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-The health inspector closed the restaurant down because it didn't meet sanitary requirements. (Not *hygienic* *healthy*)

(= to do with cleanliness, hygiene)

heap • a lot of pile

-I've got a lot of/a heap of/a pile of old newspapers to send for recycling. (a lot of= a large quantity; pile = a quantity of things placed one on top of another; heap = an untidy pile)


-I hear very well. (Not *I'm hearing*)

(stative use: natural ability; also I can hear very well.)

-I hear you've been promoted. (Not *I'm hearing*)

(stative use = I have been told)

-I hear/I'm hearing much better with this new hearing aid.

(stative or dynamic use depending on the speaker's emphasis: natural ability)

-We've been hearing all sorts of strange reports about you.

(dynamic use = have been told)

-Did you hear him leave/leaving?

(Not *hear him to leave*)

(bare infinitive = the whole action, or -ing = part of the action after hear someone)

-1 heard what you said. (Not *heared*)

(spelling of past tense)

hear • listen to

-/ hear music in the distance.

(stative use: the experience is involuntary; the noun is hearing, as in / have good hearing = the ability to hear)

- / often listen to music.

(stative use of dynamic verb: habit)

-What are you doing? - I'm listening to this CD. (Not *I'm hearing* *listening this*)

(dynamic use = giving my attention)

-I listen to/hear the 9 o'clock news every evening without fail.

(both verbs are possible to refer to something habitual and deliberate)

-We heard some wonderful music at last night's concert. (Not *listened to*) (hear a live musical performance)

-Listen to hint sing/singing!

(Not *Listen to him to sing!* *Listen him!*)

hear listen obey

-/ advised him to travel overland, but he wouldn't listen. (Not *hear* *obey*)

(= take something seriously, pay attention)

-If only that dog would obey!

{obey = do what you're told to do)

-You can expect to get into trouble if you don't obey the law. (Not *obey to the law*) {obey + direct object: no preposition)

-/ won't stand this behaviour any longer. Do you hear (me)? (Not *listen to* *obey*, though we could say Are you listening?) (= hear with attention)

hear about/of

-Have you ever heard of a composer called Webern? (Not *heard for* * heard about*) {hear of = have knowledge of)

-Have you heard about the new copyright law? (Not *heard for* *heard of*) {hear about = receive information)

heaven(s) sky

-The fighter plane left a great trail of smoke across the sky. (Not *the heaven(s)*)

(= what we see above us from the earth)

-You will get your reward in heaven.

(= the place where good people are supposed to go after they die)

-The heavens opened and the landscape vanished behind a curtain of rain. (Not *The heaven* *Heaven*)

{the heavens is literary for the sky. Compare the exclamations Heavens! Heavens above!)


-Your case will get very heavy if you put so much into it. (Not *will heavy*)


-Who helped you (to) do your homework? (help + infinitive with or without to)

-I can't help worrying.

(Not *can't help to worry*) (can't help + -ing = can't avoid)

-Tina needs a lot of help with maths. (Not *a help* *a lot of helps*)

(the noun help is uncountable)

heritage • inheritance

-This property will be part of your inheritance. (Not *heritage*)

(- money or possessions passed on when someone dies)

-These ancient buildings are an important part of our national heritage.

(= customs, traditions, historical monuments, etc., passed on from one generation to the next)


-Which coat is hers ? (Not *her's*)

(no apostrophe with a possessive pronoun)


John's a friend of hers. (Not *of her's* *of her*; also: his, ours, yours, theirs)

he's his

-John's lost his watch. (Not *he's* *hes*) (his is the possessive relating to he)

-John says he's hungry. (Not *his*)

-John says he's done his homework. (he's is short for 'he is' or 'he has')

hide • hide (myself)

-He used to hide letters in his drawer. (hide used transitively)

-He was hiding behind the door and the children found him.

(hide used intransitively)

-Penny hid (herself) in the bathroom cupboard and someone locked her in.

(optional reflexive for a deliberate act)

high • highly

-If you can jump that high, you'll qualify for the Olympic team! (Not *jump highly*) (high is both an adjective: the high jump and an adverb: jump high, aim high)

-Few dancers are highly paid. (Not *high*)

(= to a great degree)

high school • college

-/ went to college after leaving school. (Not *(the) high school*)

(= an institution of higher learning for students of 16+)

- After high school, I went to college.

