Words making the headlines – deal

Signing a deal All across Europe, people, companies and governments are trying to make deals with each other. The British government wants to get a deal on Brexit so that it can then negotiate trade deals with other countries. Taxi company Uber is hoping to strike a deal with the transport authorities in London over its licence to operate in that city. French public sector trade unions want to cut a deal with President Macron over budget cuts. In Germany, newly re-elected Chancellor Merkel is working hard to close a deal with possible coalition partners.

Of course, everybody wants to get a good deal. Prime Minister May is worried that the UK may not get a fair deal from the European Union. She is even making plans for a no deal Brexit in case any deal with the EU falls through. Many people in Catalonia think they get such a rough deal from the government of Spain that they want the region to declare independence.

Across the Atlantic, however, the author of a book called ‘The Art of the Deal’ is not interested in doing deals. President Trump says he wants the USA to back out of the deal to address climate change made in Paris last year. At the same time, he has made it clear that he doesn’t want to discuss a deal with the leadership of North Korea to avoid military conflict.

Mr Trump, famously, is not an easy man to deal with. Try to remember that next time you’re finding it difficult to make a deal with a customer or colleague.


Practise your listening. Click on play to hear Barney reading this text.

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Read about deal in the dictionary.

deal (noun)

deal (verb)


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Working prepositions

All these prepositions are from photos of signs and notice around Stratford upon Avon

Prepositions are little words but they can have a big impact on the meaning of what you say. Sometimes using the correct preposition can make the difference between successful communication and confusion.

There are some rules for using prepositions. For example, we use at when we give a clock time: We’re meeting at 2 o’clock. And we use in to describe the location of something: My phone is in my bag.

However, it’s usually better to learn prepositions as part of a collocation or word partnership. For example, we use in in partnership with the adjective interested: I’m interested in musical theatre.

How do you find the correct preposition? You can probably guess our answer: look in a learner’s dictionary.

Here’s the Cambridge Learner’s Dictionary entry for interested. Notice the bold words in the first example sentence.

Or, this is what the Macmillan English Dictionary says about interested. Again, interested in is in bold.

Now you have opened these two learner’s dictionaries, try this exercise. Each of the sentences use the verb work in partnership with one of the prepositions in the box. If you don’t know the answer, don’t guess, look in a dictionary.

on as in in in for with at

1. They work ____ a large pharmaceutical firm in Switzerland.
2. She works ____ a software developer.
3. For the last three months, we’ve been working ____ a project in Canada.
4. It’s a multinational company. I work ____ people from all over the world.
5. When he graduates, he hopes to work ____ the film industry.
6. Do you work ____ London?
No, I work ____ Head Office in Edinburgh.
7. Before she moved to Sales, she worked ____ the Production Department.

The correct answers are at the bottom of this page. After you check them, think about the word partnerships in the exercise that you didn’t know. Are they useful to you? If they are, you need to learn them. Modify the sentences from the exercise and make them about you and your job. Think of situations in your life in which you could use those sentences.

Here are a few more learner’s dictionaries:

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English

Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries

Collins Dictionary

 


Answers

1. They work for a large pharmaceutical firm in Switzerland.
2. She works as a software developer.
3. For the last three months, we’ve been working on a project in Canada.
4. It’s a multinational company. I work with people from all over the world.
5. When he graduates, he hopes to work in the film industry.
6. Do you work in London?
No, I work at Head Office in Edinburgh.
7. Before she moved to Sales, she worked in the Production Department.

 

by Barney


If you have any questions or comments, leave a reply below.

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Story Writing Project – Travel Vocabulary – Part 7

Atfer a break for the summer, here is part 7 of our story.

You can catch with parts 1, 2, 3, part 4 and parts 5 and 6.

~ My trip to Paris ~

Part 7: The Eiffel Tower

I remembered I could use the internet and the navigation system on my phone. This was a very good idea. I only needed to walk for ten minutes to get to the hotel.

It was a little hotel in an old house. It had lovely rooms in the French style. A few minutes later I was on my way to the Eiffel Tower, the most famous building in Paris. It has always been my dream to visit it.

Eiffel Tower

It was easy to find because I could see it from the hotel. However, when I arrived there, all I could see were a lot of people standing in queues. I’d understood that you could go up the Eiffel Tower inside the four legs. There are elevators in two of the legs. The other two only have stairs. Unfortunately, one elevator had broken down and its entrance was closed.

I decided to take the stairs because the queue was not so long. When I arrived at the first platform, I was pleasantly surprised by the view over Paris. Then I looked again and I couldn’t believe what I saw.


Many thanks to Angela for writing this part of the story.

Go to Leave a Reply at the bottom of this page and tell us what should happen in part 8.

