her red hair. She saw a glint of silver in the grass.

13. garnish
garnish: /ˈɡɑːnɪʃ/ a small amount of food that is used to decorate a larger dish of food. E.g. a garnish of tomato. Keep some olives to one side for garnish.

dismal not skilful or successful; of very low quality. E.g. The singer gave a dismal performance of some old songs. Their recent attempt to increase sales has been a dismal failure.

lap something up: (informal) to accept or receive something with great enjoyment, without thinking about whether it is good, true or sincere. E.g. acoger con entusiasmo. E.g. It's a terrible movie but audiences everywhere are lapping it up. She simply lapped up all the compliments.

14. hiked up
hike something (up) to increase prices, taxes, etc. suddenly by large amounts. E.g. The government hiked up the price of milk by over 40%.

freshen something (up) to make something cleaner, cooler, newer or more pleasant. E.g. The walls need freshening up with white paint. The rain had freshened the air. Using a mouthwash freshens the breath.

conjure sth up: /ˈkʌndʒə/ to make something appear as a picture in your mind. Evoke. E.g. That smell always conjures up memories of holidays in France. He strained to conjure up her face and voice, but they had vanished.

grim unpleasant and depressing. E.g. grim news.

The Naughty Chair
The Naughty Chair in this technique the child goes on a chair for a certain amount of time actually based on their age. Later, the child apologizes and is hugged by the parent.

swagger /ˈswæɡə/ a way of walking or behaving that seems too confident. E.g. She walked to the front of the class with a swagger.

babble /ˈbæbl/ the sound of many people speaking at the same time. Sp. Murmullo. E.g. a babble of voices.

15. fare
fare: food that is offered as a meal. E.g. The restaurant provides good traditional fare.

splurge: /splɜːdʒ/ an act of spending a lot of money on something that you do not really need. Sp. Derroche. E.g. the annual pre-Christmas splurge. That was a first-night splurge with friends, but most of the food we'll eat will be simple and as authentic as possible and that usually means inexpensive.

gulp: an act of breathing in or of swallowing something. E.g. ‘Can you start on Monday?’ Amy gave a gulp. ‘Of course,’ she said. He drank the glass of whisky in one gulp. The prices are gulp-worthy, but it appears that you might just get what you pay for.

eaterie (also eatery) /ˈiːtəri/ a restaurant or cafe. E.g. The resort has a vast selection of restaurants and eateries, serving French, Italian, American and Indian cuisine.

Open Cloze

in mint condition: new or as good as new; in perfect condition

boast: (not used in the progressive tenses) boast something to have something that is impressive and that you can be proud of. E.g. The hotel also boasts two swimming pools and a golf course. Rhodes boasts 300 days of sunshine a year.

white elephants
white elephant a possession that is useless or troublesome, especially one that is expensive to maintain or difficult to dispose of (get rid of). E.g. a huge white elephant of a house that needed ten thousand spent on it.

is up for
up for something: on offer for something. E.g. The house is up for sale.

be a steal to be for sale at an unexpectedly low price. E.g. This suit is a steal at $80.

catch: a hidden problem or disadvantage in an apparently ideal situation. E.g. All that money for two hours' work—what's the catch? There’s a catch in it somewhere.

outstanding: not yet paid, done, solved, etc. E.g. She has outstanding debts of over £500. A lot of work is still outstanding. The negotiations failed to solve outstanding issues.

further: more; additional. E.g. Cook for a further 2 minutes. Have you any further questions? For further details call this number. We have decided to take no further action. The museum is closed until further notice(= until we say that it is open again).

payoffs: a payment of money to somebody especially as a bribe or on leaving a job. E.g.  he left the company with an £800,000 pay-off. The company is offering large pay-offs to anyone accepting voluntary redundancy.

meet something: to pay something. E.g. The cost will be met by the company.

reserve price
reserve price (also reserve) [countable] (British English) the lowest price that somebody will accept for something, especially something that is sold at an auction. E.g. The painting failed to reach to its reserve and was withdrawn from the sale.

egregious /ɪˈɡriːdʒiəs/ extremely bad. E.g. egregious behaviour. An egregious error

boom: a sudden increase in trade and economic activity; a period of wealth and success. E.g. Living standards improved rapidly during the post-war boom. Boom in something a boom in car sales. A boom year (for trade, exports, etc.). A property/housing boom. A chaotic period of boom and bust.