(= a secondary school for children of 11+; especially AmE for children of 15+)

hill • mountain

-Everest is the highest mountain in the world. (Not *hill*)

-Let's cycle to the top of the hill.

(a hill is lower than a mountain, but hill can also be a general term: high hills; the highest hills in a region or country are sometimes called mountains)

hinder • prevent (from)

-The climbers hadn't gone far when a heavy fall of snow hindered their progress.

(= made it difficult, but didn't stop it)

-The strikers prevented workers from entering/prevented them entering the factory. (Not *prevented them to enter*)

(= stopped, didn't allow to; prevent + -ing; from is usually optional after prevent)

hire • let (to) • rent (from)

-We've rented a villa in the south of France for the summer. (Not *let* *hired*)


(rent = buy the use of e.g. a house for a continuous period, usually for more than one payment)

-We've let our house to some Americans for the summer. They're renting it from us. (let to someone; rent from someone)

-I want to hire/rent a car. (Not *let*)

(hire, AmE rent = make a single payment for the use of e.g. a vehicle for a period)

-This house is to let. (Not *for rent*) (= available for renting)

-This vehicle is for hire.

(Not *to let* *for rent* *to hire*) (= available for hiring)

his her

-John phones his mother every Sunday. (= his own mother)

-John phoned her mother this morning.

(= someone else's mother; the 'someone else' is female)

-Ann phones her father every Sunday. (= her own father)

-Ann phoned his father this morning.

(= someone else's father; the 'someone else' is male)

(the possessive adjectives his, her, etc., refer to the possessor, not the thing possessed)

historic • historical

-The falsification of historical records is common practice in totalitarian regimes. (Not *historic*)

(= relating to the study of history)

-Pulling down the Berlin Wall will be remembered as one of the historic events of the late 20th century.

(= important in history)

history story

-Climb into bed and I'll read you a bedtime story. (Not *history*)

-We often know little about the history of our own times.

(a story is an account, often fictional, of what happened in someone's experience; history is a factual account of past public or universal events or 'the study of history')

hold • catch keep take

-We don't want him in our team. He can't even catch a ball. (Not *hold*)

(= take hold of a moving object)

-We can only hope the police will catch this thief. (Not *keep/hold/take*)

(catch somebody stealing)

-Please hold the baby till I get the pram. (Not *catch*)

(= support, carry)

-I don't want the book back. You can keep it.

(= have as your own; possess) - If you like it, take it.

(= remove it and have as yours)

-This jug holds two litres. (Not *is holding*)

(= contains, stative use)

-Where's my bag? - You're holding it!

(= you have it in your hands; dynamic use) hollow empty • vacant

-The fridge is almost empty. (Not *hollow* *vacant*)

(= with nothing in it)

-That house has been empty/vacant for a long time. (Not *hollow*)

(vacant = not occupied)

-The Customs men found the drugs in a hollow space under the seat of the car.

(= not solid, an empty space inside something, e.g. a hollow wall)


-Where's John? - He's at home/He's home. (Not*He's to home.*)

-Where have you been? - I've been (at) home. (Not *I've been to home.*)

-Where did John go ? - He went home./ Home. (Not *went to home*)

-She left home at 8. (Not *left from home*)

-What did you do on Sunday? -I stayed (at) home. (Not * I stayed to home.*)

-We arrived home late.

(Not *arrived to/in/at home*)

-Where have you come from? - I've come from home. (Not *from the home*)

-I'm going to the home/I was at the home of a friend/at a friend's home.

(specific reference with the: house is also possible here)

home • house

-They live in a large house. (Not *home*)

-When I'm abroad, my thoughts are never far from home. (Not *(the) house* *the home*) {house generally refers to the building; a house ox flat becomes home when you refer to it as the place you live in)

-Isn't your father abroad at the moment? -

No, he's (at) home.

(Not *house* *at house* *to house*) (= e.g. not away)

-Where's your father? - He must be somewhere in the house. (Not *at home*)

(= inside the building)

homework • housework

-Who does the housework when you're both at work? (Not *homework* *the houseworks* *makes the housework*)

(= cleaning, etc.; uncountable)

-/ had to tell my teacher I hadn't done my homework.