Words making the headlines – green

Trees - photo by Barney BarrettWhen is a colour not a colour? Well, when the word green appears in a new headline, it’s rarely referring to the hue of something. It that case, green means a set of beliefs or a political movement or a lifestyle.

Green, of course, is shorthand for anything to do with the natural environment and protecting that environment from damage by human activity.

Many countries have a Green Party. The members of those parties are often referred to as Greens. However, they are not the only ones who are concerned with green issues such as reducing pollution or protecting biodiversity. People who fight for these things outside traditional political systems are called green campaigners or green activists.

All of these groups campaign for the wider use of green technology which uses renewable energy sources such as the wind and the sun to generate green electricity. These kinds of projects are often paid for with green investment from green banks.

Other campaigns are for people to adopt green living. There is disagreement about what this means. For some people it’s about sorting their recycling and buying local produce. For others it extends to giving up flying and becoming vegetarian or even vegan.

"Green" carMany companies are now competing for the green dollar. They do this by marketing consumer products that they claim are better for the environment that other, similar products. However, these companies are also accused of greenwashing: making exaggerated claims that their products are more environmentally-friendly than they really are.

All of this doesn’t answer the big question of whether a consumer culture can be truly green. At the end of the day, given the choice of several “environmentally-friendly”, luxury products, the greenest option is to buy none of them.


Practise your listening. Click on play to hear Barney reading this text.


If you would like to suggest a word from the news for future blog posts, please use the comment box.

Do you need to expand your English vocabulary? Contact us to talk about it.

 

Internet – vocabulary mind map

We really like visual learning tools at Stratford Teachers. That’s why we recommend mind maps.

You can use mind maps to brainstorm the vocabulary you know for a topic. This can help you to find gaps in your English vocabulary. Mind maps are also an excellent way to learn and review important vocabulary.

The benefit of mind maps you build on the internet is that you always have access to them. You can check them when you need to, add new words when you find them or re-orgniase the words as your understanding develops.

With this in mind, here’s another mind map we made using Popplet. This time, the topic is the internet. Like last week, click on the image to download the mind map or go to Popplet to see it online.

Internet vocabulary mind map

Vocabulary mind maps are never complete. There are many more words we could add to this one. Use the comment box to suggest any words that you would add.

By Barney

Do you need to expand your English vocabulary? Contact us to talk about it.

 

Trade – vocabulary mind map

A good way to collect and organise vocabulary is using mind maps.

Mind maps allow you to group together related vocabulary. This could be vocabulary for a topic or a situation. You can do it on paper or use a website or app. Here’s an example using the vocabulary from our most recent Word making the headlines article about trade.

Click on the image to investigate the mind map more closely. Or view it on the Popplet website. The black boxes have collocations using trade. The orange boxes have examples sentences using those collocations.

Trade vocabulary mind-map

This mind map was made using Popplet. You can create and share Popplet mind maps using their website or iTunes app.

There are lots of mind map apps for Android and Apple.

By Barney

Do you need to expand your English vocabulary? Contact us to talk about it.

 

Words making the headlines – trade

Shipping container - tradeThe world economy relies on trade in goods and services between countries. This is nothing new. It’s been happening for most of human history. We don’t find it unusual that our local shops sell products from every part of the globe, or that our High Street bank* has its headquarters on the other side of the world.

The word ‘trade’ is in the headlines a lot at the moment because several major international trading partners are reconsidering their relationships with each other.

The most famous, of course, is Brexit: the UK’s exit from the European Union.

Trade talks are one of the biggest parts of the Brexit negotiations between the UK government and the EU. At the moment, the UK is still part of the European Union. This means UK-based companies benefit from trade agreements the EU has with countries like Japan, Canada and other trade blocs such as Mercosur in South America. However, UK government ministers say they want the freedom to make their own trade deals with these countries. They claim that membership of the EU involves too many trade restrictions. The UK’s trade figures show it has a deficit with many countries: imports are worth more than exports. Supporters of Brexit believe that leaving the EU will allow the UK to convert those trade deficits into trade surpluses.

The president of the USA also talks a lot about free trade. However, he also threatens to use international trade as a weapon. Since his election, there have been regular headlines about trade disputes with Canada and rumours of a trade war between the USA and China, its biggest trading partner.

Of course, history shows us that all these countries and blocs will continue to trade with each other. However, it looks like the World Trade Organisation (WTO) – the organisation responsible for adjudicating on international trade disputes – is going to be very busy for the next few years.


* a bank which (in the UK) provides services to individuals as well as companies and has many local offices

Practise your listening. Click on play to hear Barney reading this text.

 

If you would like to suggest a word from the news for future blog posts, please use the comment box.