vainglory: /ˌveɪnˈɡlɔːri/ inordinate (excessive) pride in oneself or one’s achievements; excessive vanity. E.g.  his vainglory put the Republic at risk

baron: an important or powerful person in a specified business or industry. E.g. a press baron.

plunder: to steal things from a place, especially using force during a time of war. The troops crossed the country, plundering and looting as they went. The abbey had been plundered of its valuables. Only a small amount of the money that he plundered from his companies has been recovered.

feasibility: the state or degree of being easily or conveniently done. E.g. a feasibility study on the proposed new airport. I doubt the feasibility of the plan.

proponent (of something): (formal) a person who supports an idea or course of action. Advocate. E.g. a strong proponent of the free market and liberal trade policies.

filed for
file: (law) to present something so that it can be officially recorded and dealt with. E.g. file for something to file for divorce. File something to file a claim/ complaint/ petition/ lawsuit. File to do something He filed to divorce his wife.

Word formation

dormant:  /ˈdɔːmənt/ not active or growing now but able to become active or to grow in the future. Inactive. E.g. a dormant volcano. During the winter the seeds lie dormant in the soil.
dormancy:  /ˈdɔːmənsi/ is a period in an organism's life cycle when growth, development, and (in animals) physical activity are temporarily stopped. E.g. The holly bush is said to be considered a symbol of the continuation of life because it remains green during winter dormancy.
breed: a type of person. E.g. He represents a new breed of politician. Players as skilful as this are a rare breed.
make off with something: to steal something and hurry away with it. E.g. burglars made off with all their wedding presents.
make, etc. a dent in something: to reduce the amount of something, especially money. E.g. The lawyer's fees will make a dent in our finances.
opportunistic /ˌɒpətjuːˈnɪstɪk/ OR  opportunist /ɒpəˈtjuːnɪst/:  making use of an opportunity, especially to get an advantage for yourself; not done in a planned way. E.g. an opportunistic crime. Smith marked his debut match with an opportunist goal.

spate /speɪt/ spate of something a large number of things, which are usually unpleasant, that happen suddenly within a short period of time. E.g. The bombing was the latest in a spate of terrorist attacks. A recent spate of killings/thefts.

shipment: the process of sending goods from one place to another. E.g. The goods are ready for shipment. The illegal shipment of arms. Shipment costs.

scruple: /ˈskruːpl/ a feeling that prevents you from doing something that you think may be morally wrong. E.g. I overcame my moral scruples. He had no scruples about spying on her. She is totally without scruple.

unscrupulous:  /ʌnˈskruːpjələs/ without moral principles; not honest or fair. E.g. unscrupulous methods.

Gapped sentences
kiss something goodbye/ kiss goodbye to something: (informal) to accept that you will lose something or be unable to do something. E.g. Well, you can kiss goodbye to your chances of promotion.
kiss something better: (informal) to take away the pain of an injury by kissing it. E.g. Come here and let me kiss it better.
Kiss up to: to try to please a powerful person, because you want them to do something for you. E.g. He's being kissed up to in public, but the knives are out for him.
fan the flames (of something): to make a feeling such as anger, hatred, etc. worse. E.g. His writings fanned the flames of racism.
fan mail: letters from fans to the person they admire.
nip something in the bud: to stop something when it has just begun because you can see that problems will come from it. E.g. We need to nip this bad behaviour in the bud.
nip: to harm or damage something. E.g. nip (at something) The icy wind nipped at our faces. The vegetable garden, nipped now by frost. It was so cold that the frost nipped at your nose while wrapped in a scarf. What has happened to Sheila's tree every year is that it has been nipped by a late frost.
nip: to go somewhere quickly and/or for only a short time. E.g. He's just nipped out to the bank. A car nipped in (= got in quickly) ahead of me. I’m just nipping down to the Post Office.
stroke: a mark made by moving a pen, brush, etc. once across a surface. E.g. to paint with fine brush strokes. At the stroke of a pen(= by signing something) they removed thousands of people from the welfare system.
stroke (of something) a single successful action or event. E.g. Your idea was a stroke of genius. It was a stroke of luck that I found you here. It was a bold stroke to reveal the identity of the murderer on the first page. She never does a stroke (of work)(= never does any work).
fence-mending: an attempt to improve relations between two people or groups and to try to find a solution to a disagreement between them. the action of making peace with a person or group. E.g. the two countries have some fence-mending to do. He hopes that a fence-mending trip will bring the hostilities to an end.

Key word transformation
handle: to deal with a situation, a person, an area of work or a strong emotion. E.g. A new man was appointed to handle the crisis. She's very good at handling her patients.