(Not *made my homework* *homeworks*) (= work set by teachers for students to do at home; uncountable)

honestly • sincerely

-/ sincerely hope they return safely soon. (Not *honestly*)

-I honestly think you've made a mistake. (Not *sincerely*)

-Angela sincerely/honestly believes she's doing the best for her children. (sincerely refers to 'true feelings'; honestly means 'without cheating or lying')

honour • credit

-Your children have done brilliantly and are a real credit to you. (Not *an honour to*)

-You should give credit where it's due.

(be a credit to = bring honour, glory; give credit = acknowledge, show respect)

-It was a great honour to be invited to such a party. (Not *credit*)

(i.e. it made us feel pleased and proud)

-Your concern for your friend is to your credit. (Not *in your honour*)

(be to someone's credit = bring respect)

-When our boss retired, the company gave a party in his honour. (Not *to his credit*) (in (his) honour = as a mark of respect)


-We hope/are hoping business will recover next year.

(stative or dynamic depending on the emphasis you wish to give)

-Will he phone you when he arrives ? - / hope so. (Not *I hope* * I hope it.*)

-Will you be too late ? -I hope not.

(Not */ hope no.* *I don't hope so.*)

-I hope (that) she'll recover/she recovers soon. (Not *hope her to recover*)

-I hope to get into university./I hope that I'll get into university.

(to or that after hope when the subject is the same)


-We were shown wonderful hospitality wherever we went.

(Not *a hospitality* * hospitalities*)


(i.e. we were welcomed; hospitality is uncountable)

host • guest

-We have a guest from Nigeria who is staying with us. (Not *host*)

(= a person who is invited)

-Our host welcomed us with a glass of hot spicy wine.

(= a person who invites; the feminine form hostess is sometimes avoided)


-It (= the weather) is hot today. (Not *It has hot* *It makes hot/heat* *Is hot today.*)

-Drink your coffee while it's hot. I'm hot. I think I'll take off my coat. (Not *I have hot.* *I hot.*)

(= I don't feel cool)

-You're hot. I think you've got a temperature.

(= you have a high body temperature)

hot heat • warm • heated get hot

-/ got hot working in the sun.

(Not *I hot* *I hottened* *I heated*; preferable to I got warm)

-It's warm enough to sit out of doors today.

(preferable to hot; warm/warmth is less intense than hot/heat)

-I've heated the soup for you. (Not *hotted* *hottened*)

(= made it hot)

-We had a heated discussion about farm subsidies. (Not *hot*)

-The heat is fantastic today. (Not *The hot*) (heat is the noun; hot is the adjective)

hound dog

-What's your dog called? (Not *hound*)

-If I were a fox, I wouldn't want to be chased by a pack of hounds.

(= hunting dogs)

hour • time • o'clock

-What time do you want to get up tomorrow? (Not *hour* *o'clock*)

(What time is it?; tell the time, etc.)

-We have to put the clocks back an hour tomorrow.

(= a period of 60 minutes)

-I'll see you at 11 o'clock. (Not *hour*)

-It's five past 10. (Not *five past 10 o'clock*) (o'clock only with exact hours)

-It's fourteen minutes past 10.

(Not *fourteen past 10*)

(minutes to/past the hour when the reference isn't to fives, tens or quarters)



-What a beautiful house! (noun: pronounced /haus/)

-What beautiful houses! (noun: pronounced


-How are we going to house the refugees?

(verb: pronounced /hauz/)

-House, like Family, is not used as a form of address: Mr and Mrs Wilson and family = everyone in the Wilson family, not *House Wilson* *Family Wilson*

housemaid • homemade

-There's nothing like the smell of fresh, homemade cakes.

(Not *housemaid* *housemade*)

-My great-grandmother was a housemaid in a large country house.

(= a female servant, now old-fashioned)

how as

-Please do it as I tell you. (Not *how*)

(= in the way)

-Please tell me how to do it. (= which way)

-This steak is cooked just how/as I like it.

