Word of the Week

wowWith its 120th word, Word of the Week has now come to an end. We hope you enjoyed this free feature and that it has given you an insight into the thinking and research behind the English Vocabulary Profile.

All 120 are still available to read in our archive, below. Each Word of the Week in the archive is followed by a link to the full entry for that word on the English Vocabulary Profile. To view the entries, you will need to subscribe to the EVP: to subscribe for free click here.

Word of the week: possibly

The adverb possibly is not a very long entry in the English Vocabulary Profile, but is an interesting one nevertheless, showing how learners gradually acquire the uses of this word. Three meanings are included up to B2 level, with the guide words: NOT CERTAIN, QUESTIONS and EMPHASIS. Guide words are included in all entries with multiple meanings, in order to make it easier to navigate through the information. These capitalised guide words are particularly useful at the core results stage of a search, allowing the user to find the relevant meaning quickly. They also help, along with the listing of phrases, to give an overview of the full scope of a word.
 
To view the full entry for possibly on the English Vocabulary Profile, please click here.

Word of the week: part

The word part is a noun and a verb, but only the noun is included up to B2 level in the English Vocabulary Profile. The verb is far less frequent, although two meanings are currently being considered for the C levels: SEPARATE and LEAVE. The noun is a very useful one for learners to know. It has several meanings and features in a number of common phrases, such as take part and have/play a part in sth. As the entry shows, learners appear to have acquired several meanings by the B levels. Beyond B2 are two more phrases, for the most part and in part. Learners would probably be able to understand the meaning of these in context at an earlier stage, but the Cambridge Learner Corpus suggests that full knowledge of them only comes at the C levels. The Corpus also shows evidence for the idiom part and parcel, which will be included at C2.
 
To view the full entry for part on the English Vocabulary Profile, please click here.

Word of the week: number

The word number is a noun and a verb. Only the noun is included in the A and B levels of the English Vocabulary Profile – the verb is far less frequent and will feature in the C levels. As reported in previous Word of the Week entries, validation work has drawn on research into phrasal expressions (Martínez, 2010), and number proved to be an interesting case. In the original data, the B1 meaning AMOUNT included the phrase a number of but Ron Martínez rightly pointed out that the meaning of this phrase is different – it means ‘several’. We therefore looked at the phrase again, and decided to place it at B2, as the entry shows. This is just one of a number of instances where the project has benefited from expert validation.
 
To view the full entry for number on the English Vocabulary Profile, please click here.

Cambridge University Press