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Words with Similar meanings
Lucky - fortunate
We can say ‘got lucky’ but not ‘got fortunate’
Lucky is less formal than fortunate.
We say people are ‘favoured by (good) fortune’
Lucky is random “by chance” - “fortunate” is from the Gods/ other forces. Eg.
He’s a fortunate child - he has rich parents who can give him everything - vs
he’s a lucky kid. - wins everything.
I was lucky at the casino yesterday.
I feel very fortunate that I’ve been able to travel to some wonderful places.
Cheap - inexpensive
Cheap can imply poor quality
Inexpensive usually refers only to the price
Thrifty - cheap
A thrifty person tries to buy at a good price and find
A cheap person avoids anything expensive. They are not generous.
Costly - expensive
Costly can be used in contexts that aren’t about money.
‘Being rude to your boss can be costly.’ / ‘I made a costly mistake. No one ever
trusted me again.’
Excuses - reasons
An excuse is a self-justification. A reason is an
Excuses blame everyone and everything for not achieving an aim or result.
House - home
House is the building.
Home can be abstract. Not necessarily the physical structure.
Listen TO - hear
Hear - sounds that come to our ears, without us necessarily
trying to hear them. 'I heard the neighbours arguing yesterday.'
Listen TO means paying attention to sounds that are going on. 'I listen to
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See - watch
See means to notice or become aware of someone or something.
“Did you see what that idiot in the blue car just did?’
Watch means to look at someone or something for an amount of time and pay
attention to what is happening. “I watched TV for an hour and then went to bed”
(“Look” means to direct your eyes in a particular direction.)
Office - work - job
Office - the building or space where you work
Work is activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a
purpose or result.
(Job - a regular activity that you do, and receive money for.)
Work is non-countable - refers to the activity in general. “I have loads of work
at the moment” “in/out of work” “I am at work” (the place)
Job is a particular type of work done by a person. What’s your job? I’m a
Thin - skinny - slim
Slim (neutral) thin (you have a normal you’re comparing it
to) Skinny is being unattractively thin
Fat - / overweight
Overweight (less offensive), fat (negative), well-built (polite),
Jealous - envious
Jealousy is an emotion related to your things (usually a
person in a relationship). ‘I get really jealous when he talks to my girlfriend.’
It’s passionate (spontaneous gut feeling) - my boyfriend is a very jealous
person (ie I can’t talk to other guys cos he feels threatened)
Envy is an emotion related to someone else's things. ‘I’m envious of my
neighbour’s car.’ This is more calculating (head feeling) - she’s such an
envious person - you can’t tell her about anything new that you have otherwise
she wants it.
Problem - challenge
A problem generally has some kind of negative consequences
if you don’t resolve it.
A challenge generally has some kind of positive consequences if you do resolve
An optimist looks at problems and calls them challenges. In business and
politics ALWAYS use challenge ! It’s politically correct.
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