(= the way)

how • as if • like

-It seems as if he heard the news before we did. (Not *It seems how* *It seems like*) (seem, etc. + as if in clauses of manner)

-/ don't know how he heard the news before we did. (Not *know as if* *know like*)

(indirect question with how)

-Yesterday's meeting was just like the first one, a complete waste of time. (Not *as if*) (like + noun in direct comparisons)

how what

- What do you call this? (Not *How*)

-How do you know this? (Not *What*)

(= in what way)

-What do you think of him ? (Not *How*)

(= what's your opinion)

-How do you make things like that? (= in what way)

-How do you like it?

(i.e. 'tell me')

how what... like

-What's your new boss like ?/How's your new boss? (Not *How ... like?*)

(refers to appearance, character, but How's your new boss? can also refer to health)

-What was the film like?/How was the film? (Not *How... like?*)

(i.e. 'tell me')

-We won't really know what the room will look like/how the room will look until it's decorated. (Not *how it will look like*)

How are you? How do you do?

-This is Mr Simms. - How do you do? (Not *How are you?*)

(How do you do? in formal introductions; the response is also How do you do?, not *Very well, thank you. *)

-1 haven't seen you for ages! How are you ? Are you well? (Not *How do you do?*) (How are you? when asking about health)

how long (ago) • for how long/how long for

-How long have you been waiting? (Not *How long ago*)

(how long to refer to a period of time)

-How long ago did you arrive? - A couple of hours ago.

(how long ago to refer to a point of time in the past)

-How long is your dining table ? (= what length?)

-/ visited Gibraltar once. - For how long/

How long for?

(= for what period of time?; for is compulsory with how long here)

-/ visited Gibraltar once. - How long ago?

(= when?; ago is compulsory after how long here)

how much • how many

-How many names are there on the list? (Not *How much names*)

(how many + plural countable noun)

-How much bread did you buy? (Not *How many bread(s) * How much breads*)

(how much + uncountable noun)

-How much is it? How much does it cost?

(Not *How many... ?* *What costs?*)

how much time how long

-How long have you lived here? - I've lived here for ten years. (Not *How much time*) (How long to refer to long periods of time)

-How much time/How long did you spend on your homework? - A couple of hours.

(we can use either How much time or How long to refer to short periods of time)

humane human

-Using language is the essence of being human. (Not *humane*)

(= a member of the human race; the opposite is inhuman = 'cruel', as in the inhuman treatment of prisoners)

- Can there really be humane ways of rearing animals cheaply for food? (Not *human*)

(= showing consideration, kindness; the opposite is inhumane = 'not showing human kindness', as in the inhumane treatment of animals)

humidity • moisture * condensation • damp/dampness

-There was a dampness, just short of actual rain, in the air. (Not *a damp/a humidity*) (dampness is a local, not a general state)

-If you close up that chimney, you'll have a problem with damp.

(Not *dampness* *humidity* *moisture*) (= slight general wetness, usually undesirable; uncountable)

-The ground was too damp to sit on.

(= just slightly wet)

(damp is primarily an adjective)

-/ like the heat if there isn't too much

humidity. (Not *moisture* *dampness*)

(= water vapour in the air)

-How can you prevent condensation forming on the windows in the kitchen? (Not *humidity* *dampness*) (= steam turning to water on a cold surface)

-The soil is so sandy that it won't hold any moisture.

(= dispersed water)

hundred: a hundred and one

-I've got a hundred and one things to do this morning. (Not *a hundred one*)

(also a thousand and one, a million and one, a billion and one)

hundreds • hundred • hundred per cent

-How many people were present? - About a/one hundred. (Not *About hundred. *) (a or one hundred)

-How many people were at the meeting? - About two hundred. (Not *two hundreds*)

-The company has laid off two hundred workers. (Not *two hundreds workers* *two hundreds of workers*)

(hundred is singular after numbers)

-How many people were there? - Hundreds!

(normal plural)

-Hundreds of people went to the funeral.

(plural form + of)

(also billions/billion, dozens/dozen, millions/million, thousands/thousand)

-It's a hundred per cent certain that our flight will be delayed. (Not *hundred of hundred* *hundred by hundred*)


hunger • hungry

-Is there anything to eat? I'm hungry. (Not */ have hunger* *I hunger.*)

-Take some sandwiches with you. You might get hungry. (Not *might hunger*)

-Hunger makes him irritable.

-A hungry person is generally a badtempered one. (Not *A hungry*)

(we cannot use hungry on its own to mean 'a hungry person')

-We must do all we can to feed the hungry. (Not *the hungries*)

(the + adjective: the group as a whole)

-He hungers after money and fame.

(= longs for)

hurried • hurry • in a hurry

-I'm in a hurry. (Not *hurried* *I hurry.*)

(= I can't wait, I can't take too long)

-We'd better hurry. (Not *hurry ourselves*) (= move, act fast)

-/ won't put up with careless, hurried work. (= carried out too quickly)

hymn • anthem • psalm

-Few people know more than the first verse of the national anthem.

(Not *hymn* *psalm*) (= a ceremonial song)

-A carol is a special hymn for Christmas or Easter. (Not *anthem* *psalm*)

(= a song of praise)

-The church choir sang a psalm at the end of the service.

(= a setting to music of words from the Book of Psalms in the Bible)


ice a cube of ice

-Would you get some ice from the fridge please? (Not *an ice*)

-One cube (of ice) or two?/One ice cube or two?

(ice = frozen water, uncountable)

-A day at the zoo is expensive. Even an ice (cream) costs/a couple of ices cost a fortune. (ice = ice cream is countable)

icon • image • picture

-I have an image/a picture in my mind of a cottage by the sea. (Not *an icon*)

(= a mental picture)

-/ can take beautiful pictures with this camera. (Not *images* *icons*)


-Some Byzantine churches contain old and valuable icons. (Not *images* *pictures*)

(= paintings of holy people)

-Twiggy was the style icon for the swinging sixties.

(= an image for others to imitate) idea

-I've had an idea. (Not *It came to me an idea*, but we can say An idea came to me.)

-Who had the idea of inviting him to our party? (Not *idea to invite*)

-Whose idea was it that we should invite him?/Whose idea was it to invite him to our party? (Not *idea ... of inviting*)

idiomatic • proverbial

-'A stitch in time saves nine' is a proverbial saying (or a proverb). (Not *idiomatic*)

-In 'We laughed till we were in stitches', 'in stitches' is an idiomatic expression (or an

idiom) to describe uncontrollable laughter.

(a proverb is a traditional, 'wise' saying; an idiom is a group of words which taken together mean something different from their literal sense)

idle • lazy

-Kim's too idle/lazy to get a proper job.

-Everyone's on strike and the machines are idle. (Not *lazy*)

(lazy or idle to describe people who are unwilling to work; idle for machines, etc. = 'not in use')


-If you look out of the window, you'll see it's raining hard. (Not *If you will look*) (if+ present + will)

-If you asked him a question, I'm sure he'd answer it. (Not *If you would ask*)

(if+ past + would)

-If you had asked him a question, he would have answered it. (Not *If you would ask* *If you had've asked*)

(if+ past perfect + would have)

-Shall I hold the door open for you? - Yes, if you will/if you would.

(if+ will/would to show willingness)

if whether

-Whether he likes it or not, I'm going. (Not *If*)

-The question is not when but whether he will sign the contract. (Not *if*)

-It depends on whether he'll sign the

contract. (Not *on if*)

I don't know whether to disturb him or not.

(Not *if to*)

(= whether I should ...)

(we use whether, not if, to begin a sentence, after be, after prepositions and in front of to)

-Ask him whether/if he'd like to join us. (whether or if after verbs like ask and a few adjectives like

(not) certain, (not) sure)

ignorant (of) • badly brought up

-It's not her fault she behaves like that. She's badly brought up. (Not *She's ignorant.*)

(= wrongly raised from childhood)

-Some pupils are almost completely ignorant when they leave school.

(i.e. they leave school knowing nothing) I'm completely ignorant of the law. (= lacking knowledge of)

ignore neglect

-Heavy drinking is one reason why some people neglect themselves. (Not *ignore*)

(= fail to care for)

-/ won't accept any responsibility if you choose to ignore my advice. (Not *neglect*) (= pay no attention to; ignore never means 'not know')

ill (with) • sick (of/with)

-I ' m sorry, I didn't know you 'd been ill in hospital. (Not *sick* in BrE) (= not in good health)

-She fell/became/got ill at the end of last year. (Not *She illed/sicked*)

-Jimmy's just been sick. (Not *'s been ill*) (= has vomited; was/is being/will be/has been sick = vomit)

-/ think I'll go home. I'm feeling sick/ill.

(after verbs like look and seem, sick = ill to mean 'not in good health', but feel/feeling sick suggests 'about to vomit')

-Maurice is a sick man. (Not *an ill man*)

(= not in good health; an ill (man) is heard, but not universally accepted)

-Maurice is ill with flu. (Not *ill of*)

-I'm sick of asking you to tidy up your room. (= fed up with, often expressed as sick and tired of)

-I was sick with fright.

(i.e. with that feeling)


-/ imagine you 'd like to rest after your long journey. (Not *I'm imagining*)

(stative use = I think)

-/ thought I heard something, but perhaps I was imagining it.

(dynamic use = forming mental images)

-Life must be hard for her now. -I imagine so. (Not */ imagine. * *I imagine it.*)

(= that's what I think)

-Imagine being stranded in Paris without any money! (Not *Imagine to be*)

-Imagine him/his not knowing the answer to such a simple question!

(some native speakers would approve only of a possessive adjective like his)

imitate • forge

-It looks as though someone has tried to

-forge your signature. (Not *imitate*) (= copy for serious criminal deception)

However hard I try to imitate my teacher's accent, I'll never speak like a native.

(= copy)

immaterial (to) • indifferent (to) • it doesn't matter (to me) • don't worry

-When Mandy gets depressed she becomes completely indifferent to her children.

(= uncaring, pays no attention to)

-It is indifferent to me/immaterial to me/It doesn't matter (to me) what you do.

(i.e. I'm not interested/I don't care)

-It doesn't matter to me whether you complain to the management or not. (Not *I'm indifferent* *It's indifferent whether*)

-I didn't get any fresh milk while I was out. -

It doesn't matter. (Not *Don't worry.*)

-Don't worry! Everything will be all right! (Not *It doesn't matter!*)

immobile • property/real estate

-Property (Real estate AmE) is not always a good investment. (Not *(the) immobile*)

-A lot of British people are looking for (a) property/for properties in France. (Not *a real estate* *an immobile* *immobiles*)

(property = land, buildings, or land and buildings may be countable or uncountable; real estate cannot be plural, though we can say a piece of real estate)

- Keep the patient completely immobile.

(adjective = without movement) important • considerable

-Health insurance costs a considerable sum of money these days. (Not *important*)

(= large and noticeable)

-It's the city council's job to preserve important buildings. (Not *considerable*)

(i.e. buildings of value)


impose (on) • be essential/vital • impress manage

-It is essential/vital (for us) to control the spread of malaria. (Not *It imposes (us)*)

-Our new headmaster has the kind of authority which impresses everyone he meets. (Not *imposes on*)

(= commands respect/admiration)

-She knows how to manage a class of unruly children. (Not *impose herself on*)

-In some countries, traffic police can impose instant fines on motorists.

(= place by force)

-We mustn't impose (ourselves) on them without warning.

(= take advantage of)

imposition • tax

-Tax on drink and tobacco should go up for health reasons. (Not *Imposition*)

-Expecting teachers to mind children in the playground is an unfair imposition on them.

(= burden)

impotent (to) • incapable (of)

-Eric has proved himself to be quite incapable of making important decisions. (Not *impotent* *incapable to make*)

(= without the ability to make; the opposite is capable of+ -ing, not *capable to*)

-People living under dictatorships feel quite impotent to do anything.

(= unable to, without power to)

-A man who is impotent should seek medical advice. (Not *incapable*)

(= not able to function sexually)

impress (with/by)

-Steve's skill as a salesman impresses everyone. (Not *is impressing*)

(mainly stative use)

-I ' m impressed by your grasp of the politics of the Middle East. {impress is often used in the passive)

-/ was very impressed with/by him.

(Not *impressed from*)

impress affect touch

- The sad case of the kidnapped child affected/touched us all. (Not *impressed*) (affected = influenced our mood or behaviour; touched = made us feel pity)

- No one could fail to be affected/impressed by Olivier's performance as Othello. (affected = moved emotionally; impressed = filled with admiration)


impression (of)

-How can I make a good impression at job interviews ? (Not *do an impression*)

-That comedian does a very good impression of the prime minister. (Not *makes*)

(= copies, to make people laugh)

-I'll go home with a good impression of Britain. (Not *impression about*)

impression • feeling/sense

-/ read the exam questions with a feeling/ sense of panic. (Not *an impression*)

-Do professors like to give the impression they're absent-minded? (Not *do/make*)

(i.e. create that image)

impression • printing

-Desktop publishing has made it easy for us to undertake the printing of our own catalogues. (Not *impression*)

-Charlotte's novel is a runaway success and is now in its 14th impression/printing.

(i.e. it has been printed 14 times)

in • into

-We're flying into Heathrow, not Gatwick. (Not *are flying in*)

(movement verb + into shows movement from one place to another)

-Please phone me when you're in Heathrow. (Not *into*)

(in shows position, destination after movement)

-We walked into the park.

(i.e. we were outside it and we entered it)

-We walked in the park.

(i.e. we were already inside it)

-He put his hand in/into his pocket.

(both prepositions are possible after a few movement verbs like drop, fall and put)

in to

-John's gone to Paris. (Not *at*)

(i.e. he's there or on his way there)

-John's in Paris at the moment. (Not *to*) (in an area: destination after movement)

in all cases in any event • in all respects

-/ don't know whether it's a formal reception. In any event, I'd better put a suit on.

(Not *In all cases*)

(= whatever happens, whether it's going to be formal or not)

-Many young girls do better in school than young boys in all respects/in every respect.

(Not *in all cases*) '- in every way)

-In a recent survey, doctors found that in all cases patients respond better to treatment if it is explained to them. (= in every instance)

include enclose • comprehend

-We enclose our account for your attention. (Not

*include*) (= put in the same envelope with a letter)

-Does the bill include a tip ? (Not *Is the bill including* *Does the bill enclose* *Does the bill comprehend*) (stative use = 'does the bill contain?')

-We're including you in our team.

(dynamic use = making you part of)

It was clear from the expression on his face that he couldn't comprehend a thing. (= understand, usually negative; formal)

indeed really (not) at all

-I'm sorry I didn't answer the phone. I really didn't hear it ring. (Not *indeed*)

-Ann wants to stay for a week. Indeed, she intends to arrive tonight. (Not *Really*)

(= in fact, as a matter of fact)

-Thank you very much indeed. (Not *Thank you indeed* *Thank you really*)

(indeed usually intensifies very much)

-Your mother isn't at all well.

{at all for emphasis in the negative) independent of

-I became quite independent of my parents in my teens. (Not *independent from*)

index (of/to) • forefinger/index finger • indication

-The finger you point with is called your forefinger/index finger. (Not *index*)

-There's no indication of a possible change in the weather. (Not *index*)

(= sign)

-The price of a hamburger is a good index of/to the cost of living.

(= a pointer to something on a scale of measurement)

indisposed ill * not disposed to

-How long has Martha been ill?

(preferable to indisposed)

-Mr. Potts is indisposed, I'm afraid, and will have to postpone his lunch with you.

(ill is the normal word for 'unwell'; indisposed

='unwell' in a vague way)

-You may be right, but I'm not disposed to argue with you.

(= not willing to)

indoors • inside

-It was nice and warm inside the building.

(Not *inside of/indoors the building*) {inside is a preposition + object here)

-It was nice and warm inside/indoors.

(adverbs = in a building: the opposites are outside, out of doors)

-The inside of the box was beautifully lined.


industrious • industrial

-Japan is an industrial nation. (Not *industrious*)

(i.e. with highly developed industries)

-The Japanese people are very industrious. (Not *industrial*)

(= hardworking)

industry • company • business • firm

-Glaxo is a very big company/firm. (Not *industry*)

-Our company/firm has offices all over the world. (Not *industry* *business*) (company and firm are specific)

-A business like publishing is labourintensive.

(Not *industry* *company* *firm*) (business = any kind of activity that is designed to make money)

-An industry like ship-building needs huge capital investment.

(industry generally refers to manufacture)

-Boeing make airplanes and they know their business.

(possessive + business = what they are about)

-Pharmaceuticals is big business/a major industry worldwide.

(i.e. it involves big money)

-Mind your own business!

(Not *Mind your business!*)

(fixed phrase = don't interfere with things that don't concern you)

infamous/notorious • not famous • famous

-He's well-known as a singer in this country but is not famous worldwide.

(Not *is infamous*)

(= not well-known to a lot of people)

-Al Capone was an infamous/a notorious gangster.

(= well-known with a bad reputation; the opposite of famous is unknown, not infamous)

-Charles Dickens is the most famous novelist in English literature. (Not *notorious*)

(= well-known, with a good reputation)


infer • imply

-From what you say in your letter, we Can-only infer that you won't be meeting our agreed delivery dates.

(Not *imply*) (= conclude)

-What you say implies that you can't meet the agreed delivery date. (Not *infers*)

(= suggests) inflammable • flammable

-You should switch off your engine. Petrol is highly inflammable/highly flammable.

(i.e. it catches fire and burns easily: it is combustible)

(inflammable and flammable are not opposites, but mean the same; precise and technical uses prefer flammable to inflammable. Opposites are uninflammable, non-inflammable and non-flammable)

influence on

-Teachers have/exert a lot of influence on

young people. (Not *influence with*) (have or exert influence are preferable to exercise influence)

inform (about/of)

-Who informed you about/of this ?

(Not *informed you for*)

-We wish to inform passengers that flight departures may be delayed.

-Passengers are informed that flight departures may be delayed.

(Not *Are informed the passengers*) (very formal)

information • a piece of information news

-Here's an interesting piece of information.

(Not *an information*)

-There was some interesting information about airfares on the news this evening. (information and news are uncountable)

-Who gave you that information ?/Where did you get that information ?

(give/get information, not *take*)

-Do you ever listen to the local news ? (Not information* *informations*)

ingenious ingenuous

-You'd have to be completely ingenuous to believe a story like that. (Not *ingenious*)

(= simple, easily-deceived)

-The ingenious Thomas Edison patented hundreds of inventions. (Not *ingenuous*) (= clever and inventive)

inhabit • live (in/on) • dwell (on) occupy

-How many people live in this house? (live in a house is the normal phrase)


-How many people live on/inhabit this planet? (Not *dwell on*)

(inhabit is formal)

-We have a farm and live on what we produce. (Not *live from* *live with*)

(= e.g. eat, clothe ourselves)

-Once upon a time, in a far-off land, there dwelt a handsome prince.

(dwell = 'live' is archaic)

-/ know you've lost a lot of money, but I wish you wouldn't dwell on the subject.

(= keep talking about)

-Two people can't occupy such a big house. (= fill)


-My dentist had to give me an injection so I wouldn't feel any pain. (Not *do/make*)


-Please write in ink. (Not *with ink*) (also: in pencil)

inn pub guesthouse bed and breakfast boarding house * board and lodging/bed and board • pension

- The Crown and Cushion is an inn as well as a pub. (Not *a guesthouse*)

(pub is an abbreviation of 'public house'; a pub serves drinks; an inn is a pub with beds available for travellers to stop overnight)

-In the high season most guesthouses display the sign 'No Vacancies'. (Not *pensions*)

(a guesthouse in Britain is usually a private house which has turned itself into a small 'family hotel' business; unlike an inn, it doesn't cater for non-residents)

-Can you recommend a good bed and breakfast round here?

(= a guesthouse which offers a bed for the night with breakfast in the morning)

-Some old people prefer to live permanently in a boarding house.

(= a guesthouse, not a hotel, that provides meals; it doesn't cater for non-residents and residents tend to stay for long periods)

-It's £100 a week for board and lodging/bed and board. (Not *pension*)

(board refers to the provision of meals)

-My pension /'penən/ is enough to live on.

(= money paid during retirement; pension is understood as a French word by English speakers to refer to a guesthouse: We stayed at a small pension /'pansjo/ in the Alps.)

inquiry • enquiry

-Police are making inquiries relating to forged banknotes. (Not *doing inquiries*)

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